Well, well, well. When Republicans tried to delay the Obamacare individual mandate during the government shutdown, Democrats and President Barack Obama called them "meanies" and obstructionists. But when the Obama administration quietly had the Department of Health and Human Services announce Wednesday night it would extend the deadline for individuals to enroll in Obamacare, the media yawned as if to say "No, Big Deal."
In fact, reporter Dana Milbank of The Washington Post turned to mocking House Republicans for their persistence in pointing out the multitude of problems since the law's October 1 rollout. Even Democrats are shaking their heads at the mess. Yet Milbank haughtily writes in his bold liberal tone, "Okay, okay we get it: Republicans still don't like the healthcare-law. But can't they talk about anything else?"
Actually Dana, we can't because this nearly $3 trillion Affordable Care Act, which will add $1 trillion to our debt over 10 years, in all its glitch filled glory is giving Republicans and even some Democrats enough to talk about for the next 10 years. And talk they should. The Obamacare rollout has more glitches in its software than a hooker has runs in her panty hose.
Earlier this week Milbank wrote: "Had the country not been distracted by the shutdown and debt standoff, the botched rollout would have been a major story." But it's one he and his mainstream media cohorts will continue to give less coverage to and won't cover objectively when they do.
The White House claims it delayed the deadline by six weeks to March 31, 2014 because Americans were confused by the different deadlines for the law's implementation. Indeed, what people are confused by was a website they either couldn't access, spit out error messages, wrong information on premium coverage and subsidies or just plain crashed. It looks every bit like the Obama administration delayed the enrollment deadline because it knows it has a $600 million lemon of a website on its hands that can't enroll people in Obama's legacy legislation. This doesn't say much for what's shaping up to be an inglorious administration for the country's first black president.
Of course, the Obama White House is vehemently denying the delay is linked to the website problems and the news media is going right along with it. Throughout the two-week government shutdown, Obama vilified Republicans, literally skewered them in the court of public opinion, for trying to delay implementation of Obamacare. Yet after Obama gets everything he wants in the shutdown and debt ceiling standoff with no Obamacare strings attached, he turns around and does exactly what House Republicans demanded. He delays the individual mandate and watch this won't be the only delay.
I said repeatedly House Speaker John Boehner's strategy of delaying the individual mandate for a year was good one but it got lost in a small band of House Republicans' push for defunding Obamacare, led by their Pied Piper Senator Ted Cruz. Republicans need to hammer away at Obama, daily, for stealing their idea of delaying the individual mandate. Speaker Boehner and the rest of the House GOP leadership also need to remind the American people this delay along with many others like the White House delaying the employer mandate for a year, which requires businesses to provide coverage employees, indicates the president himself realizes Obamacare isn't working!
Equally amusing is Democrats lecturing Republicans saying they should help Obama fix the problems with the law's rollout. Why on earth would the GOP help fix Obamacare? In 2010 then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid passed the bill without a single Republican vote. Democrats own Obamacare-- all 11 billion words of the regulation. (The US Constitution is comprised of a mere 4500 words.) Democrats should try to fix it themselves before it literally crashes under its own bad weight of glitches. But with each passing day Obamacare looks too broken to fix. You can't put lipstick or another $1 trillion on this dying pig.