No, Insurance Companies Treating People With Pre-Existing Conditions Differently From Other Customers Is Not “Discrimination.”

Here is a prime example of how the news media’s intentional or careless use of words warps public perception and policy.

Yesterday, the New York Times front page story about the GOP House’s health insurance bill noted in its second paragraph that the bill wouldn’t do enough to prevent “discrimination” by insurance companies against those with per-existing conditions. I have seen and heard that term, discrimination, used over and over again to describe the per-existing condition, and I apologize for not blowing the whistle on it long ago.

Using the term, which is usually used in other contexts to signal bigotry, bias and civil rights violations, is misleading and virtually defamatory. Insurance companies are businesses. They are not charities. They are not public resources. If an automobile company turns down an offer of half what a car costs it to make, it is not discriminating against that customer who made the offer. If a restaurant customer says to a waiter, “I have just four bucks, but I want you to bring me a dozen oysters, a steak, and a nice bottle of wine,” the establishment isn’t discriminating against the diner for sending him to McDonald’s.

Insureds with per-existing conditions want to pay premiums that are wildly inadequate for the coverage they know and the insurance company knows they are going to need. Insurance companies are portrayed as villains because they don’t eagerly accept customers who they know will cost them money, often a lot of money. That’s not discrimination. That’s common sense, basic business practice, fiscal reality,and responsible management. The news media and the under-cover socialists among us want to create the illusion that a company not wanting to accept customers who lose money rather than add to profits is a mark of corporate greed and cruelty, hence the use of “discrimination” as a falsely pejorative term, when the fair and honest word is “problem.” Continue reading

Unethical Website Of The Month: Get Covered America, But Hey, These Are All Just Bumps In The Road And The Fact That The Same People Who Keep Making These Stupid Decisions Are The Same Ones Who Are Supposed To Make The Law Work Shouldn’t Cause Anyone To Get All Negative And Cynical Or AnyThing!

"hey...hey...I gotta toast! HERE'S TO OMABACARE!!"

“hey…hey…I gotta toast! HERE’S TO OMABACARE!!”

The government taxpayer-funded Affordable Care Act promotional entity called Get Covered America is either desperate, stupid, or the invention of Saturday Night Live.

Via its website, the same crack public servants who brought you Obamacare have designated this Saturday as National Youth Enrollment Day for the new system, a day designed to increase the  youthful sign-ups for the law that are both essential to its success  and lagging badly, in part because the HealthCare.gov was and is a disaster, but mostly because the bill’s architects had no idea what they were doing, or at least not enough.

National Youth Enrollment Day will be marked by various keen events. One of them, happily promoted on the GCA website, is a pubcrawl through Austin.

From the CDC:

“There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States.This makes excessive alcohol use the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation. Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death. In 2006, there were more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive drinking. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2006 were estimated at $223.5 billion.”

I guess the planned smoker to promote the AFA, as well as the pork pig-out and orgy were vetoed for some reason, so the pub crawl was the best they could come up with. Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: PolitiFact’s Ethical, Unethical Lie Of The Year

Lie of the Year

I’m so confused!

PolitiFact, the Tampa Bay Times’ “fact check” web page, has long been flagged on Ethics Alarms (and elsewhere, notably by the WSJ’s James Taranto) for its lack of integrity and flagrant bias towards the Left, Democrats, and President Obama. It was in June of 2012 that Ethics Alarms produced the “smoking gun” of PolitiFact’s perfidy, when the site  pulled off a “when did you stop beating your wife” stunt to cast unfair suspicion on House Speaker John Boehner, “fact-checking” a groundless accusation and despite finding no evidence that it was true, labeling the accusation unsettled, because Boehner might do what he was accused of, eventually. In May of this year, as it slowly dawned on fair, English-comprehending Americans that then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was misleading the American people about what the CIA knew about the September Benghazi attack, and Jay Carney, as his job description requires, lied through his teeth about her performance, PolitiFact could only muster a “mostly false” rating. The site is a partisan spin-machine, using the dishonest guise of a neutral “fact-checker” to undermine trust in Republicans and bolster Democrats when they need cover, particularly the President, who needs cover a lot. Continue reading

Unethical Website Of The Month: The California Republican Assembly’s CoveringHealthCareCA.com

Fake Obamacare site

“Unethical Website of the Month” doesn’t really do justice to CoveringHealthCareCA.com, and that’s even with the acknowledgement that this is the same Ethics Alarms category where the racist site Chimpmania is filed. CoveringHealthCareCA.com is an intentional effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act in California, the one place where the “signature achievement” of the Obama administration didn’t completely collapse out of the starting gate. For Republican lawmakers to be doing this is beneath contempt, indefensible in every way, and the ethical equivalent of treason. The people who publish Chimpmania are hateful, vicious bigots, but they are marginal citizens and human beings. All societies have scum, and in the 21st Century, some of that scum will have racist websites. That is inevitable. It should not be inevitable for public servants to try to undermine their own government’s laws, health care system, and citizens for political gain.

CoveringHealthCare.com is a false flag website, launched by Republicans in the California Assembly to deceive Californians into believing it is an official Obamacare website, when it is, in truth, an anti-Obamacare website. Its address is similar—CoveringHealthCareCA.com vs. CoveredCa.com, the real site—and its design evokes the actual Obamacare sites. Its apparent purpose is to help citizens navigate the new health insurance system, except that once you begin clicking and reading, it slowly dawns–how slowly will vary— that this is something else, a collection of attacks and talking points against the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading

Colorado’s Astounding Pro-Obamacare Ads: What Kind Of Values Are We Nourishing In This Country?

brosurance

When I saw the ad above, my first assumptions were 1) This is a spoof, or 2) Some insane Republican group who didn’t pay attention to what happened in the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke tiff made it as an attack on Obamacare.

No such luck. It’s real. I would have made the website (DoYouGotInsurance.com) that features this and many other such ads the Unethical Website of the Month (it’s also the ungrammatical website of the month), but it has been down for the last 12 hours or so, and hopefully will never get up again, except in Hell. And there is a lot more alarming about these ads than the website they come from.

For example, the organizations who paid to have the ads developed—ProgressNow Colorado and Colorado Consumer Health—plus the Colorado progressives, Democrats and brain-injured who run them, and the millions of entitled, ethically clueless Americans who perceive nothing wrong with the messages they convey all perfectly illustrate the unethical reasoning and motives driving many of the architects and defenders of the Affordable Care Act. Here…let me show you some more, assuming you have head-explosion insurance: Continue reading

Hell Freezes Over! Bill Clinton Passes The Obamacare Integrity And Trustworthiness Litmus Test…Or Does He?

Bill Clinton

This is almost too much for my mind to handle, and any moment I might just have a cerebral meltdown, like those computers Captain Kirk used to destroy on “Star Trek” by feeding them paradoxes. Bill Clinton appears to have passed the integrity test.

There must be something in it for him.

Clinton, of all people, told an interviewer that President Obama should honor his oft-repeated pledge and allow people to hang on to health care plans that are being canceled as a result of the Affordable Care Act:

“I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, that the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they’ve got.” Continue reading

Examining The President’s Non-Apology Obamacare Apology

sorry

Those of you who have emailed concern that my field, this blog and the task of exploring the depths of dishonesty in our national politics will make me cynical, I can officially assure you that so far, I am unsullied. Here’s the proof: I am actually surprised that the national news media so eagerly accepted whatever it was the President said in mitigation of his 3.5 year long Affordable Care Act lie as an “apology.”

It was clearly not an apology. Yet in a rare show of solidarity, reporters right and left rushed to their respective keyboards to dash out “President apologizes!”  The solidarity was illusory, of course: while the Right wanted to say the President apologized as proof that all the rationalizations, excuses and tortured explanations from Obama’s allies and enabler were as phony as his assurances, and now, by apologizing, the President had admitted it, the Left’s motive was to pronounce the scandal over so the President could “move on.” Okay, he’s apologized; what more do you want? This is confirmation bias, leading to different mistaken conclusions: both conservatives and liberals heard what they wanted to hear. What they should have heard was an incoherent expression of regret without accountability, retraction, admission, or contrition…in short, not an apology at all.

On the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale, I see no way to rank what the President actually said to NBC’s Chuck Todd as anything better than a 9 or 10 (I’d call it an ugly  hybrid of the two), on the scale, the Stygian realm where dishonest, manipulative, non-apology apologies dwell:

#9. Deceitful apologies, in which the wording of the apology is crafted to appear apologetic when it is not (“if my words offended, I am sorry”). Another variation: apologizing for a tangential matter other than the act or words that warranted an apology.

#10. An insincere and dishonest apology designed to allow the wrongdoer to escape accountability cheaply, and to deceive his or her victims into forgiveness and trust, so they are vulnerable to future wrongdoing.

Here is the section of the interview that generated the “apology.” Todd, who has said that he felt he had to pull an apology out of the President, began the “apology’ sequence (emphasis is mine): Continue reading

U.S. Journalism’s Integrity Meltdown, An American Tragedy, Starring CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield

It has come to this.*

Poor Ashleigh and Brianna are just SO confused about it all!

Poor Ashleigh and Brianna are just SO confused about it all!

What should have been, indeed what was obligated to be a professional, objective and clarifying report on the President’s revealed Obamacare lie of three year’s duration became an ugly exhibition of news media government collaboration and shameless incompetence, perhaps the most unprofessional I have ever seen.

From the transcript of  CNN Newsroom on November 5 at 9:33 a.m. EDT: Brianna Keilar, CNN White House correspondent, is reporting on the controversy over the reality that what President Obama assured Americans would be the case regarding their health care plans was not how his health care law actually worked.

KEILAR : Good morning. Basically in the face that that promise could not be kept ultimately [ COMMENT Ethics Breaches #1 and #2. This is  horrible, biased, misleading journalism. Obama didn’t make a promise, he made a guarantee: he said what would happen, based om what the law he period. A broken promise implies a present intent to keep a promise that is later broken. That is not what the President’s statements about the ACA were. They were authoritative assertions, intended to be taken as truth.  “Could not be kept” suggests that the failure of the ACA to meet the conditions the President attached to it was beyond his control. This is a lie, or incompetent reporting. It certainly could be kept: the Democratic Senate defeated proposed measures that would have ensured that it was kept. The law’s effect of forcing insurance companies to cancel insurance plans that the policy holders liked was intentional, and well within the President’s control. CNN is a news organization, and is not supposed to be dealing in spin and euphemisms. Yet that is what Keilar privided here.] , and that it just wasn’t as simple from that, we’ve heard from President Obama last night at an OFA event – that’s his former campaign apparatus which is now a non-profit advocacy group which is working on ObamaCare and promoting it – President Obama spoke at an OFA event and here was the change that he made: Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month AND The Jumbo: President Barack Obama

“Now, if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”

—–President Barack Obama this week, telling supporters of Organizing for Action what he should have said for three and a half years,  but representing the statement as if he had been saying it all along. A video is here.

Jumbo film“Elephant? What elephant?”

There’s not much more to write about this, except to debate whether we should weep, laugh, or take to the streets with torches and pitchforks. The President’s solution to the discovery that his repeated assurances that nobody would lose their doctor or their health plan under the Affordable Care Act were an intentional deception of the American public was not, as his various lackeys and underlings and media lapdogs have claimed in various devious ways, to deny that his statement was a lie (for it obviously was). Neither was it to justify lying, as others among his shameless enablers have done. He didn’t try to minimize the lie and say it was trivial, since only a relative few million Americans will be affected, like the New York Times did, to its eternal shame. No, President Obama is above such demeaning obfuscations and alibis. He simply re-wrote history, and claimed that he said (well, “we” said) words that he never said at all. Continue reading

More Integrity Test Results: The Bad, The Cynical, The Desperate, The Ugly And The Mind-Blowingly Stupid

denial1The last couple of days have added more embarrassing examples of desperate supporters of the Democrats, President Obama and/or the Affordable Care Act thoroughly disgracing themselves by adopting rationalizations, distortions, denial, tortured reasoning and worse to avoid holding President Obama accountable for intentionally misleading the American people for more than three years regarding whether they could keep their healths plan if they liked them, “period.”

Two aspects of this disgusting spectacle are remarkable. One is that there is such a wide and creative variation among the integrity-defying tactics taken by this distinguished assortment of pols, elected officials, hacks, flacks, pundits and journalists. The other is that after this is all over, nearly half the American public will still loyally insist on trusting the promises and pronouncements of this very same group, though they proved themselves, in this episode, untrustworthy beyond a reasonable doubt. The first of these developments is surprising. The second extinguishes all hope.

Now the latest additions to the list of shame:

  •  David Axelrod, Obama political advisor. Today on “Meet the Press, ” Axelrod chose as his truthbuster the rationalization that since the President wasn’t lying to all of the Americans he was addressing, he wasn’t lying at all. Continue reading