Tuesday, November 05, 2013


Continuing the Risible Lie

Washington Post editorial board member Jonathan Capehart joins in on the journo-list meme of non existent Republican "sabotage" of the horrible ACA here.

His title is: Decrying GOP Sabotage of HealthCare.gov.

It would probably be easier to just tell how his article differs from the other Myrmidon pieces I've been responding to repeatedly lately. It certainly is shorter. He toes the Democrat line perfectly. Behold.

He starts as usual properly blaming the Democrat authors of the act and the Democrats effectuating the important Web site. Then he pivots to the real people to blame.

But there were two tidbits in the 2,800-word piece that were previously known but still served to enrage me, especially now that we see how well the GOP’s premeditated campaign to try to kill Healthcare.gov is working.

He's enraged by these two things because he thinks they are evidence that the Republicans had a premeditated campaign (war language, again) to try to kill the Web site. Well, what are these proof of a dastardly plot (so two crimes now alleged: Sabotage and Conspiracy)?

Although the statute provided plenty of money to help states build their own insurance exchanges, it included no money for the development of a federal exchange — and Republicans would block any funding attempts. According to one former administration official, [Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius simply could not scrounge together enough money to keep a group of people developing the exchanges working directly under her.

OK, so as discussed earlier, the actual drafting of the ACA was substandard (rational blame for which falls completely on the Democrats) as they left out unlimited funding for the federal exchanges. However, silence in a statute is not the same as a prohibition. There is Expressio unius est exclusio alterius but every statute must be read as a whole and the intent of the drafters given expression, if possible. In most instances, silence is read as continuing the grant contained in a sister section of the law. So the federal exchanges could have been established using the state exchange unlimited funding (and I strongly suspect they were) and no one would have complained, at least not in time to stop the use of the funds for all exchanges necessary. Notice too the use of the subjunctive, "and Republicans would block any funding attempts." (Emphasis added). Not that the Democrats ever tried to get more funding and the Republicans actually did block it. The Democrats just never tried. Of course the Republicans are to blame for the Democrats lack of initiative here. They Jedi mind tricked the Obama Administration into taking an unnecessarily narrow reading of the ACA and then cowed them into not attempting to overcome the Act's shortcomings with funding requests or inclusion of more funds in the CRs. Of course this is misdirection too. Capehart starts his piece talking about the Republicans allegedly sabotaging the Web site and as proof of that shows alleged sabotage of the exchanges to which the Web site was to connect seamlessly. Close enough for Obama shill work, I guess. He then swiftly reaches this conclusion:

So, the federal exchange that Republicans said wouldn’t work ended up not working because it was starved of the money needed to help make it work.

How about this conclusion? So, the federal exchanges that Republicans said wouldn't work ended up not working because the Democrats wrote the law very poorly and then compounded that error by misinterpreting the poor drafting and by not making any attempt to fix it. Closer to the truth? And all this without a single mention of the Billion dollar fund which was available to pay for anything the Secretary desired. Bit of an omission, that.

A larger number of states than expected were signaling that, under Republican pressure, they would refuse to build their own online insurance marketplaces and would rely on the federal one. The more states in the federal exchange, the more complex the task of building it. Yet, according to several former officials, White House staff would not let this fact be included in the specifications. Their concern, one former official said, was that Republicans would seize on it as evidence of a feared federal takeover of the health-care system.

OK, so the Republicans are responsible for the Democrats' failed expectations. Those wily, rascally Republicans were not doing what we wanted! Who couldn't blame them for that? The Republicans then pressured other Republicans into a rational decision allowed under the ACA. The fiends! And the White House made things worse through unnecessary fear of political repercussions. The power these Republicans somehow wield over the fears the Democrats hold is exceptional. The Republicans again Jedi mind tricked the White House into intentionally drafting and interpreting the ACA poorly. Wow, it's a wonder the Democrats every do anything right given this extrasensory power their opposition posses.

So, the federal exchange that Republicans said wouldn’t work ended up not working because the GOP pressured Republican governors to not form their own state exchanges. This made the federal task more complex and difficult, thus ensuring its failure.

All but one of the states not setting up exchanges have Republican Governors. Of course those Governors' wills were overcome by unholy pressure from fellow Republicans. It couldn't have been a rational choice. It's the Republicans fault that many states took the step completely allowed by the law the Democrats alone authored. There is no other explanation possible. I'm slightly not sure that the "unexpected" number of federal exchanges caused any failure. From what I can see, the Democrats are completely capable of failing in small, easy tasks as well. You Republicans did what we allowed you to do, the Democrats whine, it's all your fault. Big finish.

Of course, foot dragging by a ’fraidy cat White House aided the failure. But after reading The Post story on the debacle that is the Obamacare debut, what the GOP gleefully calls a train wreck was a self-fulfilling prophesy courtesy of Republican sabotage.

Actually, it was Democrat Senator Max Baucus who first called Obamacare a train wreck. We Republicans merely use the Democrat simile because it is an apt description of the ACA. So he repeats the allegation of Republican sabotage. I reread the piece. There is not a single bit of evidence of Republican illegal, immoral, or unethical action. They merely did what the law allowed in rational opposition to a bad and unpopular law, which by 2014, when employer provided insurance companies throw tens of millions off the policies their work provided, will be the most hated law ever. Or so my Republican mind power wills.

I'm taking these repeated baseless accusations way too seriously. They are jokes at best. More mockery is in store for the next guy. And there will be a next guy.


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