While you are watching President Obama's announcement about the resignation and replacement of Kathleen Sebelius as the Secretary of Health and Human Services today, I want you to think back to the day President Bush gave FEMA Chief Michael Brown a vote of confidence following Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. I'm hoping the President gives us a great one-liner like "Ole Kathy's done a heckuva job implementing the Affordable Care Act". When you think about it, there are a number of similarities between the two situations. It was a disaster that we saw coming, yet big government--in its slow, bumbling way--was still totally unprepared for what happened. Of course, Scott Brown and FEMA had just a week to prepare for hurricane relief efforts while Kathleen Sebelius had FOUR YEARS to get a website operational.
Speaking of "the website", we will hear a lot about "7.1 million people signed up" and what a "huge success" that was (even though it took twice as long as it was supposed to). But we still don't know how many of those 7.1 million are among the 6 million whose health insurance policies were canceled due to the ACA's "minimum coverage" requirements. We also still don't know how many of the 7.1 million have actually paid their premiums (which is far more important that just signing up--since that actually puts the policy into effect). And we still don't know what became of the 23-million other people who were "desperate" for health insurance coming into last year. More than likely, a good percentage are in expanded Medicaid programs--where the states will soon be stuck with the bill for their coverages. And let's not forget that all these people were doing is complying with Federal law. You may as well "congratulate" Eric Holder because 360-million people didn't rob a bank the past six months.
Here's a bit of unsolicited advice for Republican state lawmakers: STOP GOING TO BARS!! The Senator Mike Ellis secret video released this week by Project Veritas was shot in a Madison bar. How many the Senator had before the conversation about forming a political action committee--which he said was meant hypothetically (or was dropped because everyone realized it was illegal, we've heard a couple of versions now)--is not known. This is actually the second time Ellis has been stung this way. You may recall Blogging Blue captured Ellis denegrating the student body at Preble High School in a secret recording filmed--you guessed it--at a Madison bar. That people with hidden cameras know where to find Mike saying things guaranteed to get him into hot water at any time suggests a pattern of behavior that needs to change.
Then you have Representative McFeely--I mean Bill Kramer--who is facing criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault of one of Senator Ron Johnson's aides in the parking lot of a Mequon bar. This goes along with his sexual harassment of a GOP lobbyist at a fundraiser in Washington DC that likely involved more than a little drinking. The Founding Fathers may have held many of their debates over the structure and purpose of our fledgling democracy in the taverns of their day--but that was before hidden video cameras, Youtube, Twitter and drunk driving laws. It might be a good idea to work on mixing up your old-fashioneds and your whiskey sours at home from now on, guys.