So today is the final deadline - the cut-off date for registering for Obamacare. Those who do not register and have no insurance will be subject to a fine... a tax... yeah, that's what Justice John Roberts called it. A tax.
The President didn't extend the deadline, nor did Kathleen Sebelius. So everyone eligible must be registered by the end of the day. Except.... what they did instead was create a "hardship waiver" that will automatically allow people to not be subject to the fine if they go to the Obamacare website and press the hardship button. According to the secret waiver plan, announced last week with no media coverage, people will be eligible for waivers if they "believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy" or "you consider other available policies unaffordable."
You don't even have to be able to prove it. This is to be done "on the honor system" and based solely on your stated belief.
From the Wall Street Journal: "This lax standard—no formula or hard test beyond a person's belief—at least ostensibly requires proof such as an insurer termination notice. But people can also qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that "you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance," which only requires "documentation if possible." And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one."
Now remember that during the Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of the law the government said that the individual mandate and subsequent fines were essential to the success of the law and that the President has stated over and over that he would veto any legislation, even bipartisan, that called for it to be delayed or removed. And instead he has functionally extended the deadline indefinitely and removed the threat of the fine for anyone who doesn't want to pay it. And still people defend him.
There is really no doubt in my mind why he's doing it. Mid-term elections are coming up, people are angry about Obamacare, his poll numbers are falling and Democrat numbers for November are not looking good. Some of them are even distancing themselves from Obamacare (and Obama himself) in preparation for the election. One Democrat strategist said Democrats can honestly deny voting for the Obamacare bill since it has changed from it's original form.
The Affordable Care Act is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever signed into law. Doctors and hospitals are refusing to accept it and several hospitals have closed. Jobs are being lost and according to the Congressional Budget Office up to 1.6 million jobs could be gone by 2020. Even though Harry Reid called them liars, people are losing their doctors and insurance plans and those who sign up for Obamacare are finding it not so affordable. They're paying higher premiums and deductibles up to $12,000.
Harry says he never called people liars over losing their plans but all he really needs to do is watch the video.
And in a final instance of poetic justice - on this the last day to register, Healthcare.gov has crashed twice today - even as Jay Carney tells reporters that it's working fine. The White House touts that to date 6 million people have registered but they can't prove it, they can't show how many people have actually paid for it (there is no way for them to pay for it through the web site) and they can't really back up their numbers.
They say they're telling the truth so I guess we should believe them. After all - the President hasn't ever lied to us before...