November 14, 2013
Students attend a Defund Obamacare rally in Tennessee. (Luke Sharrett for The Washington Post)
Students attend a Defund Obamacare rally in Tennessee. (Luke Sharrett for The Washington Post)

The presidential press conference today raised more questions than it answered. So here goes:

• Under what legal authority can the president invite insurers to reissue policies that don’t comply with the law?

• Were he and his staff being untruthful when they said insurers and not Obamacare caused the policy cancellations?If Obamacare can let these policies back into the market, wasn’t it what caused them to be canceled?

• When he and his staff denied making the promise that you can keep your insurance “period,” were they intentionally misleading the public? Did they not understand the regulations the Department of Health and Human had drafted to implement the grandfather provision? When did they figure out they were wrong?

• Was he “indirectly” told the Web site wasn’t working? Has anyone been fired for either not telling him or not directly telling him?

• If the rollout had been delayed had he known about the Web site problems, why didn’t he agree to a delay with the Republicans rather than prompt a government shutdown?

• If the government doesn’t do information technology procurement very well, why build a health-care plan around a Web site?

• When did the president discover that buying insurance is “complicated”? Had he known that, would he have signed Obamacare in its present form?

• Shouldn’t the president get new advisers if they messed up the most important initiative of his presidency?

• The president said that there had already been “two fumbles.” How many can there be before he cancels the rest of the “game,” as he put it?

• Wasn’t Obamacare designed to force young, healthy people into the exchanges to subsidize the rest? So how can the resulting cancellations and the higher prices for these subsidizers be a surprise? Shouldn’t the president have explained that the system is designed to make them pay more?

• If people are allowed to keep their existing insurance, won’t that affect the proportion of younger, healthier people in the exchanges and push up the cost for those who remain?

• Why not cover the 106,000 in high-risk pools run by the states and leave everyone else alone?

• If the president is fixing Obamacare by letting people keep their individually purchased plans, doesn’t that mean people liked those plans? How can he say the individual market wasn’t working?

• Won’t insurers  refuse to participate in the exchanges if they serve a disproportionately high percentage of sicker, older people? Then what?

• With all the changes to Obamacare, won’t people be deterred from signing up, knowing other options or relief may be on the way?

• What if insurers can’t reinstate canceled policies or have to charge more for them to cover all the administrative problems? Who will pay for that? What if these people have a gap in coverage?

• Did the president and Democratic lawmakers understand what was in this life-changing law before they signed it? If so, why are they professing shock?

• If the 7 million people predicted to sign up in the exchanges by March 2013 don’t materialize, why wouldn’t it make sense to consider other sorts of health-care reform that cover more people at less cost?

• Why didn’t the president, an avid Web surfer, pick up on months of criticism by conservatives that Obamacare would cause massive cancellations? Should he read more by people who disagree with him?

• If the president is willing to sit down with Republicans and Democrats on health-care ideas, why not sit down with Democrats and Republicans to see what changes they have?

One could go on and on. The bottom line here is that the president, entirely clueless about the limitations of government, created something beyond the capability of government to run with a myriad of unintended consequences. Just like its critics said.

 

 

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.