The disastrous rollout of Obamacare – the failing website, the brutally low enrollments, the forcible cancellation of millions of health insurance plans – has revealed the depth of the craven hypocrisy of the Obama-backing left. Once, they stood for “universal healthcare.” Once, they stood for “if you like your plan, you can keep it.” Now, they stand for President Obama’s signature program and nothing else.
Since 2010, Obama supporters have claimed the unearned moral high ground in their supposed battle for more widespread access to affordable health care. But the events of the past few weeks have demonstrated that the left was never interested in widespread access to affordable health care; they were interested, instead, in a complete remaking of the health care system via government interventionism. Here are the top four instances of leftist hypocrisy on Obamacare over the last month:
1. We Must Stop People From Losing Their Insurance…Or Maybe Not. During the 2012 election cycle, the Obama campaign trotted out one Joe Soptic, a former employee at a company owned by Bain Capital, which Mitt Romney had founded. Soptic did a conference call with the Obama campaign, and also cut an infamous ad for Priorities USA super PAC, in which he claimed that he had been fired by Bain Capital, costing him his health insurance. His wife, he said, had then died of cancer due to lack of that insurance. “When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my healthcare, and my family lost their healthcare,” Soptic said into the camera. “And a short time after that my wife became ill.” Cancellation of one’s insurance was, presumably, a disastrous occurrence according to the left – so long as Mitt Romney could be indirectly blamed for it.
Fast forward a year. Now, approximately five million Americans have had their insurance plans cancelled. And the same folks screaming bloody murder over Joe Soptic think it’s no big deal. One Joe Soptic is a tragedy. Five million Joe Soptics is a statistic.
2. We Need Obamacare Now…Or Maybe Not. During the government shutdown debate, Republicans originally proposed a delay in the individual mandate. President Obama, however, maintained that the system was working beautifully, and that Obamacare had to implemented right away. Now, the Obama administration has signaled willingness to listen to Democratic proposals over the delay of Obamacare’s mandate.
So much for the intense urgency that dictated President Obama shut down the government for two weeks to make sure Americans were blessed with Obamacare as soon as possible.
3. Immediate Numbers Matter…Or Maybe Not. The left is currently in all-out spin mode for Obamacare, attempting to claim that early poor enrollment numbers should not be seen as the beginning of Obamacare’s failure. But during the first days of Obamacare’s implementation, just last month, the White House and its allies at institutions like Media Matters trotted out traffic statistics at the websites as evidence that Obamacare was working beautifully. “Right-Wing Media Frantically Spin Obamacare Exchange Success Into Failure,” Media Matters trumpeted. Now, however, when conservatives point out that the enrollment numbers are abysmal, they’re supposedly jumping the gun.
4. We Have to Help the Sick…Or Maybe Not. The entire basis for Obamacare’s redistributionist scheme was that young, healthy people would have to pay more for older, sicker people with pre-existing conditions. But now that Americans are pushing back, the Obama administration and Democrats have signaled willingness to revoke their mandate on that score, allowing Americans to keep their insurance plans for at least a short while. That would, as Ezra Klein of the Washington Post points out, raise premiums for precisely the people Obamacare was designed to help. But when Republicans made this point years ago, President Obama simply lied and said that he could have it both ways: Americans would be able to keep their health insurance, and insurance rates would drop.
The bottom line is that less people have insurance now than when Obamacare began; that is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. More people will pay more money for their insurance programs; that will remain the case forever. But the real agenda was never a workable solution to American’s health care costs. The real agenda was control. And Obama’s friends and allies will always spin for more government control.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.