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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning and while the initial rollout of the Affordable Health Care Act was seriously flawed, there's no question that 7.5 million signups is going to be a key part of her legacy.

First up, Michael Tomasky:

Think of it this way. Did you think, last fall, that they’d actually hit the 7 million? Did you think they’d even come close? In a year-end column I wrote with my 2014 predictions, I said they’d make 5.8 million. And I thought that would be respectable. The latest report is that they’re approaching 7.5 million. So yes, there was utter failure. But there was one hell of a nice recovery. As time goes on, I think Sebelius will start getting less blame for the former, and more credit for the latter.

But her fate will be forever tied to Obamacare. If it succeeds, she’ll share the credit as the secretary who helped bring it to life. If it fails, she’ll share the blame. It’s about that simple. And I think it’ll probably succeed.

Barbara Shelly at The Kansas City Star:
The headlines make her sound like a combat casualty, ending her “stormy tenure” after the “disastrous rollout” of HealthCare.gov, stumbling away battered and bloodied.

But, seriously, the woman has lived in a furnace for five years. She’s been dragged in front of Congressional committees, pilloried by pundits and politicians, abandoned by friends (looking at you, Sen. Pat Roberts) and asked to build a massive health insurance marketplace with scant resources. Frankly, a lesser individual would have bailed months ago...[T]ake the long view. People in time will forget about the blank screens and error messages that accompanied the start of HealthCare.gov. The website will continue to improve and people will find it easier and more understandable. Already 7.5 million persons have coverage through the insurance exchange. [...]

Health care reform has been like a big boulder scraping up a hill. And there’s a long distance yet to climb. But the system is fairer and better now than it was when President Barack Obama began his push five years ago, and Sebelius has been in the middle of it all. Someday, not too long from now, Sebelius will assume a comfortable spot in history as Obama’s HHS secretary during the epic health care wars. She voluntarily entered the furnace, and she stood in with a measure of grace.

More on this and the day's top stories below the fold.

Amy Davidson at The New Yorker:

When the Affordable Care Act’s online exchange was launched, in October, and didn’t work, calling for Sebelius to go was a way of saying that the whole project ought to be discarded. There would have been a broad effort to send pieces of the A.C.A. out the door with her, as if they were personal items thrown into a cardboard box. Now, the Administration seems confident enough that the law will live; they can let her go without being quite as afraid that anyone but Sebelius herself is paying a price.
And over at Think Progress, Igor Volsky notes one big Sebelius achievement:
Sebelius leaves the office having enrolled some 10 million people in health care coverage. This was only possible because she convinced numerous Republican lawmakers in bright red states to extended health care coverage to the poorest Americans. No one is talking about it, but it is her biggest and most impressive achievement as secretary. [...] To convince political opponents like Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) or Arkansas’ Republican-controlled legislature to adopt one of Obamacare’s most significant coverage provisions, HHS approved alternative proposals that allowed states to use federal funding to cover their low-income uninsured populations with private insurance. [...]

The flexibility extended beyond Medicaid. Sebelius and her team convinced red states to form partnership health care exchanges in which the federal government and the state would share responsibilities in running the marketplaces. They routinely presented GOP governors with information on all other state models and waivers, assuring them that they could customize reform to their specific state needs. As a result, several Republican-dominated states bucked the national party and chose to run their exchanges either on their own, or in collaboration with HHS.

Turning to the continued Republican obstruction of affordable health care, Paul Krugman examines those Republican efforts to block Medicaid:
[W]hile supposed Obamacare horror stories keep on turning out to be false, it’s already quite easy to find examples of people who died because their states refused to expand Medicaid. According to one recent study, the death toll from Medicaid rejection is likely to run between 7,000 and 17,000 Americans each year.

But nobody expects to see a lot of prominent Republicans declaring that rejecting Medicaid expansion is wrong, that caring for Americans in need is more important than scoring political points against the Obama administration. As I said, there’s an extraordinary ugliness of spirit abroad in today’s America, which health reform has brought out into the open.

And that revelation, not reform itself — which is going pretty well — is the real Obamacare nightmare.

Meanwhile, this:
When reporters asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) about reelection campaign ads that incorrectly imply 300,000 people in the state have lost their health insurance plans as a result of Obamacare, he licked his lips and dug in.

"Clearly, the ad's accurate," Scott told reporters gathered outside a senior center in Miami on Wednesday.

"But it's not, governor!" insisted one reporter, who pointed out that the Blue Cross-run agency at the center of the claim had already debunked the numbers. A second reporter continued to question the assertion, which has been factchecked by newspapers across the state and discredited. Scott, however, remained unmoved before being "quickly ushered away by his media aide," according to CBS...

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Does anyone remember Medicare Part B? (29+ / 0-)

    Christ, does everyone in Washington and the Pundit class have a major case of aphasia?  Can anyone, off the top of their head, name me the HHS secretary in charge of Medicare Part B?  Does anyone even remember the prominent Republicans, including (ahem) George Bush who were instrumental inthe passing of that massive clusterfuck--a screw up so massive that tons of tiny fixes were quickly rushed into action to manage the people who feel through the cracks in the first months? Insurance companies backdating memberships, people being given all kinds of breaks, the DONUT HOLE which Obamacare only just closed?

    The idea that this woman--who is relatively young, btw, at just 66, is done with public service and that this is the only/last thing she will ever do is just absurd.  This will not be a bad legacy for her in any event but its not really any kind of legacy either. She will probably go on to serve as a Senator, Vice President, or something else.  And she will be remembered for that as well as helming the ACA at its inception. To the extent that it does well the entire right wing will forget her name. And its not going to do badly.

      •  That was when we dropped AARP membership (0+ / 0-)

        b/c of AARP's support for what has been accurately called a "clusterfuck" above. It was the big pharma full employment and mega-profits bill enacted in GWB's first term.

        I think K. Sebleius is not done and has this great achievement to add to her already impressive resume: KS rep, lobbyist, KS insurance commission, and now HHS during a difficult phase. Back to being governor, maybe.

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

        by TerryDarc on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:25:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think you mean Part D. But otherwise, yes, (13+ / 0-)

      that plan was far worse at the start, bad in concept, really. And as you note, one element of the ACA is closing the so-called donut hole. That doesn't get much notice either.

      Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:09:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Aphasia compounded by national amnesia. Or maybe (9+ / 0-)

          a form of Alzheimer's in which our national memory, as evidenced by our national media and conversations, is all tangled up by the plaques and tangles of self interested, big money ad campaigns and political actions.

          One of the sidelights to the Koch and related issues in politics is how the very concept of "truth in advertising," even as applied to pure commerce, seems to becoming a rather quaint idea in the age of deregulation. Those with money to produce slick ads really do not like "watchdogs" ensuring the drum beating bears some resemblance to reality.

          By the way, anyone here recently asked a merchant about actually having the item their ad touted as being on sale? I remember when the very mention of FTC and consequences of leading people into their establishment only to find "sold out" led to "rain check" immediate response. Since I rarely respond to such ads my experience is limited, but there have been a couple of sort of incidental occasions. Now? Blank look.

          Just like the, for a change, human caller the other day violating Do Not Call. "Well, I didn't know!" Supposed to know, but with this being weak tea of "private" enforcement, meaning I have to take it to court myself, or just be satisfied with an on line complaint that sort of goes into the void . . . Well, I get a few "illegal" calls a day.

          When the dogs guarding the flock are soundly asleep—or put to sleep by those opposed to limiting predation (and that is the object of that "big money")—the flock gets ripped.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 06:17:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wonder about GOP gaming the memory hole. (6+ / 0-)

            Let's have a GOP sweep in '10 because people forgot about the Bush Crash in less than two years. But let's crack down on Voters' Rights because of half-remembered LBJ and Daley machine antics way back when. And oh, let's crack down on the Unions because of half-remembered sins of the Meany and Hoffa era.

            "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

            by Stude Dude on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 06:26:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Remember yesterday? Or was it day before? (4+ / 0-)

              Memory fuzzes!

              Yep, day before: "Take people a generation or two away from hard experiences and they become "idiots" unless some effort has been made to pass those experiences on at a gut level"?

              Well, let's teach to tests, let's muddle science with creationism, let's quit teaching all that social nonsense like "social science" and "civics" as subjects and just kinda, maybe let teachers work them in other subjects (an approach I like when done well and totally) and in general get out public education system all entangled in politics . . .

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:31:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But in the case of the pain and suffering of Part (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Laurel in CA, pelagicray, Stude Dude

                D, it's deliberate. The RW will do anything, say anything, completely make up shit that no one should believe but does...

                Complete anti-democratic with a small d, anti-American, racist and hateful and deceptive. Just bottom-of-the-barrel crap.

                History will be as unkind to these ass-wipes as it has been to pro-slavery bastards of pre-civil war days.

                What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                by TerryDarc on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:30:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  All but perhaps: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Stude Dude, TerryDarc
                  as unkind to these ass-wipes as it has been to pro-slavery bastards of pre-civil war days
                  Depends upon whose history dominates.

                  Some of the same ass-wipes are very busy touting the Christian kindness of slave holding and "happy darkies" whose benighted souls were saved from heathen Africa (maybe with a bit of "unavoidable" suffering on the way) even now.

                  If we keep sitting out local and state elections we may find our textbooks and public schools full of that crap all over again. In surprising parts of the country, as well as its spawning place, that shit is getting "respectable"—even demanding respect.

                  To make history unkind to those bastards we have to win, win frequently and locally in every election for some time to drive them under the slimy rocks where they belong.

                  The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                  by pelagicray on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:46:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We KNOW which direction the arc of justice bends (0+ / 0-)

                    and it is toward greater freedom, more equality and greater democracy for ever more people. So I believe and so we have seen in the last two years for marriage equality. We will not go backwards.

                    It's true in dark periods, like Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and the Rwandan genocide to name but three, that history does not smoothly progress. But you cannot look at 100 year smoothed history and not say, I think, that small d democracy has not bent, as MLK Jr. said

                    "The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long But It Bends Toward Justice."
                    The ass-wipes will lose, eventually. Their death-throes will be impressive. We shall overcome.

                    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                    by TerryDarc on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 12:16:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Recc'd for this: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PinHole, a2nite, Cadillac64
            a form of Alzheimer's in which our national memory, as evidenced by our national media and conversations, is all tangled up by the plaques and tangles of self interested, big money ad campaigns and political actions.
    •  The answer: (6+ / 0-)
      Christ, does everyone in Washington and the Pundit class have a major case of aphasia?
      Add most of the country's politicians and citizens and the answer is a resounding "YES!" because we are now the ADD/soundbite/hashtag nation.

      Didn't Obama invade Iraq? Bush? He is the painter, right?

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:36:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not just a clusterfuck - (11+ / 0-)

      a blatantly deliberate near-criminal giveaway to pharmaceutical companies (via the no-negotiation restriction).

      Of course all the Bushies at the workplace were in favor of that, because 80-year old individuals with a heart condition and early stage Alzheimer's can negotiate just fine with drug companies with billion-dollar lawyers. The whole thing is disgusting. I damn near slapped my boss for supporting that shit.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:44:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  some people I know noted at the time that (0+ / 0-)

    if a senior executive or manager in private industry had failed so badly, the person would have been replaced, but in government, no one ever pays a price for failure or incompetence.

    We can challenge the opinion and disagree with it, but I don't think it was made in malice.

    I agree that her reputation will eventually be based on the future success of the ACA, not the bungled initial web site rollout .

  •  It will be interesting to see where she lands (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, Cadillac64

    return to being a pol or enjoy the revolving door with a cushy reward job at a corporation?

    Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

    by The Dead Man on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:04:27 AM PDT

    •  or university health policy think tank (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      or spending time with her family -- she'll turn 66 in a month, and as everyone knows from the attacks on Hillary Clinton, that's too old to still have a functioning brain cell or be fit for a demanding public job, at least for Democratic women.

  •  Meanwhile the Tampa Bay Times... (5+ / 0-)

    A supposedly "Liberal" newspaper, has the subtitle of Sebelius' resignation - "Legacy will be tied to botched Obamacare rollout"

    Some "liberal" slant...

    At the bottom of the front page is an article from Politifact (or better described Politifiction) about the Koch's...and following to the inside pages they mention that AFP claims have never gotten better than a "half true" from them.  The 2 claims the investigate in the article - which are not sidebarred like they usually do  - are Pants on Fire and Mostly False.

    On the next page is a Politifiction review of a Michele Bachman quote that the recent shooting at Fort Hood was caused by President Obama.  Pants on Fire also.

    This is a group that bends over backwards to find fault with liberal quotes and justification for conservative quotes, but they still can't hide the lack of truth from the Wrong Wing.

    Yet still people call it a "Liberal" newspaper.

  •  Thank you, Kathleen (18+ / 0-)

    As a Kansan, and also as someone who was once her oldest son's principal, I am proud of her accomplishments. We all know we could use her to fight the idiots we have here in Kansas.

  •  Florida is one of those GOP states (8+ / 0-)

    that chose to block Medicaid expansion.  That is until TGOP Governor Scott realized it may help in an election year to walk that decision back.  As a result: Medicaid enrollment rises 8 percent in Florida.

    Florida's Republican lawmakers remain staunchly opposed to expanding Medicaid — a system they've repeatedly said is too expensive and doesn't improve health outcomes. Yet Florida's Medicaid rolls are expanding under the Affordable Care Act.

    That's because people trying to sign up for health insurance under Obama's new health law are finding out — to their surprise — that they qualify for Medicaid, the federal health insurance program for the poor.

    Some 245,000 Floridians were added to the Medicaid rolls between October and the end of February. That's a more than 8 percent increase. The Sunshine State is one of ten states that accounted for more than 80 percent of the 3 million new Medicaid enrollees under the Affordable Care Act, according to Avalere Health, a market research and consulting firm. But Florida was the only state of the ten, which include California, Oregon and Washington, that didn't expand Medicaid.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:08:55 AM PDT

    •  "doesn't improve health outcomes" (4+ / 0-)

      (for GOP voters) Medicaid does a lot to improve health outcomes for the population at large though. Especially those that were previously uninsured. Probably the "health outcome" the Republican legislators had in mind was for Medicaid patients to join the Tea party.

      You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

      by mstep on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:49:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No thanks. (0+ / 0-)

      Her over-ruling her agencies professional staff on the contraceptive Plan B, fabricating her on justifications unsupported by science, was inexcusable. We do not know the real real reason for it, but all appearances indicate it was done simply to mollify or avoid confrontation with the right wing screamers. Over-ruling extremely well researched scientific findings of the Departments professional staff was an affront to the agency and what the people of this country should expect this agency to do. She did this for 100% political reasons calculating that whatever damage occurred to those faceless, nameless females that would have benefited was incidental to election year politics. Casualties of war, so to speak.

      As for the Web site, Sec. Sebelius deliberately misled the public with respect to it's ability to function, deliberately allowed hundreds of thousands of people to waste countless hours of their lives trying to use something she knew did not work. She did this to avoid the bad politics of missing the roll out date. I don't doubt that she was in a political lose/lose situation of the Administration's own making. But rather than be honest with the public she chose to lie, obfuscate, and inconvenience the public.

  •  Charlene Dill (11+ / 0-)

    If I were the Democrats, I'd be making ads contrasting the fates of Charlene Dill and the free medical care clinic in Arkansas.  Ms. Dill had a heart condition in a state that didn't expand Medicaid.  She earned too little money in three part time jobs to reach the Obamacare floor.  She couldn't afford the proper treatment for her condition, and died on a sales call in a stranger's house.  Contrast that to the free clinic in Arkansas that provided free medical services one day a month in an Arkansas town.  Since its inception, it averaged about 300 people each day it opened its doors.  Following Arkansas' Medicaid expansion, that number dipped to 80 per day in the past few months and dropped to three people in March.

    No Medicaid expansion leads to unfortunate - and immoral - deaths.  Medicaid expansion leads to health care for the working poor.  Hammer that home!

  •  I think I got it (17+ / 0-)

    A) GOP States: Millions denied health care+hundreds of thousands set for early death+continual tantrums and misinformation=outstanding success: Check!

    B) HHS Sebeilus: definition of grace under fire+10.000.000 or more people newly insured+overcoming ceaseless obstruction to a challenging administrative task=abject failure: Check!

    Y'all see? Math ain't too tough; but damn, that is one tough HSS!

  •  I think Shelly's commentary is right on (12+ / 0-)

    And I think Sebelius did a great job helping to accomplish what no other administration ever did, with a constant stream of bullshit being flung at her from all sides 24/7.

  •  I'm wonder who is going to replace Burwell... (0+ / 0-)

    ...as she transitions from OMB to HHS.

    He will probably "rearrange from within" with the OMB pick, but that will likely leave another high profile Financial/Economic position that requires what passes for "advice and consent" these days, and maybe at that point he nominates someone who the GOP will absolutely reject (and causing the WH after a few weeks to withdraw and submit the predictable "plan B") but in the process be a high profile "policy martyr" for some idea that has broad regular people consensus, like massive Infrastructure spending?

    Early Summer seems like the perfect time to launch a "premeditated sacrificial lamb" to me. Hey, a wonk can dream can't he? ;-)

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:44:13 AM PDT

  •  Oh yeah, total failure (22+ / 0-)

    I mean, everyone remembers when America Online kept crashing, and people couldn't get online sometimes for days on end. And you'd get logged on, and just leave your computer logged on because you weren't sure you'd be able to access things when you came back.

    Everyone remembers that, right? No? Gee, it was a major inconvenience at the time and led to lots of lame jokes about www standing for world wide wait. It was all Al Gore's fault? Anybody remember that? Nobody?

    The Affordable Care Act has limped on and is successful in spite of the best, non-stop efforts of Republicans to gut it, hamper it, repeal it, starve it of funds, and make parts of it non-functional. If Republicans had shown one millionth the concern for making the ACA work properly as they have in the IRS non-scandal and Benghazi!, millions more citizens would have access to affordable health care.

    Thank you, Secretary Sebelius. The legendary labors of Hercules were nothing compared to tangling with today's Republicans.

    •  oh, yes (7+ / 0-)

      Yesterday, while I was online and on the phone with AT&T—for the fourth day in a row—trying to get hold of somebody—ANYBODY—because my phone still wasn't fixed after they had promised three different times they'd have it done by some random deadline, the news was on and they were talking about Sebelius and the "failed" rollout.

      I shouted at the TV, "You want to know fail? Fail is trying get service from the phone company."

      And this is not a company that just this month embarked on a massive rollout of something that had never been tried before. This is a company that has been in business in one guise or another for over 100 years and has never gotten it right.

  •  If I recall correctly, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64

    this is shades of her father, former Ohio Gov. Jack Gilligan.  Put in the spotlight because of partisan politics, and the so called "liberal" media twisting everything to make them look  as if they weren't aware of what was going on, if not totally incompetent.  

  •  And while we all focus on our national navel lint (0+ / 0-)

    of our own political and social dysfunction there are interesting shifts elsewhere, some that may make things very interesting in the Chinese curse sense sometime in the near future.

    With regard to Russia's opening of the old playbook of grabbing territory under the guise of "defending" brothers and sisters speaking our language or of our culture or race in another country:

    More curious has been the reaction of Israel, the most pro-American nation on the planet. Israel, which has tended to support almost all U.S. foreign policy initiatives, has been determined not to do so on this issue. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was uncharacteristically circumspect: “I hope the Ukrainian thing is resolved, quickly, amiably, but I have enough on my plate, which is quite full.” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was more explicit, describing the United States and Russia in equal terms. “We have good and trusting relations with the Americans and the Russians, and our experience has been very positive with both sides. So I don’t understand the idea that Israel has to get mired in this,” he said.

    Israeli officials say privately that they don’t want to alienate Russia because they need Moscow in their efforts to deal with myriad threats — chiefly Iran but also those emanating from the Syrian civil war. Some believe, though, that Israel can forge a special relationship with Moscow, fueled by the connection between the hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews who immigrated to Israel and have been gaining political power there. Lieberman said this week in Brooklyn that in the near future a prime minister of Israel would be Russian-speaking. (When Lieberman meets with Putin or Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, they speak in Russian, which is Lieberman’s first language.)

    For the more predictable non-reactions in China and India see the rest of Fareed Zakaria's "The tension between global norms and national interests" where the punch line is:
    But beyond these narrow considerations is a larger one: Do these countries want to live in a world entirely ruled by the interplay of national interests? Since 1945, there have been increasing efforts to put in place broader global norms — for example, against annexations by force. These have not always been honored, but, compared with the past, they have helped shape a more peaceful and prosperous world. Over the next decade or so, depending on how rising new powers behave, these norms will be strengthened or eroded. And that will make the difference between war and peace in the 21st century.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:49:43 AM PDT

  •  The GOP legacy (9+ / 0-)

    This is how the GOP will be remembered:

    According to one recent study, the death toll from Medicaid rejection is likely to run between 7,000 and 17,000 Americans each year
    .

    The modern GOP is one of the biggest health threats facing poor Americans today.  The so-called "pro-life" party is anything but that.  In a just world, those responsible for these needless deaths would be in prison, or worse.

  •  The chatter on this makes me so mad. (10+ / 0-)

    The rollout of healthcare.gov wasn't disastrous - it was flawed. Some people had a hard time getting the site to work - myself included - but until March 25 or so, the call center was there to plug the holes, picking up on the first ring and getting people enrolled. 7.1 million of them.

    What was disastrous was the republican chatter - and the utter lack of Democratic pushback. Why do we do this to ourselves? When we have a winning plan, and it's helping people, and the Republicans are screaming bloody blue murder, why to we just shut up and let them control the conversation?

    Sometimes we're like middle schoolers who don't want to be seen with the unpopular kids. But the ACA isn't unpopular.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:53:59 AM PDT

    •  It was an utter disaster (0+ / 0-)

      c'mon.. they had to shut it down for over a month to get it fixed.

      Then, they had to roll back the cancellation of all those millions of plans.

      Healthcare.gov was the joke of the month among all of us in IT.

      It was a complete and utter clusterfuck.

      That said, the recovery has been stupendous.  But, only time will tell how she will be judged.

      The woman deserves a break.. she was merely implementing an incredibly complex policy that she had no part in creating.

  •  You know what this demonstrates, right? (10+ / 0-)
    "Clearly, the ad's accurate," Scott told reporters gathered outside a senior center in Miami on Wednesday.

    "But it's not, governor!" insisted one reporter, who pointed out that the Blue Cross-run agency at the center of the claim had already debunked the numbers. A second reporter continued to question the assertion, which has been factchecked by newspapers across the state and discredited. Scott, however, remained unmoved before being "quickly ushered away by his media aide," according to CBS...

    Something Floridians have known since Day One--Rick Scott is a sick, sociopathic bully. He "remained unmoved" and had to be ushered away, before he took on a reporter and lied to the cameras to such an extent that he'd blow his "re-election" bid. Imagine for a wild, exciting second what that says about "what he's like behind closed doors".

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 06:01:49 AM PDT

    •  Just standard tactics. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cadillac64, a2nite, lunachickie

      Republicans are constitutionally* unable to admit when they are wrong, even in the face of demonstrable, reproducible evidence.

      * = lol see what I did there  :-P

      •  In Slick Rick's case (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jon Sitzman

        I believe it to be a bit more than "standard tactic"--yes, this is normal for the GOP, this making shit up motif. But how many of them get "ushered away" before they can do too much damage with their mouths open? I seem to remember that happening to George the Dumber a lot.  

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:03:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, it's been a lot lately. (0+ / 0-)

          The WW2 memorial during the shutdown, McCain getting a mic yanked... don't feel like posting links, but I bet you remember what I'm talking about.  And those are literally top of the head, I'd bet a 10-minute Google search would yield plenty more.

          What's heartening to me about these incidents is the trend.  GOP officials are starting to pretty consistently look like out-of-touch blowhards at the pulpit, the mic stand or the camera.  I'd recommend we keep those incidents fresh in public mindspace.  Sooner or later the hundredth-monkey effect will kick in... right?

          Oh - I forgot Gvr. Romney and Rep. Ryan getting called out on their spectacularly obvious horsepuckey during the '12 presidential run.  Another big example.

          The dedicated conservative diehards won't process the subtext - they're guaranteed movement supporters regardless of evidence or testimony.  But the middle ground is fluid, and I believe it's shifting our way.

          2014 - the year we beat the odds.

  •  She was remarkably successful (11+ / 0-)

    How many people could head an agency that had to withstand attack after attack from the U.S. Congress and yet achieve the goals that had been set years before?
    Republicans did everything within their power to make Ms. Sebelius the face of failure and yet in the end they themselves have been defeated and humiliated.  It's incredibly impressive what she has accomplished and America is better for it.

  •  The Deaths Due to Republic States' Idiocy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueKS, Cadillac64, tobendaro

    commercials need to begin now!

    You usually get what you paid for.

    by IowaMike on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 06:49:10 AM PDT

  •  This: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64, nosleep4u, tobendaro
    As I said, there’s an extraordinary ugliness of spirit abroad in today’s America, which health reform has brought out into the open.

    And that revelation, not reform itself — which is going pretty well — is the real Obamacare nightmare.

    Well put, Mr. Krugman. And I would add that the ACA came into being as a necessary response to the national nightmare that was our free market-driven health care, touted by nincompoops as "the best in the world" while our mortality rates swept higher and higher than most modern nations.

    One negative difference inspired by, but not directly caused by rolling out the ACA: the death panels expanded from the board rooms of insurance companies applying bottom-line reasoning to life & death situations out to the legislative houses of red states voting to deny their own citizens care, often critical care, through Medicaid expansion.
    Trading their charges' lives for political points, for spite.

    Oh, the evil some men do!

    "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Gentle Giant on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:25:47 AM PDT

  •  Sebelius looks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans

    and likely IS Exhausted...Frankly--I'd have left also.  I can't imagine the grind--plus the GOP BS? Who needs it?

    I think, over-all she did a great job and those corp shills in congress (and their msm buddies) who criticize Her--ought to maybe at least Work the equivalent of 2 hours a day doing something besides intimidate agency heads, obstruct progress, impose discriminatory practices & policies upon us all, "take" from the people they serve and bitch about those who are literally working 18 hr days...most everyday of the week...
    ef 'em

  •  Sebelius' tenure is every baseball movie I've seen (0+ / 0-)

    The script is as predictable as Roy Hobbs hitting the game winning homer in the bottom of the ninth:  hopeful beginnings, near failure against overwhelming odds, only to hit it out of the park when the chips are down.  Kathleen Sebelius has gone through the whole three acts in her time at HHS, and those 7.5 million sign-ups, those 9.5+ million people with health care insurance that didn't have it under the old laissez faire system of insurance company extortion despite the sabotage and subterfuge of vested interests is a heroic climax to a story of gritty, come-from-behind-against-powerful & shadowy forces that you'd think intellectually lazy pundits and journos would jump on to write as Sebelius says goodbye to the game.

    Ah, alas, the DC narrative is stuck in its Republican groove where that comfortable old "anti-Obamacare" is the national wind at the back of Republican Senate candidates and is the irresistible force in politics today, tomorrow, and forever amen.

    In other words, it remains easiest to write the same story they wrote months ago, years ago.  It's hard to draft a new one -- even if it is also a hackneyed cut & paste from every baseball movie they've ever seen.

  •  It turns out there were death panels... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sweet Spot

    the Supreme Court majority, and Republican Governors Association.

    Krugman:  "...it’s already quite easy to find examples of people who died because their states refused to expand Medicaid. According to one recent study, the death toll from Medicaid rejection is likely to run between 7,000 and 17,000 Americans each year."

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 11:10:21 AM PDT

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