Obama rolls out horrendous healthcare numbers, offers even worse apology
Well, it’s here, guys. Lo and behold, the day that we’ve been anxiously awaiting has arrived in the glory and majesty that we’d come to anticipate.
Some will react to this news with joy, President Barack Obama’s failure serving as something of a cherubic messiah. Tangible, indisputable proof is finally out there, proving Obama both incompetent and unable to react tactfully to failure.
For others, and certainly for Obama, it’s the beginning of the end.
Obamacare’s October enrollment numbers have been released. To put it politely, it was a cataclysmically dreadful month.
As reported by Forbes, the Congressional Budget Office predicted a low number of initial Obamacare enrollees, saying that they’d have roughly 500,000 insured by the end of October.
“We expect enrollment in the initial months to be low,” a Sept. 5 memo said, officially anticipating a less-than-desirable 494,620 enrollees by Nov. 1.
450,000 would’ve been a surefire success. 350,000 would’ve been commendable. Heck, even 250,000 enrollments wouldn’t have been a complete failure — or at least not an international laughingstock.
106,185 Americans signed up for Obamacare by Nov. 1. The Obama administration missed the mark by about 80 percent.
26,794 Americans were able to actually select a federal insurance plan through the Obamacare site, according to figures released by the Obamacare administration. As reported by Forbes, that’s equivalent to 23 signups per day, per state.
The remaining 79,391 enrolled in Obamacare’s state-based exchanges.
These figures don’t represent Americans who have paid for their new insurance policy — these are just the guys that have the plan in their shopping cart. According to CNN, those wanting coverage to start on Jan. 1 will have to pay no later than Dec. 15.
This kind of stuff just doesn’t happen. Believe it or not, things in our government rarely go down this un-seamlessly. It might not seem that way — you and I have just made our way through adolescence, a valley void of real-world political awareness. We’re in our 20s now, and most of us have just started gaining a significant understanding of our nation’s political arena.
So it’s understandable that Obamacare’s atrocious marketplace debut might strike us as shocking, but not altogether unheard of. After all, you and I simply don’t have enough years under our belts to realize the full scope of the Obamacare flop.
Let me assure you — this is far from the norm. Things like this have never been acceptable, and should never be acceptable, to the American people.
The Obamacare rollout is like the “John Carter” of movie releases. It’s “The Casual Vacancy” of J.K. Rowling novels. There are more people on a waitlist to live on Mars than enrolled in Obamacare. More Americans have signed a petition for the government to build a literal Death Star than have signed up for Obamacare coverage.
As if that’s not enough bad press for Obamacare, just wait — there’s always Obama’s tactless reaction to his namesake’s monumental floundering.
“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” Obama said to NBC’s Chuck Todd in a half-hearted interview addressing Obamacare’s flop four weeks later.
Surely this was just another apology in an exhaustive string of condolences, you might think. He couldn’t have possibly waited an entire month to publicly address one of modern history’s most colossal political failures.
Maybe it came off so insincere because there’s only so many ways one is capable of saying they’re sorry, you might assume. You’d be wrong, but at least you’d feel more secure under our nation’s leadership.
The time that separates your offense from your apology is a pretty good indicator of how sorry you really are. A couple days in between the two, and you’re probably still treading in friendly waters.
Leading a nation, promising something to your people, failing them and then waiting four weeks to apologize — at that point, you’re rightfully swimming among the sharks.
John Dickerson of Slate Magazine shared similar sentiments on Obama’s apology.
“Instead (of truly apologizing), the president offered explanations for why healthcare.gov wasn’t working. One of the rationalizations was that the debacle was the result of the normal friction that comes from trying to do complicated things in government,” Dickerson said.
“But trying to offer that kind of perspective and context isn’t the stuff of great apologies.”
Waiting a month to justify your actions — er, apologize — to the hundreds of millions you’ve failed to lead reveals yourself as apologizing because of an image-based responsibility, and not a semblance of remorse.
When you’re truly sorry, you do your best to make it felt by the people, and to make it known as soon as humanly possible.
Senior staff columnist Cara Smith is a communications junior and may be reached at email@example.com