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Inside the Beltway: Obama’s trillion-dollar question
Question of the Day
So how many people actually have signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act? Uh-h-h-h, no one seems to know. In the past week, President Obama and officials within his administration avoided answering the trillion-dollar question by either claiming the numbers weren’t available yet or that they had no access to the data.
“Well, I don’t have the numbers yet,” Mr. Obama told The Associated Press while White House press secretary Jay Carney echoed, “We don’t have that data” in a daily briefing.
“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace speculated that the smoke screens had gone up because those numbers were “embarrassingly small.”
The “Obama administration obfuscation on the question of enrollment data” has gone on for a week, says Americans for Tax Reform, which has been tracking the trend.
“Americans already know that they have a hard time putting information into the Obamacare enrollment system. Turns out they can’t get any information out of the system either,” says Grover Norquist, president of the organization. “The system is broken on both ends. Even a company going bankrupt knows how many widgets it sold. Maybe it’s a small amount. But it’s a known number.”
HAVE A SEAT IN THE WAITING ROOM
Wait, no one’s been to the health care provider yet — but there’s already a waiting room? Indeed.
The aforementioned Mr. Carney advises that the big, crowded, moody Obamacare sign-up site has a new feature. The Department of Health and Human Services computer gurus have “put up a gate at the front end of the system that places visitors into a waiting room, and lets them in at a particular pace,” the spokesman noted at the daily press gaggle Monday.
THE TEA PARTY’S BIG QUESTION
So is the tea party just a bunch of has-beens, or powerful enough to cause the federal shutdown? The tea party itself wants to know, now that its critics conveniently blame them for all the woes of Washington, and possibly the known universe.
“The media, the ruling elite, the Senate, and President Obama are doing all they can to blame this mess on us, but all we wanted was them to think twice about forcing a law that isn’t ready on the American people,” say organizers at the Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest umbrella group for the movement.
“All we wanted was the American people to be treated equally under the law as the ones who forced this on us. And now all they can say is that we are anarchists, arsonists, holding the economy hostage, holding a gun to the heads of the American people,” the Patriots say in a declaration issued Monday.
“It’s time for this nonsense to stop. The president a few years ago called for a new age of civility,” they continue, noting that a year ago, the tea party had been dismissed as inconsequential.
“Today, we are so powerful that according to the president and the Democrats in Washington, we have shut down the federal government. Which one is it?” they ask.
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