RUSH: To Marc Thiessen's piece. "Obamacare is imploding. But thanks to the government shutdown, everyone is talking about the implosion of the GOP instead. The shutdown drama has distracted from the fact that Obamacare's debut is worse than many realize -- and it threatens the fundamental viability of the law itself. The administration claims the Obamacare online exchanges crashed because the website got more than 8 million hits in the first week. Please. You know how many people visit Amazon.com every week? More than 70 million. The difference is: 1.) Amazon seldom crashes, and 2.) on Amazon, people actually buy something." Or pick your favorite retail website. They handle many more than the Obamacare site did.
"It appears virtually no one is buying Obamacare. While administration officials brag about how many visitors the site is getting, they refuse to divulge how many people actually signed up. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked that directly by Jon Stewart on 'The Daily Show.' 'Fully enrolled?' Sebelius stuttered. 'I can't tell you. Because I don't know.' That is a frightening admission of incompetence. If the Obama administration can't even track how many people signed up, how on earth is it going to verify whether those people are eligible for subsidies? How will it protect against fraud?
"The Post reported this past weekend that the failure of the website is worse than previously known: 'Even when consumers have been able to sign up, insurers sometimes can't tell who their new customers are because of a separate set of computer defects.' It turns out that in some 99 percent of applications, the Obamacare site did not provide insurers with enough verifiable information to enroll people in their plans."
Now, is that incompetence or is that by design? I don't doubt that there is rolling incompetence here. But I think it's also by design when we learn what the regime's intentions are for healthy, middle class employed young people to find higher premiums and higher deductibles. That's what they're trying to keep secret right now. That's not what they told people was heading their way. That's not how they sold this. But that's how this program, even if it has a prayer of being funded, on paper that's how it happens. Middle class, that's where the money is, you get young middle class people, you make them sign up, you do not delay the individual mandate. You make them sign up or they pay the tax, the fine for a while.
The idea is their premiums are going to skyrocket. And I think it's that that they programmed into the site so as to make it appear that nobody can sign up yet. They're just trying to delay the realization of what this really is. But if this is due to incompetence, if they can't manage a simple website, how on earth are they gonna manage the health care for millions of Americans? This rollout is far worse than anybody even realizes. It means that Obama may have no choice but to delay the individual mandate, Mr. Thiessen suggests here, and he quotes a colleague at the American Enterprise Institute, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who points out, how can Obama penalize people for not having health insurance if the government's website to provide that insurance doesn't work?
If you can't go there and buy a policy, how can they fine you or tax you for not having one? Without the individual mandate, folks, Obamacare unravels. Without the jackbooted thug on your neck demanding that you buy it, it unravels. That's why, by the way, they're not gonna get rid of the individual mandate, because that's the guts of it, and that's what the Republicans ought to be focusing on in any deal, that that has to be delayed a year or two just like the employer mandate. They've got to, in any deal that they're trying to strike.
"The only way the law works is if the government forces young, healthy people into it by threatening them with penalties for not carrying health insurance. But if there is no penalty for not signing up, then fewer Americans will sign up. Even if the administration manages to fix the website and finally implement the individual mandate, people still may not join -- because the plans being offered are so unattractive." This gets to another bit of evidence where this implosion is worse than you think.
"To entice people to join the exchanges, the [regime] forced insurers to offer low monthly premiums and cover people with preexisting conditions. Insurers have responded by increasing deductibles -- the out-of-pocket costs people must pay before insurance benefits kick in -- to stratospheric levels." You got $8,000 deductibles on the bronze plan -- $8,000 deductible, folks! That's before your policy kicks in.
"According to an analysis this weekend by the president's hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune," now, listen to me on this, "'21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage." May I share that with you again? Quote: "21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage."
Now, you rich people, you may not know what a deductible is. That's what people have to pay in any clinic. If they go to a doctor and if the procedure costs $7500, they gotta pay it. No insurance kicks in. It's telling you, when this hits... This is one of the things I'm convinced they're trying to delay. Now, "'Plans with the least expensive monthly premiums -- highlighted by state and federal officials as proof the new law will keep costs low for consumers -- have deductibles as high as $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families.'
"Even with federal subsidies, few Americans will bother to buy insurance with a $4,000 to $12,700 deductible -- and millions won't even be eligible for the subsidies. If enough Americans don't join the exchanges, Obamacare collapses. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the [regime] needs at least 7 million people to join the exchanges for Obamacare to be financially viable." Do you know what's wrong or what's weird about that number? Obamacare mandates that everybody have it.
So what difference does it make how many they need to make it viable? Okay, you run the math, and you find out you need 7 million people to join to be financially viable. What does that mean when the law is, everybody has to. That's what the individual mandate is. "While the administration won't reveal sign-up rates, London's Daily Mail reported that total sign-ups in the first week were just 51,000 people. If accurate, that would mean they have just 6,949,000 more to go to break even."
In other words, they basically have to get New York City enrolled.
"Bottom line: It turns out Obamacare is blowing itself up just fine without Republican help. Far from a few 'glitches,' the president's signature program is in free fall after only a week. But instead of focusing on the Obamacare debacle, the news is filled with stories about ... the government shutdown," and what an rotten SOB Ted Cruz is and all the Republicans are. "The irony is, the shutdown was intended to stop Obamacare. Instead, it is rescuing Obama from his own incompetence."
So Thiessen's ultimate point is if the thing would just start implementing, people would see what an absolute disaster it is. They're gonna see this soon enough, unless they delay the individual mandate, and if they do that, then they're delaying the guts of it. They are taking it right out. By the way, according to Bloomberg News... Let me pile on, here. according to Bloomberg News, doctors and hospitals are now insisting that patients pay all of their deductibles up front before they will treat or even see you.
It's a Bloomberg story. Look it up if you doubt me. "Patients Pay Before Seeing Doctor as Deductibles Spread," is the slug line. Bloomberg News: "Doctors and hospitals are now insisting that patients pay all their deductibles up front." Why do you think they're doing that? Because they know these patients don't have that money, and they're not gonna give free treatment. They're just not gonna do it. So they're saying, "Pay that deductible up front, or I don't treat you when the time comes."
"I don't have it! I don't have it!"
"That's exactly right, you don't have it, and that's why I'm not gonna sit here and treat you for free."
So it's a debacle, folks. It's an implosion. It's another reason why the media doesn't want to talk about it. It's an absolute disaster. There's nothing to be proud of. The truth is, Obamacare doesn't care about any of this. Don't doubt me. He doesn't care. This is minutia to him. That's are little details for other, you know, wonks and minions to figure out. He doesn't care. All he knows is, he got "health care." He got socialized medicine, nationalized health care. He did it, it's done, he gets to control people.
That's all that matters to him.
RUSH: There's just one thing about Thiessen's piece I just read to you that I take issue with. I don't think people are missing what's happening with Obamacare just because of the shutdown and the Republicans did what they're doing. Republicans are not distracting people from what is happening with Obamacare because they're living it! It's happening to them. They can't get in. They're finding out what it's gonna cost.
Wait'll this Bloomberg News story reaches 'em that they're gonna have to pay their deductible up front to certain hospitals and doctors. It doesn't matter what the Republicans are doing! People are living this. It's already being implemented. You know, just sit around and let the whole thing collapse? I'm just tired of these excuses. "You know, the Republicans, if they weren't doing the shutdown, and people would really see how bad it is." They already do see how bad it is!