President Obama addressed the American people from the Rose Garden this morning about the seemingly endless steam of glitches that has accompanied the Obamacare rollout.
“What do you want to bet he's [going to say he’s] embarrassed by this, he's going to take ownership,” Pat asked on radio this morning ahead of the President’s remarks.
“No, the best he'll say is, ‘Look, if you need to blame this on somebody, you need to blame it on me,” Glenn responded.
Glenn decided to play some of the President’s speech as it was going on.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: … So today, I want to speak to every American who’s looking to get affordable health insurance. I want you to know what’s available to you and why it may be a good deal for you. And for those who’ve had some problems with the website, I want to tell you what we’re doing to make it work better and how you can sign up to get covered in other ways.
But before I do that, let me remind everybody that the Affordable Care Act is not just a website. It's much more. For the vast majority of Americans -- for 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance through your employer or Medicare or Medicaid -– you don’t need to sign up for coverage through a website at all. You've already got coverage. What the Affordable Care Act does for you is to provide you with new benefits and protections that have been in place for some time. You may not know it, but you're already benefiting from these provisions in the law.
I want you to know what's available to you and why it may be a good deal for you. And for those who have had some problems with the website, I want to tell you what we're doing to make it work better and how you can sign up to get covered in other ways. But before I do that, let me remind everybody that the affordable care act is not just a web site. It's a law. It's much more. For the vast majority of Americans, 85% of Americans who already have health insurance through your employer or Medicare or Medicaid, you don't need to sign up for coverage through a web site at all. You've already got coverage. What the affordable care act does for you is to provide you with new benefits and protections that have been in place for sometime. You may not know it but you are already benefitting from these provisions in the law.
“That's Cloward and Piven,” Glenn interjected.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: For example, because of the Affordable Care Act, young people like Jasmine Jennings, and Jessica Ugalde, and Ezra Salop, all of whom are here today, they’ve been able to stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26. Millions of other young people are currently benefiting from that part of the law. Another part of the Affordable Care Act is providing seniors with deeper discounts on their prescription medicine. Billions of dollars have been saved by seniors already. That’s part of the law. It’s already in place. It’s happening right now.
Already, because of the Affordable Care Act, preventive care like mammograms and birth control are free through your employers. That’s part of this law.
“Let's clap for that,” Stu qipped.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: So there are a wide range of consumer protections and benefits that you already have if you’ve got health insurance. You may not have noticed them, but you’ve got them, and they’re not going anywhere. And they’re not dependent on a website.
Here’s another thing that the Affordable Care Act does. In states where governors and legislatures have wisely allowed it, the Affordable Care Act provides the opportunity for many Americans to get covered under Medicaid for the first time.
“That's because it was ruled unconstitutional,” Stu interjected. “But don't mention that.”
PRESIDENT OBAMA: So in Oregon, for example, that’s helped cut the number of uninsured people by 10 percent just in the last three weeks. Think about that. That’s 56,000 more Americans who now have health care. That doesn’t depend on a website.
“That doesn't depend on a website, Stu,” Pat joked.
“We'll be looking at the numbers in upcoming shows,” Stu promised.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Now, if you’re one of the 15 percent of Americans who don’t have health insurance -- either because you can’t afford it or because your employer doesn’t offer it, or because you’re a small businessperson and you have to go out on the individual market and buy it on your own and it’s just too expensive -- October 1st was an important date. That’s when we opened the new marketplaces where people without health insurance, or who can’t afford health insurance, or who aren’t part of a group plan, can finally start getting affordable coverage.
And the idea is simple. By enrolling in what we’re calling these marketplaces, you become part of a big group plan -- as if you were working for a big employer -- a statewide group plan that spreads risk between sick people and healthy people, between young and old, and then bargains on your behalf for the best deal on health care. What we’ve done is essentially create a competition where there wasn’t competition before. We created these big group plans, and now insurers are really interested in getting your business. And so insurers have created new health care plans with more choices to be made available through these marketplaces.
And as a result of this choice and this competition, prices have come down.
“Prices have come down,” Pat asked.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: When you add the new tax credits that many people are eligible for through the law, then the prices come down even further.
“They haven't come down,” Stu said.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: So one study shows that through new options created by the Affordable Care Act, nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans will find that they can get covered for less than $100 a month. Think about that.
“How can they get by with the lies,” Pat asked exasperatedly. “And he has lies on a regular basis. And he still gets away with it."
“Because the media won't do anything. People aren't reading that stuff anymore. Most people are starting to get news from places like Jon Stewart. Go look at the front of the front page of the Huffington Post. You think they are doing these things? They will say, ‘That was a lie.’ And they just move on from it and bury it on page 2. The lies that this guy has told, especially on healthcare and everything else, are just staggering,” Glenn said. “And unless you have a media that will actually hold their feet to the fire and say, ‘No, you know what, Mr. Carney go get your boss because we're not going to leave here. We're just not going to leave here because none of this Benghazi stuff makes any sense. And we want some answers on it.’ ‘You know what, Mr. Carney, we're not going to leave here. Why don't you go get your boss because we want to find out about healthcare? We want the numbers. Give us the numbers. We want the numbers.’ ‘You know what, Mr. Carney, you go ahead and go get your boss because you don't seem to have the answers.’ ‘The president is the one saying that he's not going to negotiate. The Republicans have done all of that. Why don't you go get your boss because you seem to be a complete moron. Or you are lying to us, Mr. Carney. Which is it?’”
Front page image courtesy of the AP