a technical bug affected approximately 25 percent of enrollments on the federal exchanges in October and November. Those technical bugs, separate from the troubles consumers had experienced accessing information on the website during the first two months, are posing a significant new problem for those who signed up and are expecting insurance coverage come Jan. 1. One in four of those applications either did not get transferred to insurers, were transferred in duplicate form, or had major errors in information shared.
Archive for the 'fabrications' Category
A fellow very friendly to the administration, a longtime supporter, cornered me at a holiday party recently to ask, with true perplexity: “How could any president put his entire reputation on the line with a program and not be on the phone every day pushing people and making sure it will work? Do you know of any president who wouldn’t do that?” I couldn’t think of one, and it’s the same question I’d been asking myself. The questioner had been the manager of a great institution, a high stakes 24/7 operation with a lot of moving parts. He knew Murphy’s law — if it can go wrong, it will. Managers — presidents — have to obsess…
people think he is smart. They think, as they look at his health-care vows, that either he didn’t know how bad his program was, what dislocations it would cause, what a disturbance it would be to the vast middle class of America…Or he knew, and deliberately misled everyone. If they thought he wasn’t very bright, they might give him some leeway on that question. But they think he’s really smart. So they think he knew. And deliberately misled. They think he knowingly quelled people’s fears when he knew they had every reason to be afraid. Which makes him just another dishonest pol, just another guy hiding in the deliberately obscure paragraph on page 1,037 of the omnibus comprehensive reform bill. He has taken himself down, lowered his own stature. Commentators like to decry low-information voters — the stupid are picking our leaders. I think the real problem is low-information leaders. They have so little experience of life and have so much faith in magic — in media, in words — that they don’t understand people will get angry at you when you mislead them, and never see you the same way again…
the administration is full of young people who’ve seen the movie but not read the book. They act bright, they know the reference, they’re credentialed. But they’ve only seen the movie about, say, the Cuban missile crisis, and then they get into a foreign-policy question and they’re seeing movies in their heads. They haven’t read the histories, the texts, which carry more information, more texture, data and subtlety, and different points of view. They’ve only seen the movie—the Cubans had the missiles and Jack said “Not another war” and Bobby said “Pearl Harbor in reverse” and dreadful old Curtis LeMay chomped his cigar and said “We can fry a million of ‘em by this afternoon, Mr. President.” Grrr, grrr, good guys beat bad guys. It’s as if history isn’t real to them. They run around tweeting, all of them, even those in substantial positions. “Darfur government inadequate. Genocide unacceptable.” They share their feelings – that happens to be one of the things they seem to think is real, what they feel. “Unjust treatment of women — scourge that hurts my heart.” This is the dialogue to the movies in their heads. There’s a sense that they’re all freelancing, not really part of anything coherent
Examiner: “check with the people who are here today and the people that they represent all across the country whose lives have been changed for the better by the Affordable Care Act.” These guys have been excellent at two things: (a) campaigning targeted at specific groups; and (b) similarly targeted GOTV. However, the young might turn out not to be Venezuelan peasants when they get the bill. We’ll see.
Morgan Wright, CEO of Crowd Sourced Investigations, told lawmakers that Healthcare.gov had more than 500 million lines of code — more than 20 times as much as Facebook (FB) and nearly 10 times as much as Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 8 — and that this complexity made it ripe for hackers. Wright also warned that there was no “clearly defined and qualified security lead” at the site, which he said was “inconsistent with accepted practices. TrustedSec CEO David Kennedy added that “basic security was not built into the Healthcare.gov website,” and no formal testing was done. As a result, he said, the site faced a “critical risk for unauthorized access.”
500 million lines of code. Amazing. Of course you don’t have to be a code breaker to identify the con job the country was sold.
I think that everything that the president said and did was in pursuit to get all Americans health care, so, I think, even though he may have said, if you like your decent insurance, your insurance that works, then you can keep it, I think that people really get that. When — he owned it. He said, look, if you misunderstood what I was trying to say, I’m sorry about that. I think that shows integrity.
“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” — something the administration knew was untrue — would almost certainly be a textbook case of deceptive advertising, punishable under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practice in or affecting commerce.” This includes a “representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer,” such that the consumer would be “likely to have chosen differently but for the deception”…
a recent CBS News investigation found that HealthCare.gov contains a pricing feature that tends to “dramatically underestimate” the cost of insurance. The website’s “shop and browse” feature divides users into two broad age categories: “49 or under” and “50 or older.” Price estimates for the first age group are based on what a 27-year-old could expect to pay, whereas as the latter group’s price estimates are based on what a 50-year-old would pay, a practice that inevitably produces wildly misleading results for individuals significantly older than the base age. In some cases, actual premiums are nearly double the projected amount. In the words of one industry expert, the feature is “incredibly misleading for people that are trying to get a sense of what they’re paying.”
The FTC requires companies to provide essentially every possible form of information about a given product up front, prior to the point of purchase. Private companies engaged in HealthCare.gov’s kind of behavior would face severe consequences…
Perhaps the most significant grievance the FTC, the CFPB, and, potentially, the Department of Justice (DOJ) would have with a private corporation following HealthCare.gov’s practices would be its apparent disregard for the security of sensitive personal information shared by users. The website, which has been targeted by a series of attempted cyber attacks, initially contained a serious flaw that left user accounts and personal information vulnerable to hackers…
According to an internal memo at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the administration had “only partly completed” a full assessment of the website’s security features ahead of the October 1 launch of the exchanges. The potential lack of security was determined to be “a risk that must be accepted” in order to meet that deadline…
if any of these companies had done this, they would almost certainly have faced serious legal action under Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits endangering consumers by “failing to maintain security for sensitive consumer information.” The FTC has pursued such action on 32 occasions since May 2011.
Let’s see. You can keep your plan and your doctor and everything you’ve got now, and it’s all going to be $2500 cheaper, while tens of millions of your neighbors get oodles of new, free stuff! Just how stupid and gullible do you have to be to believe such an obvious fraud and con job?
We blame the press, which is just now beginning to question their messiah. Were they innumerate all these years, or were they complicit in the fraud? Or had they become so out of touch that they believed you can fool (most) all of the people all of the time?
“I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they’ve got,” Clinton said
Of course that’s next to impossible to do, since insurance companies have spent the last three years revising their systems, their underwriting criteria, their pricing, and on and on. BTW, is this a parody or what?
Millions of people are facing cancellation letters. Ideally, we could just say, never mind –– let these people simply stay on their current policies. But here’s maybe the biggest irony in this whole mess. The administration may not be ready for the ACA but the insurance industry is. The health insurance companies spent the last many months rolling their old policies off the books and replacing them with the 2014 ACA compliant products…
Cancellation letters have been sent. Their computer systems took months to program in order to be able to send the letters out and set up the terminations on their systems. Even post-ACA, the states regulate the insurance market. The old products are no longer filed for sale and rates are not approved. I suppose it might be possible to get insurance commissioners to waive their requirements but even if they did how could the insurance industry reprogram systems in less than a month that took months to program in the first place, contact the millions impacted, explain their new options (they could still try to get one of the new policies with a subsidy), and get their approval?
The administration told the carriers to be ready on October 1 and they are ready. You just can’t waive a magic wand and put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
And then we need to remember that these cancelled policies –– over 4 million and counting –– are in two distinctly different classes: 1. Policies written since March of 2010 that by statute cannot be grandfathered. The grandfather provisions of the new law apply only to people who had a policy in force on the day the law was passed in 2010. This makes up about half of the policies being cancelled. 2. Policies in force the day the law was passed are the only ones subject to the very narrow administration’s grandfather rules. Any policy, for example, where the consumer chose to raise the plan’s deductible in order to avoid a rate increase –– a very common thing –– from something like $1,000 to $1,500, has lost its grandfather status. That is almost certainly the majority of this class of policies and why so many are being cancelled…
all of the 50% of policies in the first class and most of the policies in the second class likely total about 80% of the existing individual health insurance market that have received, or are going to receive by the end of 2014, cancellation letters.
If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan, period
if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed
The NYT is still happy, though concerned that their man “misspoke” two dozen times or so. The AP is running news that was unthinkable five years ago, and ABC is mocking their erstwhile messiah. A line has been crossed, the line demarcating the limits of political BS.
So now we have a world where Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia, Iran, Israel, Germany, England, and most of the rest of the world don’t believe a word the BS-er in chief says, along with at least the half of the USA that is paying attention — and that number seems likely to grow. Only the NYT and its followers, parts of the Washington press corps, and faculty lounges take the college professor seriously now. Everyone who wants to know now knows that a bright line has been crossed, and as a consequence we live in perilous times for the next three years or so.
Say I like my current car. The government says under some new policy I will be able to keep it and maybe even lower my car payments. But once the policy is imposed, I’m told my car now isn’t street-legal. Worse, I will have to buy a much more expensive car or be fined by the IRS. But, hey, it’ll be a much better car! Why, even though you live in Death Valley, your new car will have great snow tires and heated seats. This is what the government is saying to millions of Americans who don’t want or need certain coverage, including, for instance, older women — and men — who are being forced to pay for maternity care.
Meanwhile: “The White House and State Department signed off on surveillance targeting phone conversations of friendly foreign leaders.” Meanwhile, you can still keep your insurance. The good news is that in the parallel universes of reality and BS, it’s getting really hard to ignore the BS, even for the biggest fanboys and girls.
An author in the 1940′s:
Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news — things which on their own merits would get the big headlines — being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that “it wouldn’t do” to mention that particular fact. So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralized, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is “not done” to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was “not done” to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.
Bit by bit we’re losing the Enlightenment. But we’ve been in such situations before. The generation that wakes up and discovers that they’ve largely been taught rubbish will not look kindly on the current generation of thought leaders. HT: CF
History is part fact, part myth, part narrative. From a moral perspective, a nation’s history is typically a mixed bag. It’s what you emphasize that is telling. We remember going to the 4th of July parade in Bristol, RI, watching the WWI veterans marching. That was a different era. That’s not the world of the Julias of course. But our question is this: it’s likely the citizens of most countries take pleasure from many things in their nations’ histories. Why then is there so much resentment of US history today among many people of influence? It seems so self-destructive.
(We watched parts of Ruggles of Red Gap on TCM yesterday, with its iconic recital of the Gettysburg Address by Charles Laughton. It caused us again to wonder how on earth the young and their teachers can feel superior to so many finer generations that this nation has produced.)
VDH has an encyclopedic list of celebrities, politicians, media people and historians who plagiarize or simply make things up, sometimes trivially, sometimes in very serious matters. Sometimes the Ick Factor is so overwhelming that it’s hard to believe. Bring back the Hays Code, this time for public discourse!
All the tech companies are denying that they ever heard of “PRISM“, and that the government does not have “direct access” to their servers. Amazingly, they all use almost precisely identical language to frame their non-denial denials. It’s another pathetic chapter in a long running series. So they didn’t apparently know the name “PRISM”, and they apparently forwarded the information the government requested to separate servers. Next!
The New Yorker:
the mere existence of the edits — whatever the motivation for them — seriously undermines the White House’s credibility on this issue. This past November (after Election Day), White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”
Remarkably, Carney is sticking with that line even now. In his regular press briefing on Friday afternoon (a briefing that was delayed several times, presumably in part so the White House could get its spin in order, but also so that it could hold a secretive pre-briefing briefing with select members of the White House press corps), he said:
The only edit made by the White House or the State Department to those talking points generated by the C.I.A. was a change from referring to the facility that was attacked in Benghazi from “consulate,” because it was not a consulate, to “diplomatic post”… it was a matter of non-substantive factual correction. But there was a process leading up to that that involved inputs from a lot of agencies, as is always the case in a situation like this and is always appropriate.
This is an incredible thing for Carney to be saying. He’s playing semantic games, telling a roomful of journalists that the definition of editing we’ve all been using is wrong
There are a number of takeaways from this. First, the MSM apparently really believed their guy when he spoke rubbish and grandiosity lo these many years. They believed their guy even though most every word that came out of his mouth was to be measured in terms of its political usefulness, not by its truth. That accounts for the tone of surprise and incredulity in the New Yorker piece.
Second, the White House is equally unprepared and surprised. As we know from the days of Richard Nixon and Ron Ziegler, the press secretary’s orders come straight from the top. So when Carney looks like a buffoon telling lies that are long past their sell-by date, it’s because there’s confusion, disorganization and maybe even a little panic at the top. And why wouldn’t there be? Here was this Chicago Way politician with a nice voice getting treated as a god. Heaven on earth.
The MSM is now coming to grips with the fact that, despite it was Republicans saying so, there actually was a cover-up and they ignored it because they wrote it off as partisan politics. Oops! Whether the media get to the central issue is another matter. Contrary to the received wisdom in these matters, the cover-up is not always worse than the crime. In Ron Ziegler’s “third-rate burglary” that was true. In Benghazi, the opposite is the case. The crime in Benghazi was not taking whatever diplomatic and specifically military actions that might have saved four lives. Whether or not the efforts would have been successful is not the issue; orders to “stand down” are the issue. We know where the order came from. Whether the media are willing to go there is another thing entirely.
The media have started to wake up. How far will it go in this much-more-serious-than-Watergate scandal? PL:
Obama and Hillary Clinton are on trial — not yet before a court, but in the minds of thoughtful people everywhere. It appears (given the limited evidence we have so far) that they were grossly negligent before Benghazi, criminally incompetent that night of the attack, and then that they aided and abetted a conspiracy to lie about the murders—all for the obvious political reasons and because Obama and Clinton (and nearly all their leftist friends) believe that Americans are stone-stupid. But the real trial deals with other suspects.
It is the Democratic Party that’s on trial today; and to a lesser extent, America’s mainstream media. For Democrats (and especially Democratic senators) it is put-up-or-shut-up time: are they Democrats or Americans first? Obviously their first instinct was to defend the Democratic administration. Republicans would have done the same. But starting with the Hayes story on the Rice propaganda points (and the neo-Soviet process that turned them from truth to lies), and then the Issa hearing Wednesday (and a recent ABC news piece focusing again on the phonied-up talking points), no honest observer can fail to suspect this administration of doing unspeakable things. It is Congress’s duty to find out the truth.
How would Republicans act if a GOP administration were under this sort of cloud? We know exactly how. It was the radically partisan Edward Kennedy who proposed that a senate select committee investigate Watergate—but in February 1973, the Senate voted unanimously to create that committee. Republican Senator Howard Baker was vice chairman, and asked the key question: ”What did the president know and when did he know it?” Which Democratic senator will ask that question today, now that the issue isn’t breaking-and-entering but lying about four murders, including the murder of an American ambassador? Which cabinet member will be Eliot Richardson and resign rather than continuing to be part of a coverup?
Bonus fun: the administration is doing other things to copy Nixon’s paranoid and perhaps criminal behavior. And finally, one of the worst aspects of this sordid affair is that it undid the US’s relationship with the moderate President Magariaf of Libya. We threw it all away, and for what?
Actually it’s more like drawing to an inside straight flush. The odds of that are in the ballpark of 1 in 52. You have to get not only the right card, but the right suit. In the instant case, the administration has to bet that not only have a majority of influenceable voters have become morons but that the press will continue to be complicit in the most egregious campaign of PR rubbish in our memory. Case in point: the janitors at the Capitol. The chief says they’re getting a pay cut, only they’re not, so his minions scramble to turn an omelet back into unbroken eggs. To little avail, as it turns out. Even the Washington Post has to describe the pathetic nature of the falsehoods.
But of course, to some extent the administration doesn’t care what people like that think. The whole objective is to have one sob story after another for the TMZ crowd. Which makes us wonder even more about the janitor story. Was it supposed to end with visuals in the Capitol of janitors taking mops against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them? The Broomstick Revolution against the GOP, live and in color on afternoon TV? Maybe. It must be awful to believe that a 2% cut in anything is Armageddon, and more awful to pretend for the cameras that a 2% cut is Armageddon. Low intelligence or low character, take your pick. We’re wondering if some of the Washington Post crowd and their peers are finally figuring out just how low is the character of the men they’re covering.
From a few days ago:
I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat: Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It is not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government
Someday there will be real reporters again. In all likelihood it will take some catastrophe to make that happen. It could be (a) the inflation that is coming, or (b) the loss of reserve currency status, or (c) something even worse. HT: MS