President Obama looks at a jersey worn by Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, the first African American to break into the Major Leagues, during a tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., May 22, 2014. Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson is at left and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson is at right (Photo by Pete Souza)
On This Day: President Obama talks with Rachel Robinson, widow of Jackie Robinson, before the “42” movie screening with Robinson family members, cast, and crew in the Family Theater at the White House, April 2, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Let’s introduce a new category into the discussion. So far we’ve had two. The first is that Obamacare may make it by the skin of its teeth. The second is that’s it’s a total failure and the worst thing since unsliced bread. Time for a third: It’s a huge success and a triumph and a historic achievement and an immeasurable benefit to the American people.
I’ll stake out this lonely ground, because the allowed media narratives have other things to do….
The People’s View: President Obama Opens Can of Whoop-Ass on Opponents of Health Care as Exchanges Enroll 7.1 Million
Hours ago, a triumphant President Obama opened a can of whoop-ass on opponents of the Affordable Care Act as he announced 7.1 million Americans have already signed up for health insurance through the exchanges – beating even the best estimates of 7 million. The number is likely to inch even higher as individuals who began their application before yesterday’s deadline are allowed to finish their sign-ups. Just months ago, pundits were Very Seriously (TM) postulating that it won’t even cross 5 million.
The president openly called out Republican governors for obstructing the health care law and keeping millions more who could get health insurance today from getting it (5 million, to be exact, is the number of people GOP governors are denying health care to by refusing a fully federally funded expansion of Medicaid).
With the recent closure of the initial enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is enormous jockeying around interpreting the number of enrollees in state and federal exchanges. Proponents and opponents of the law are interpreting the preliminary numbers in the way that best makes their case. But what neither side is emphasizing enough is that enrollment in the ACA is far from over now that March 31st has passed. This is because millions of individuals will lose their insurance during 2014 – and Obamacare will be there to catch them.
When President Obama took a brief victory lap on the South Lawn yesterday afternoon, he included a specific taunt that, by my ear, seemed ad-libbed.
“[T]his law is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s working. It’s helping people from coast to coast, all of which makes the lengths to which critics have gone to scare people or undermine the law, or try to repeal the law without offering any plausible alternative so hard to understand. I’ve got to admit, I don’t get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health insurance?”
Note how this turns the Republican line against them. Indeed, Obama’s questions need not be rhetorical — why are so many on the right working so hard to deny Americans access to affordable medical care? Why haven’t the ACA’s critics bothered to present a plausible alternative?
TPM: Conservatives Discover That Obamacare Will Help A Lot Of People
Obamacare crossed the 7 million sign-ups milestone before the midnight deadline Monday, sparking angst and introspection among conservative policy wonks about the future of their quest to wipe the health care law off the books.
Central to their dilemma is the emerging discovery that many people will end up benefiting from Obamacare. Despite the health care law’s problems, unanswered questions and unknown costs, it can hardly be denied that millions of American are slated to reap the benefits of its insurance subsidies, the Medicaid expansion and beefed-up consumer protections.
Politicususa: Stephen Colbert Flawlessly Mocks Republican Heartbreak In Wake Of Obamacare Success
On Tuesday night’s episode of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert began the show with a bang. The mock conservative host lampooned Republicans by lamenting the fact that millions of Americans now have health insurance. He then showed clips from earlier in the day revealing that due to Obamacare, 7.1 million people have been able to obtain a private health insurance plan in the marketplace.
After playing those clips, Colbert complained about how crowded his doctor’s office will be now that there will be 7.1 million other patients in line before him. He then pointed out that in recent weeks, conservatives had assured him that there was no way that the ACA would meet its goal. This was followed by clips from right-wing pundits, mostly on Fox News, stating with absolute certainty that Obamacare would fall far short of its intended target.
The clips Colbert played included some priceless statements from notable conservatives…
Greg Sargent: Obamacare is a disaster. But KyNect is awesome!
The office of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear just announced that more than 370,000 people have now signed up for Obamacare on KyNect, the state exchange. More than one out of every dozen Kentuckians — 8.6 percent of the state population — now has obtained coverage through the exchange, Beshear’s office said, claiming that a preliminary analysis has established that three out of four enrollees has reported that they were uninsured before signing up.
Beshear’s office adds that more than 21,000 signed up in the last three days alone.
But as recently as three days ago, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was denouncing Obamacare as “disastrous,” lamenting the “catastrophic effects” the law has had on Kentucky families, and insisting that “the pain caused by this terrible law is easy to see.”
Ugh, hate linking to anything by Zeke Miller, but this is a good read:
Time: All The President’s Celebrities: How The White House Used Stars To Sell Obamacare
The Obama administration turned to a powerful source to help persuade 7 million uninsured Americans to enroll in health care plans under the Affordable Care Act — a veritable army of celebrities
In the summer of 2013, when the White House was gearing up to sell the Affordable Care Act, senior aide Valerie Jarrett convened a meeting of some of the nation’s biggest celebrities to secure their advice and help sell the law to the American public.
The meeting brought together singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, actor and on-off White House staffer Kal Penn and comedienne Amy Poehler, as well as Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and YouTube Comedy’s Daniel Kellison, and representatives for Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, and Bon Jovi. Nine months and hundreds of videos, tweets and media appearances later, the White House believes the meeting paid dividends, with the celebrities helping the administration enroll more than 7.04 million people in Obamacare through Monday night, the end of the open enrollment period in the healthcare exchanges.
Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin, and most recent First Runner-Up in our national vice-presidential pageant, has released another “budget,” this one a sham even by his remarkable standards because this is an election year and nobody is going to vote for a budget, even a fake one, unless it includes free money, doughnuts, and oral sex for everyone in the country. Anyway, it’s pretty much what we have come to expect from Ryan. More money for the military, more granny-starving for the rest of us.
First Lady Michelle Obama poses with G-20 Summit Spouses at the Royal Opera House in London, April 2, 2009 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
President Obama is seen through an oval window as he meets with senior staff members Robert Gibbs, left, and David Axelrod following a press conference at the G-20 Summit at the ExCel Centre in London, England, April 2, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama walks with Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, left, and President Felipe Calderón of Mexico following their joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 2, 2012 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
President Obama looks out over the Rose Garden as he walks along the Colonnade of the White House, April 2, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks with, from left, Pete Rouse, Counselor to the President, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and Vice President Biden in the Oval Office, April 2, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, during the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office, April 2, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama, alongside Harrison Ford and Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s widow, welcomes high school and college students from across the country for a workshop with the cast and crew of the film 42, April 2, 2013
Justin Elliott (Salon): Jackie Gingrich Cushman has decided to resurface the most damaging anecdote of her father’s political career: that Newt Gingrich demanded his first wife hash over details of their divorce while she was stricken with cancer in a hospital bed. Cushman suggests in a new column that the story is false.
But Cushman’s column, titled “Setting the Record Straight,” is directly at odds with the testimony of her mother from just a few years after the 1980 incident … the column is likely part of a conscious inoculation effort. Cushman writes a syndicated conservative political column and recently co-authored a book with her father.
Cushman doesn’t offer much in the way of details, besides saying that she was present during that 1980 hospital visit and that the media has repeated unspecified “untruths”… here is what Newt’s wife (also called Jackie) told the Washington Post in a Jan. 3, 1985, profile:
“He walked out in the spring of 1980 and I returned to Georgia. By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery. The two girls came to see me, and said Daddy is downstairs and could he come up? When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from the surgery … To say I gave up a lot for the marriage is the understatement of the year.”
Newt Gingrich’s spokesman, by the way, told me in March that Newt denies the “terms of the divorce” part of the story but acknowledges there was “an argument.”
The question becomes: Should we believe Gingrich’s wife from five years after the incident, or what his daughter claims 30 years later when Newt is gearing up for a presidential run?