Peggy Noonan Lifts Head From Bar, Slurs Out More Lies About Obamacare, Passes Back Out
Even one last blast of wintry weather could not keep down the indomitable New York spirit as the city’s denizens looked forward to spring, so much so that they were practically dancing in the streets in anticipation. Or perhaps they were dancing because many of them finally had access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance. But Sister Peggy Noonan of the Order of Hangover Whiskey Farts could not share in her fellow citizens’ joy. Moping along the city’s bustling avenues like the Grinch moping through Whoville, she felt as if she were trapped onstage during a gaily lit musical number in one of the city’s numerous Broadway theaters, with brightly costumed flamenco dancers or smiling nuns or people in cat costumes swirling and leaping around her in time to the uplifting notes emanating from the orchestra pit. It was a living nightmare.
The fools! Could they not see what she saw? Did they not realize that Obamacare had been a complete and utter debacle from the first Senate committee meeting through the last open-enrollment deadline? A failure, a catastrophe, Napoleon and Hitler invading Russia in the dead of wintertime. She slipped into one of her favorite saloons and onto her usual barstool, where she ordered a martini. What the heck, it was 10 A.M. somewhere and she needed relief from her foolish fellow citizens who were probably hurrying to get pressing medical issues checked out at the city’s various doctors' offices now that insurance companies couldn’t tell them to suck it. She sighed at the tragedy of it all, took her fountain pen and ink bottle from her clutch, and began scratching this week’s column into the bar's battered and unpolished wood.
>Put aside the numbers for a moment, and the daily argument.
"Seven point one million people have signed up!"
"But six million people lost their coverage and were forced onto the exchanges! That's no triumph, it's a manipulation. And how many of the 7.1 million have paid?"
"We can't say, but 7.1 million is a big number and redeems the program."
"Is it a real number?"
"Your lack of trust betrays a dark and conspiratorial right-wing mindset."
As I say, put aside the argument(....)
Shorter Peggy: Put aside this argument I am making so I will not have to defend its intellectual vacuity. We see what you did there, Pegs. That 7.1 million number has been a handy and inaccurate cudgel for both liberals and conservatives in this debate. The goal of Obamacare was to get more people access to more affordable coverage, and that has been accomplished by a variety of means besides the exchanges - the Medicaid expansion and letting young people stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26, just to name two. As for how many of those people have paid, that is a desperate and lazy argument. Do you make a mortgage payment on your multi-million dollar apartment six weeks before it’s due? Of course not.
Its biggest proponent in Congress, the Democratic speaker of the House, literally said—blithely, mindlessly, but in a way forthcomingly—that we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it.
In context, it’s clear that Nancy Pelosi was saying that people would like the bill more when, instead of being a series of abstract statements, they started seeing the real and concrete benefits of it in their own lives. She knew damn well what was in the bill, but your average member of the public might have had trouble cutting through all the wailing about it being a Marxist plot to destroy freedom. Of course if we expected intellectual honesty from Peggy Noonan we wouldn't be writing this column, would we? Let's move on.
If you liked your doctor, your plan, your network, your coverage, your deductible you could not keep it. Your existing policy had to pass muster with the administration, which would fight to the death to ensure that 60-year-old women have pediatric dental coverage.
The Affordable Care Act mandates minimum standards of care be covered by insurance policies, much the way various levels of government demand that buildings and cars meet certain standards so they don't collapse in a stiff breeze or lose all four tires hitting a speed bump. Only a sociopath or a conservative - but we repeat ourselves - would think that's a bad thing. As for that last part, look everyone! Peggy Noonan, a woman well over the age of 60, has no idea how insurance pools work!
What the bill declared it would do—insure tens of millions of uninsured Americans—it has not done. There are still tens of millions uninsured Americans. On the other hand, it has terrorized millions who did have insurance and lost it, or who still have insurance and may lose it.
Yes, there are still uninsured Americans who could be covered and are not (again, see Medicaid, expansion of refused by conservative governors). But terrorized? You know what's terrifying? Lifetime limits. Rescission. Bankruptcy owing to medical bills. Not being able to get insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Getting sick without insurance. If we are going to use hyperbole here, the millions of Americans who ran into any of the above before the ACA have already been terrorized. Having to shop for a new insurance plan pales in comparison in terms of "terror" - it really rises to the level of "inconvenience" at most - and the pre-ACA world didn't stop that from ever happening anyway. You're just listening to the wingnuts whining, Peggy, and those people whine if Jimmy Dean discontinues its pancake-wrapped sausage on a stick.
There are very, very few Democrats who would do ObamaCare over again. Some would do something different, but they wouldn't do this.
Yeah, and we think those people are spineless political cowards who let themselves get beaten down by a highly vocal minority of jerks spewing over and over all of the distortions and flat-out lies you've put into this week's column. Congratulations, Peggy. You continue to plumb the same intellectual depths as Sarah Palin and the shrieking meth monkeys of Townhall. You're just too oblivious to realize it.