In an administration known for its dissembling, deciding which lies are its biggest is a challenge.
But as health care takes center stage in the run-up to the 2014 mid-term elections, the many lies that were used, with the aid of a compliant media, to convince the nation that the passage of Obamacare presented nothing to worry about top WND’s annual list of the 10 most “spiked” or underreported stories of the last year.
At the end of each year, many news organizations typically present their retrospective replays of what they consider to have been the top news stories of the previous 12 months. WND’s editors, however, long have considered it more newsworthy to publicize the most underreported or unreported news events of the year – to shine a spotlight on those issues that the establishment media successfully “spiked.”
WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah has sponsored “Operation Spike” every year since 1988, and since founding WND in May 1997, has continued the annual tradition.
Produced with the help of WND readers, here are the WND editors’ picks for the 10 most underreported or unreported stories of 2013:
1. The lies by Obama, Sebelius, Reid, Pelosi and others concerning Obamacare
Before President Obama’s so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was rammed through Congress and signed by the president March 12, 2010, 85 percent of Americans had health-care coverage. Further, an ABC News/Kaiser Family Foundation/USA Today survey found that 88 percent of the insured rated their coverage as excellent or good and 89 percent were satisfied with the quality of care they received.
Those facts belie the insistence of Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democratic House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi that the health-insurance system was broken beyond repair and needed a complete overhaul orchestrated by the federal government, which, they contended, somehow could serve Americans better than the free enterprise system alone.
The Democrat leaders promised Americans that if they already had insurance, they had nothing to worry about.
They declared over and over again: “You can keep your doctor,” “You can keep your health-care insurance plan” and “The Affordable Care Act is about insuring more people and about affordable health care.”
Pelosi infamously said Congress needed to pass the bill “to see what’s in it.”
Americans certainly are finding out what’s in it as millions lose their insurance while only a fraction of the number needed to sustain the system have signed up.
By the end of November, only 137,204 people had “selected a marketplace plan.” By Sunday, the administration announced, 1.1 million had signed up, far short of the expectation of 3.3 million. But the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services won’t say how many people have actually enrolled. To become enrolled, the insurer must receive the first month’s premium payment.
Some who have signed up for coverage on the notoriously failed website are receiving email notices informing them they shouldn’t assume they are covered unless they “have seen the Confirmation Letter from the Disbursing Office.”
A poll in December found that 58 percent of uninsured haven’t even looked at exchanges yet. Also, 59 percent of those without coverage think getting insurance would “hurt them financially.”
Those who have signed up might have insurance beginning Jan. 1, but analysts are warning that the plans are likely to give them access to fewer doctors and hospitals. So much so, they warn, that the system could begin to resemble Medicaid, the health care program for low-income Americans.
A panel of doctors testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that they are being dropped from patient provider networks because of Obamacare.
While much has been made about the Obamacare website’s inaccessibility, those who have been able to complete the process have become susceptible to ID theft because the site fails to meet the standards of the Federal Information Security Management Act.
Sebelius has refused to answer forthrightly about whether and how often she met with President Obama about Obamacare and the website prior to the rollout. HHS, meanwhile, is obstructing a congressional investigation by instructing contractors working on the website not to release documents to the investigators.
Among the many other problems: Most insurers aren’t advertising the Obamacare taxes that are added to premiums. Individual tax filers earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 will pay a 0.9 percent Medicare surtax in addition to the existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax. An extra 3.8 percent Medicare tax also is assessed on unearned income, such as investment dividends, rental income and capital gains.
In a rare, candid moment at Obama’s pre-Christmas press conference, the president summarized not only his health-care fiasco, but his entire administration, writes WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah.
“Since I’m in charge,” Obama said, “obviously, we screwed it up.”