December 01, 2013

The psychology of Obama and #Obamiacs re #Obamacare struggles

Margaret Carlson has a great, if snide-leaning, takedown-cum-analysis of Dear Leader's personal psychology as a major contributing factor to Obamacare's struggles. Basically, she claims that our alleged hyperintellectual president (hyperintellectual in theory, in reality, of course, on things like constitutional law and the Fourth Amendment, either an idiot or a liar) has a mix of boredom and "cool" that is close to fatal in this case. A sample:
The first (statement about Obama) was made in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the end of the 2008 primary campaign, when candidate Obama predicted that generations would look back and see his nomination as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” 

Couple this with the assessment of his closest aide, Valerie Jarrett, about his exceptionalism. “He knows exactly how smart he is,” she told Obama biographer David Remnick. “And he knows that he has the ability -- the extraordinary, uncanny ability -- to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them.” 

Obama “has never really been challenged intellectually,” she went on. “He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”   

Or what an ordinary president does, for that matter. A chief executive less bored than Obama would have stayed on top of his signature legislation. Those upset that he didn’t are bedwetters, the White House says, nervous Nellies who can’t comprehend the larger picture of health-care reform that will, in due time, emerge. ...

Shame on mere politicians who worry about the next election rather than the next generation. Obama’s cool enrages even his allies. In 2010, after voting for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 63 House Democrats lost their seats, a historic rout. And that was before the law actually kicked in and its inadequacies became apparent. ...

The mechanics weren’t as promised. In August, many of the elements needed for HealthCare.gov to function were deemed not ready by the chief contractor, CGI Group Inc., a company hired by the administration despite a poor performance record. As of August, almost nothing worked as promised: Computer systems at the multiple government agencies involved were unable to talk to one another, code was plagued with errors, and the system couldn’t handle even 500 users at a time. What’s more, no one had tended to the even more complicated financial and accounting part of the insurance exchanges. 

None of this was enough to rouse the intellectually restless president’s attention. After the Oct. 1 rollout, he seemed as surprised as your average citizen that the exchanges weren’t working. He keeps suggesting the failure should be mitigated by the fact that his opponents were wishing for it. It took him six weeks to apologize, he still hasn’t held anyone responsible, and not one head has rolled. One reason he could say that the fiasco was “on him” is that his head can’t roll. 
All accurate, dear Obamiacs, on what the actual problems with the federal exchange system is. And, all accurate, I charge, on Dear Leader's psychology.

Now, speaking of possible lying, though I don't know if he's a hyperintellectual or not, here's Josh Marshall, founder of blog-cum-news site Talking Points Memo. Marshall, an Obamiac so in the tank he's for years run a slide show of White House photographers' hand-out pix, calls himself a realist, rather than the O-word, on Obamacare.

A sample of him:
Here's why I'm still pretty optimistic.

I base this relative optimism on four assumptions.

The first is legislative: regardless of firestorms about this or that, this law will not undergo substantive changes before January 2017. ...

Second and under-appreciated: the major national insurance carriers have heavily bought into the "Obamacare"/exchange model and have spent almost three years retooling their business models to prepare for it. It's too much to say there's no going back. But the carriers themselves are about as close to being locked in as you can get ...

Third: By early next year you will have millions of new people enrolled in Medicaid, large numbers of people who have health care covered who couldn't get it at any reasonable price before who now have coverage and you will have large numbers of people who have care that is better or cheaper and often both than it was before. ...

Fourth: the most important premise, I think Obamacare is good policy. By 'good' I mean something very specific - not ideal or perfect or the best but that its basic approach of incentives, subsidies, creating better risk pools and efficiencies through exchanges, etc. can and will work to substantially increase access and reduce market failure and medical inflation.
My quick reactions.

On the first, how do you know? If the GOP regains the Senate, obstructionism to the law increases, likely to a point Dear Leader starts "trimming" even more.

On the second, not necessarily, especially if it ties to point No. 1.

On the third? Not that many, as long as most states that resisted Medicaid expansion continue to do so. Besides, again per point 1, that can be shaved off from other parts of the wall.

Fourth? It's good policy if you're a neoliberal. Nuff said.

Meanwhile, I'll believe Dear Leader's team's claims that the federal exchange website has been fixed when we're in the start of a new work week and more people are trying it out.

Oh, I'm sure it's better. But "fixed"? We'll see.

There's weasel words in the story, plus an outright admission that the only part of the site fixed is the consum-user side. The problems with payouts to insurers still aren't fixed.

So, a Josh Marshall type who claims insurers have no "out" and can do nothing but go along for the ride? Maybe that won't be true if that side of the equation doesn't get fixed soon.

1 comment:

Randel said...

This strikes me as fairly biased criticism, not that Obama doesn't deserve criticism, but the snarky delivery offsets the credibility of the assertions. IMO. Whether or not the law is repealed, altered, or developed in earnest, turns on public opinion not how smart or not Obama is or is not, which is relative anyway. My problem with Obama is his tendency to be more of a manager than an outspoken leader. Managers look for ways to appease or mitigate. It's a cozy bed in politics with some obviously odd bedfellows and some not so obvious.