“The Affordable Care Act is not just a website,” President Obama said at the Rose Garden today. “It’s much more.” It’s like a chamois, it’s like a towel, it’s like a sponge.
Another way of putting it is that ObamaCare isn’t just a technical failure. And it isn’t just an economically unsustainable scheme. Now it’s a rhetorical disaster too. Even by the standards of Obama speeches it was terrible. It was so bad, it was the ObamaCare website of political oratory.
Fine, blame us. After all, we called for an Obama speech. But remember that what we called for–it was right there in the subheadline–was an accounting. What he gave us was an infomercial.
Much of the speech was devoted to an enumeration of various ObamaCare provisions that are thought to appeal to Obama voters and that apply to insurance plans outside the failing exchanges–the mandate that parents’ insurance cover “children” in their mid-20s, the “free” birth control and mammograms and so forth. This was delivered with Obama’s trademark condescension: “You may not know it, but you’re already benefiting from these provisions in the law. . . . 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.”