Tuesday, December 03, 2013


Apparently, according to Peggy Noonan's latest blog post, insurance complexity was invented in the Kenyan socialist's White House:
Everyone understands in their own rough way that ObamaCare is a big mess. And that it's not the website, it's the law itself....

They understand this new program was so big and complex and had so many moving parts and was built on so many assumptions that may or may not hold true, and that deals with so many people with so many policies -- and they know they themselves have not read their own policies, for who would when the policies, like the law that now controls the policies, are written in a way that is deliberately obscure so as to give maximum flexibility to administrators in offices far away. And that's just your policy. What about 200 million other policies?
Right -- insurance policies were so easy to read back in the pre-Obama days. Hell, we read them for pleasure, didn't we? We took them on vacation. We used them as beach reading. In 2004, five of the top ten New York Times bestsellers were individual insurance policies. Isn't that right? And then Obama came along and ruined everything!

More from Noonan:
It's a shock for most people that it's a shambles. A fellow very friendly to the administration, a longtime supporter, cornered me at a holiday party recently to ask, with true perplexity: "How could any president put his entire reputation on the line with a program and not be on the phone every day pushing people and making sure it will work? Do you know of any president who wouldn't do that?" I couldn't think of one....
A president who stakes his entire reputation on a complex scheme gone awry? And who never rides herd on the people who were supposed to make sure it went right?

Hmmm, let me think....

And more:
People say Mr. Obama never had to run anything, but it may be more important that he never worked for the guy who had to run something, and things got fouled up along the way and he had to turn it around. He never had to meet a payroll, never knew that stress. He probably never had to buy insurance! And you know, his policies were probably gold-plated -- at the law firm, through his wife's considerable hospital job, in the Illinois Legislature, in the U.S. Senate. Those guys know how to take care of themselves!
Um, Peggy?

First of all, a lot of people Obama's age have never bought insurance on the individual market. They're called employees. Early on, they got an okay job, and then another and another, and the jobs came with benefits and a paycheck and not much else. So they picked from the plans the company offered, and that was that. You know the folks who make sure everything goes fabulously for you when you write a column or finish a book or make a TV appearance? Yeah, them. The little people.

You were one of them once -- you worked at WEEI radio in Boston, and at CBS Radio for Dan Rather. You were an adjunct professor at NYU. And eventually you were a White House speechwriter. Bet you had fairly decent insurance then. Bet you didn't buy it on the open market in any of those jobs.

Yes, you became a free agent after you quit the White House gig, and before The Wall Street Journal gave you a column. But, um, you were also married to a man named Richard Rahm from 1985 to 1989. During that time, Mr. Rahm was
Vice President and Chief Economist of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, Executive Vice President and Board member of the National Chamber Foundation, and ... the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Growth. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the American Council for Capital Formation.
More about Rahn:
His current public policy activities include serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (which regulates the world's fifth largest financial center)....

Dr. Rahn is the founder of the Novecon companies, which include Sterling Semiconductor (now owned by Dow Corning), and Novecon Financial Ltd, which he still chairs. In the 1970's he was the Washington economic consultant for the New York Mercantile Exchange.

He taught at Florida State University (and at their US Air Force program), George Mason, George Washington, and Rutgers Universities; and at the Polytechnic University of New York, where he served as head of the graduate Department of Management.

Dr. Rahn is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society. He serves as a member of the Board of the American Council for Capital Formation, the Small Business Survival Committee, the Southeastern Legal Foundation, and the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation. In addition, he serves as a member of the Board of Visitors of the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy.
So with that man as your husband and then ex-husband, Peggy, I imagine that in those periods when you bought your own insurance you didn't exactly have to bargain-shop. Your bestselling books and your gig as a consultant for The West Wing surely eased the sticker shock as well. And now, well, I see that the Upper East Side apartment you bought in 2010 cost $1.72 million, so I'm assuming it's been a long time since you had to be a cautious health care consumer, if you ever were one.


trizzlor said...

I don't really see the relevance of Peggy's personal history here. She didn't say that she herself should run the program, she just said Obama is ill-suited for it. That said, her argument is still typical bullshit populism. Most elected officials haven't purchased their own insurance, or been on food-stamps, or paved a road, or fired a rocket into space - should we just give up on all those government services as well? He's the leader of the free world, he hasn't personally done most of the shit he's responsible for. And the same goes for all the guys before him. Of course, back here in the real world, Obama hired on a bunch of people to fix the web-site, ran a media blitz explaining to the public what was being changed, and adjusted the roll-out timeline to accommodate the changes. But I guess until he's taken some night-classes in computer programming none of that counts as "making sure it will work".

Ten Bears said...

Actually, here in the real world the website was contracted out to a low bid private sector contractor with a reputation of really shitty work. But what do I know, I'm just a (reluctantly) retired Professor of Computer and Information Science who's been rolling out web-sites, with glitches, for fifteen years now.

No fear.

Victor said...

For never having run anything before, going on 5 YEARS NOW, President Obama's doing a hell of a lot better job than W, our first MBA/CEO President.

W ran lots of companies - INTO THE GROUND!

And W took that experience, AND NEARLY DROVE AMERICA INTO THE GROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pops said...

As Jon Stewart put it so eloquently, as he does on so many issues, "Nooney-Tunes strikes again".

Roger said...

Remember, in Peggy's Ancient Age-pickled mind, Bush captured Osama bin Laden. She wrote a whole column about it.