BO's 'Lessons Learned'?
Actually More Lessons Ignored
“The origin and outset of the American Republic, contain lessons of which posterity ought not to be deprived.” –James Madison (1819)
As the list of Democrats distancing themselves from Barack Obama and his so-called “Affordable Care Act” continues to grow, Obama imparted this remarkable observation:
“When we buy IT services generally, it is so bureaucratic and so cumbersome that a whole bunch of it doesn’t work or ends up being way over cost. … Once we get this particular website fixed they’re going to be some lessons learned we can apply to the federal government in general.”
Evidently, Obama is conjunctionally challenged when he says, “it doesn’t work OR ends up being way over cost.” The correct conjunction in this case is, of course, “AND.”
However, his claim that “cumbersome bureaucracy” is to blame is entirely accurate, and that is true across the full spectrum of our government’s bloated bureaucracies. Other key Obama administration officials agree.
Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff (SecDef and CIA director), Leon Panetta, offered this keen insight on the cascading failure of O'Care: “You cannot rely on the bureaucracies to do this kind of work. They don’t have the capabilities to get this done.”
Obama’s former chief economic advisor, Larry Summers, notes that, as a result of the O'Care failure, “a shadow has been cast on the government’s competence.”
Of course, our Founders cast that long shadow on government competence when they forged our Constitution’s limits on the powers of the central government. Those limits notwithstanding, any question today about the constitutionality of socialist government programs is dismissed in the now-infamous words of Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee: “Nobody questions that!”
Despite Obama’s assertion to the contrary, there are few new lessons to be learned from the compounding failure of his signature endeavor to nationalize health care. Those lessons have been taught and re-taught ad nauseam, ever since the earliest adoption of Marxist doctrines by governments and the inevitable failures that followed. (See “USSR.”)
As 20th century philosopher George Santayana concluded in his treatise, “The Life of Reason”:
“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
There is nothing to be learned from the second kick of a jackass, except possibly in the case of those who are too dullard to remember the first. Socialist government centralization schemes are destined to fail, and Obama can apply that to the “federal government in general” right now.
Such schemes collapse under the pressure of bureaucratic ineptitude, or “Ineptocracy,” which is defined as a political system of government where the incompetent are elected by the unproductive in return for goods and services redistributed from the competent and productive, until the former so outnumber the latter that the system collapses. (See “Democrat Party Platform”)
To put the current state of bureaucratic ineptitude into perspective during this week in which we observe Veterans Day, consider the following:
The time lapsed from the date O'Care was passed, 23 March 2010, to the date Healthcare.gov was to be operational, 01 October 2013, is 3 years, 6 months and 10 days. For comparison, from the date of our entry into WWII to the date of Germany’s surrender is one month LESS than Obama and his Leftist NeoCom cadres had to make their website operational. Obama had more time than it took for our nation’s industrial surge ahead of the invasion of North Africa and Italy, D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, the race to Berlin, and all while fully engaged on a second warfront in the Pacific.
Notably, generations of American veterans have given their lives honoring their oaths to “Support and Defend” our Constitution. It’s long past time that our entire nation demanded that its political leaders honor their oaths!
And here is some additional data for perspective.
The health insurance exchanges processed only 106,000 signups in October, and fewer than 27,000 of those were through the 36 O'Care exchanges. However, there were 1,687,600 background checks for firearms purchases processed through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. (Apparently NICS software is working just fine.) Though Obama wants folks clinging to government welfare, American Patriots know that the Second Amendment is the supreme insurance policy – by a 15:1 ratio!
For BO’s administration to make its 5-million signup goal by the end of open enrollment in March, they will have to sign up more than 45,000 people each and every day.
Unfortunately, there were 392,000 signups for Obama’s expanded Medicaid coverage, ensuring explosive growth in state liabilities to fund that “entitlement.” Notably, taxpayers across the nation will feel that pinch immediately because states have balanced budget requirements and can’t print their own money.
While there are no old lessons to be learned from the continuing failures of nationalized health care, there are two very significant contemporary lessons.
The First lesson from the ObamaCare failures:
Given the omnipresence of open mikes and video recordings around our Beltway-based politicians, if one lies today about something one said on any earlier day in office, that politician can expect to get caught in that lie. In the case of Obama, who just can’t shut up even when his staff has pleaded with him to stick to his tele-prompted shtick, his incessant lies have turned what was once a credibility gap into a great chasm.
While BHO has been busy spinning new lies to cover his old lies about folks keeping their doctors and insurance plans, we came across a recorded exchange from a 25 February 2010 conference between Obama and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. In that meeting, Cantor called Obama out on the cancellations:
“One of the promise you ought to make is that people ought to be able to keep the health insurance that they have. Between 8 and 9 million people may very well lose the covers that they have because of the construct of this bill. That’s our concern. I don’t think that you can answer the question in the positive that people will be able to maintain their coverage, that people will be a will see the doctors they want in the bill that you’re proposing.”
“The 8-9 million people that you refer to who might have to change their coverage would be folks who … would find the deal in the exchange better, would be a better deal, so yes they would change coverage because they have more choices. Let’s just be clear about that!” (They will get a better deal, which apparently cancels out their cancellation.)
Yes, let’s do be “clear about that.”
DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) repeated Obama’s “better deal” claim this week. Now that more than 5 MILLION Americans have already had their private insurance cancelled, Wasserman Schultz declared, “it is a real significant distortion to say that hundreds of thousands of people are being cancelled. What’s actually happening is that they are very likely to get a better plan for less money.”
New York Post and Daily Beast editorial writer Kirsten Powers, an Obama defender who occasionally stumbles upon hard truths, saw her insurance cancelled. Of the Demo claims that cancellations are good because those former policy owners will receive better coverage at a lower price, Powers protests:
“My blood pressure goes up every time they say that they’re protecting us from substandard health insurance plans. There is nothing to support what they’re saying. I have talked about how I’m losing my health insurance. If I want to keep the same health insurance, it’s going to cost twice as much. There’s nothing substandard about my plan. All of the things they say that are not in my plan are in my plan. All of the things they have listed – there’s no explanation for doubling my premiums other than the fact that it’s subsidizing other people. They need to be honest about that.”
Of course, most of Obama’s other adoring editorial page editors and syndicated columnists are not ready to “be honest about that,” and continue to question whether Obama actually knew that he was lying – apparently in deference to a kinder, gentler interpretation of the word “lie.”
The New York Times referred to Obama’s “you can keep it, period” lies as an “incorrect promise.” (Our friend Byron York at The Washington Examiner conducted a LexisNexis database search of the Times over the decades. “Never in that time, until today,” he reports, “did the paper use the phrase ‘incorrect promise.’”)
Editors of Obama’s hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, wrote, “The American public is having a credibility-shattering debate about the president: Did he not bother to learn the details of the law before he told us we could keep our doctors and our insurance, or did he know the truth and flat-out lie?”
Safe to say it is a “flat-out lie,” and eventually, even Obama’s most unflinching supporters will have to admit it – or tumble headlong into the same credibility chasm.
Even that notorious finger-wagger, Bill Clinton, endeavoring to put some distance between his ambitious wife and O'Care (an idea she promoted when she was “First Lady”), was careful not to accuse Obama of an outright lie. Clinton, no stranger to bald-face lies, said, “Even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made and let ‘em keep what they got.” (Memo to Bill: The “federal government” did not tell that lie! Barack Obama told 'em they could “keep what they got.”)
The second contemporary lesson to be learned from the ObamaCare failures:
Even the best technology security firewalls can be penetrated with the ease with which Chinese hackers have been browsing through classified DoD databases. And by no means would anyone describe the O'Care data hubs as having anything like the gauntlet of security protections at DoD. Those hubs host the mother lode of “private” information for theft or abuse.
While your personal health care files, income tax returns and other personal profile information may not be of interest to the Chinese, they’re certainly of interest to adolescent hackers, and much more ominously, identity thieves and those inside government who collect and disseminate information for Obama’s “enemies list.”
Regarding external threats, Henry Chao, Healthcare.gov’s chief project manager at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in his congressional testimony this week, said he was unaware of a memo from Tony Trenkle, lead tech officer for Healthcare.gov, warning, “the threat and risk potential [to the system] is limitless.” When asked if he was surprised he had not seen the memo, Chao responded, “Yeah … I mean, wouldn’t you be surprised if you were me? It is disturbing.”
John McAfee, founder of the world’s largest computer security company, offered this assessment of the scope of the Healthcare.gov security problems: “Glitch is a minor annoyance. This is a catastrophic failure, it is not a glitch. There was no security testing, no quality assurance and no system emigration.” McAfee notes that there are now more than 700 sites successfully scamming those who mistakenly believe they’re providing all that personal information to Healthcare.gov.
Compounding the internal threats, it turns out that nowhere within the ACA’s thousands of pages of laws and regulations is a simple requirement that ObamaCare’s so-called “navigators” must pass a criminal background check! When Texas Sen. John Cornyn asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius if “a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them,” she responded, “This is possible.”
Oh, and let’s not forget the “inadvertent” technology failures. For example, Minnesota O'Care exchange personnel sent 2,400 Social Security numbers to the wrong person four months ago, and a security audit determined that no corrective measures were in place to ensure that it didn’t happen again.
And what about compliance with the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – which requires all those additional privacy forms you’ve been signing since its passage? Title II of HIPAA, the so-called “Administrative Simplification” provision, requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans and employers.
In other words, all your “privacy” is now subject to far more compromise than ever before. The potential for HIPAA violations is also endless.
Obama is now desperate to mitigate the precipitous decline in both his approval and credibility ratings – especially among his own constituents. He will, of course, learn a hard truth during the remainder of his term: Reputation arrives on foot, but it leaves town on horseback.
Undeterred, and speaking to some of his diehard admirers in Florida this week, a state now in third place for insurance cancellations, Obama claimed, “I know health care is controversial, so there’s only going to be so much support we get on that on a bipartisan basis – until it’s working really well… If you just looked objectively at what the Democrat Party and Democratic senators stand for right now, it’s a lot more aligned with what the American people believe and what they care about than what a small faction of the other party is trying to promote.”
He has some great Florida swampland for sale, too!
Pro Deo et Constitutione – Libertas aut Mors
Semper Fortis Vigilate Paratus et Fidelis