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DC Sends a Message to Obamacare Dissenters: Keep Quiet, or Get Fired


DC’s insurance commissioner William White has been fired and his remarks removed from the department’s website after he voiced criticism of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act “fix.” WaPo reports on White’s remarks:

“The action today undercuts the purpose of the exchanges, including the District’s DC Health Link, by creating exceptions that make it more difficult for them to operate,” the statement said.

He also pointed to a statement issued by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that said the Obama order “threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond.”

“We concur with that assessment,” White said Thursday.

Before Friday morning, these remarks had already been removed, and by end of day Friday, White was fired. When asked why the department took down the remarks, the spokesmen claimed the department’s position had changed, echoing the words of one the mayor’s deputies, who told White when he was fired that the mayor’s office “wants to go in a different direction.”

This might have been just a story of petty attempts to enforce Obamacare orthodoxy if it didn’t illustrate the growing policy-politics divide that will haunt the ACA for the foreseeable future. White’s initial opposition to the “fix” was that it would ultimately undermine the very policy goals that the ACA wants to achieve. But the rationale behind the fix was clearly political: an attempt to re-direct the public’s rage away from Obama and the Democratic party.

The White House is in a serious bind: almost any fix that is possible right now will actually wind up hurting the law’s long term prospects. But doing nothing will only feed public anger over the ACA. White’s firing seems to indicate a desire on the part of Obamacare allies to both go in for a short-term “fix” while quieting those who point out the long-term problems with the “fix.” Only by keeping people in the dark about the long-term consequences of the policy change can Obama actually hope to solve the immediate PR problem he faces.

Ignoring long-term consequences to push through a short-term policy fix. Now, where have we head that before?

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  • cheato321

    It’s amazing that the people who sheltered the President from knowing the dire status of didn’t get fired, while those who speak out against an ill-conceived “fix” get thrown out over a weekend.

    It’s almost as if people shouldn’t be the first to stop clapping.

  • Anthony

    Apres nous, le deluge (or, there will be a reckoning).

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Why do hundreds of military officers, and others who fail to toe the Democrat’s party line get fired instantly, but the people who fail to keep Obama informed of his most important legislative achievement don’t even get identified? Could it be that it was just another lie, to shift the blame for a previous lie?

  • Gene

    One of the major criticisms of this administration is that the political considerations of any situation always reign supreme. So it amazes me that a crew that always puts politics first would go for such a short-term “political fix” that pushes the greatest pain down the road. Wouldn’t it be better to take the worst of the hit now and give themselves a chance to pull their chestnuts out of the fire later?

    • Boritz

      Wouldn’t it be better….
      Well in the real world you would think so, but I’m reminded that Jack Bauer was always trading every card in his hand to gain a five minute delay in the hope that something would break his way before the clock ran out. Maybe some of the top advisors were into that show.

    • Corlyss

      You’re not in Washington, DC, are you?

      • Gene

        Once lived there, still work there. My home, however, is now in the failed city of Baltimore.

        • Corlyss

          My apologies. I thought your comment “So it amazes me that a crew that always puts politics first would go for such a short-term “political fix” that pushes the greatest pain down the road” smacked of the kind of pragmatic problem solving mind-set found only outside the Beltway. We with any experience inside the Beltway know that politics always comes first, period. Common sense solutions always come in a distant second. I lived in Arlington for 48 years.
          Apropos of nothing, I loved Baltimore – still has the best Museum in the area, the Walters Collection. If I could have lived in a real city like Baltimore, not on the doorstep of a phony one like DC, maybe I’d still be in the area.

  • Corlyss

    Let’s be real. If it weren’t for the Dims at risk in the 2014 elections, Obama, Val and ‘Chelle wouldn’t give a rat’s posterior about the impact their pet legislation is having on the nation, period. They’d simply bend into the wind and shout “Suck it up, you mo*rons! You elected us and we’re doin’ what’s right whether you like it or not. “

  • aliswell

    Why are people still doing this creature’s bidding? WHAT are people so afraid of? He’s a proven liar, crook, anti-American Commiecrat who should be impeached, THEN thrown in prison.

    WHY are people behaving as though this is the Soviet Union and Barry is Stalin???

    • VESENG

      Three letters: NSA

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