Remember back in the old days, when we had an inquisitive media filled with “reporters” who would do whatever it took to get the real facts of a story, especially if they thought powerful officials might be lying to the American people? We’ll probably get such an environment back, if a Republican becomes President in 2016. But ever since Barack Obama was elected, the media has served more as a volunteer ignorance militia, blindly disseminating whatever talking points the Administration gives them with very little challenge. When vital information is withheld from the American people, Obama’s palace-guard media shrugs and says, “Hey, what are you gonna do?”
Well, one thing you can do is file Freedom of Information Act requests, and if the Obama Administration illegally refuses to respond, you can file FOIA lawsuits. Only independent watchdog groups do that sort of digging now. The “mainstream media” stirs in its easy chairs, roused from fond nappy-time dreams of how much fun they had at the second Obama inaugural, and harrumphs in confusion as each new nugget of long-buried truth is excavated by these outsiders. It’s nothing short of astonishing that none of the big FOIA bombshells are coming from our huge, well-staffed, highly funded media organizations. And they’re not exactly eager to pump the headlines full of astonishing truth, even when someone else drops it into their laps.
Judicial Watch, which did investigative work the mainstream media willfully refused to do on the Benghazi and IRS scandals, just emerged from the Obama Temple of Doom with yet another long-lost treasure of hard information: a 106-page document from the Department of Health and Human Services, revealing the breathtaking scope of the ObamaCare launch disaster. In accordance with standard Obama scandal protocols, all of this information was kept from the public until a few crucial news cycles had rolled past.
Let us note, as too much reporting on these latter-day revelations fails to do, that this HHS document was procured with a lawsuit, not a Freedom of Information Act “request.” Judicial Watch made such a request in October 2013, but the Obama Administration illegally refused to comply, prompting the watchdog group to follow up with court action in late November.
The people who call themselves “reporters” will probably relegate this new document to Page A-26 and claim it’s all “old news.” The important thing to remember is that they refused to report it, or even push hard for the information, back when it was piping-hot news, and might have caused public anger to grow incandescently hot. Obama’s political team understands that every scandal grows less damaging over time, if you have a friendly media that doesn’t make a big deal about the outrageous stonewalling necessary to drag out damaging revelations.
One of the amazing facts in this HHS document was already revealed long after it would have provoked a firestorm of national outrage: only one ObamaCare enrollment was received on the first day of history’s most expensive website launch. But the other details unearthed by Judicial Watch paint a portrait of staggering incompetence and mendacity:
- On October 1, there were 43,208 accounts created and 1 enrollment. (Page 49)
- As of October 31, 2013, there were 1,319,425 accounts created nationwide ??? but only 30,512 actual enrollments in Obamacare. (Page 19)
- On October 1, 2013, at the end of the first day (4:30), the Senior Advisor at Center forConsumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Brigid M. Russell, sent out an email to her staff with a subject line celebrating ???2 enrollments!??? The body copy of the email read: ???We have our second official FFM enrollment! The first two Form 834s sent out are to: 1) CareSource in Ohio, 2) BCBS of North Carolina. (Page 90)
- Official figures contained in the HHS report provide conflicting figures as to the number of enrollments. FFM [Federally Facilitated Marketplace] statistics show 23,259 cumulative to-date applications submitted as of 10/2/13 and 286 completed plan selections. Earlier numbers show 356 enrollments created as of 7pm on 10/2/13 that were completed with Form 834s sent. (Pages 91-92)
- An October 2, 2013, email from HHS Special Assistant Marianne Bowen indicated serious problems with congressional enrollments: ???The Congressional issue (68 attempts for Direct enrollment) was an issue stemming from incomplete applications being sent through (started, not finished, sent anyway) and the way the issuers are assigning unique numbers. Turns out there were only 4 complete Direct Enrollment applications that went through, the other 64 were not complete.??? (Page 93) [The U.S. Congress has approximately 24,000 professional staffers.]
- On October 2, 2013, the Obamacare website had 70,000 page views but only 5,000 were unique visitors, and 48% of registrations failed. The large number of page views may have been the result of visitors repeatedly hitting the ???refresh??? button due to long waiting times. (Page 106)
It cannot be stressed enough that all of this information was kept from the American people, for no good reason. ObamaCare isn’t some national-security project whose failure would jeopardize public safety, if it became known to America’s enemies. Every one of these developments should have been forthrightly admitted to the public immediately. There is no justification for the Obama Administration keeping us in the dark “for our own good,” to prevent angry voters from acting against the wishes of their benevolent masters in the next election.
Corporatist government-business projects like ObamaCare should be held to far higher standards of accountability and transparency than purely private-sector enterprises, because corporations are ultimately responsible to shareholders, survive only through sustainable business models, and have government regulators breathing down their necks. (And as we saw from the GM recall debacle, when the government becomes senior partner in a corporation, those regulators grow notably less enthusiastic.) There’s no question ObamaCare would be dead and gone if it were a private business; CEO Barack Obama would spend the rest of life in court, or jail, fending off lawsuits from defrauded customers. A document such as the one Judicial Watch unearthed would become prized evidence at the messy ObamaCare Inc. bankruptcy hearings.
But instead, we get far less transparency and accountability when Big Government and Big Business get together to unleash their mutant progeny upon the population. We get spokespeople and their willing media enablers lying about how everything is going fine, when it clearly isn’t. The people who preside over unspeakable disasters are allowed to retire gracefully, with thanks for all their hard work. Top officials cite their lack of awareness of critical problems as a defense against being held responsible for failure.
And even when the media knows that everything they’ve been instructed to relay to us about ObamaCare was a lie, they grant default credibility to the next set of fairy tales, such as the lingering mystery of just how many of the reported ObamaCare “enrollments” are bogus – a question Judicial Watch asks in their press release:
On April 17, 2014, President Obama announced that eight million people had signed up for health insurance on Affordable Healthcare Act exchanges. That figure, however, may be substantially over-inflated. According to testimony in May by the America???s Health Insurance Plans association before the House Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, ???Because of the challenges that surfaced with the launch of the Exchanges in October 2013, some consumers were advised to create a new account and enroll again. As a result, insurers have many duplicate enrollments in their system for which they never received any payment.???
???Once again, Judicial Watch is able to get information through FOIA that no one else had gotten ??? the specifics about the unmitigated failure of the Obamacare healthcare.gov collapse,??? said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ???The Obama administration tried to cover this up, Congress failed to follow through, but we managed to get the truth about the $667 billion Obamacare website. Imagine what would have happened to Obamacare if the American people knew only one person was able to enroll on its first day? What other Obamacare failures is President Obama hiding????
We’re forced to rely on industry analysts reading tea leaves to guess at the percentage of those 8 million claimed “enrollments” that turn out to be invalid due to non-payment, distorted data, or duplicate data entry – twenty percent? Thirty? Forty? But meanwhile, for a few precious news cycles, the President got to tout an 8 million figure the media knows is wrong, and they let it pass without much in the way of challenge… never mind the flinty-eyed skepticism they should be displaying, coupled with shouted demands for the release of hard data.
ObamaCare is an enduring example of Big Government incompetence and deception, mirrored precisely in the currently exploding VA scandal, which gives Americans a very accurate forecast of what our ultimate, hellish single-payer socialized future will look like. Your future under the combined domination of Big Government and Big Business will be a series of expensive frauds. Truth will be treated like a radioactive isotope that must be kept buried until its political half-life has expired. And if you grow angry when the facts are finally revealed, mainstream media “reporters” will be standing by to insult you for obsessing over old news.
Update: The expanding Serco scandal is another example of the mainstream media sleeping through bad news for ObamaCare. Serco is a contractor that was caught by local media paying a huge staff of employees at an ObamaCare “processing center” to do nothing all day. Another such office has been uncovered in Arkansas… by another Missouri news station. Apparently none of our vaunted mainstream media “reporters” could be bothered to follow upon a story of outrageous taxpayer money wasted in the name of President Boyfriend’s “signature achievement,” so Missouri reporters went to Arkansas to continue the investigation.
Update: Have document requests been filed with the Obama Administration by the local reporters investigating the Serco scandal mentioned above? Why, yes, they have. And maybe one day, six months or a year from now, after a couple of lawsuits, we might finally get to see those documents. But for right now, the usual stonewall is in effect, as the high and mighty mainstream press slumbers on.