For almost a week an ongoing dispute between Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report and some members of the media has received national attention since reports came in that Drudge claimed he had paid his penalty for not enrolling in Obamacare. On March 25, 2014, Drudge coined a new title for a reporter or pundit who defends the new health care law. Drudge calls them an "Obamacare media nurse."
Often Drudge is cryptic in his statements, leaving readers to wonder what in the world he really means. Sometimes, reading between the lines requires a combination of what Drudge has personally said and the storyboard of headlines on his Drudge Report. However, there is little room for ambiguity in the interpretation of his freshly coined label, "Obamacare media nurse."
Surely most will get that Drudge's intention is to say that Obamacare is very sick, maybe even terminally ill, and requires media supporters to nurse it along by "doctoring" any criticism leveled at it. When the Drudge Report founder hit Obamacare with his "Liberty Tax" tweet, this Timeline, showed how quickly liberals raced to shoot Drudge down.
This "Obamacare media nurse," description was coined following an exchange of emails between Dylan Scott of Talking Points Memo (TPM) and Drudge. Scott published a second scathing article about Drudge, who has sworn to opt out of Obamacare for life. Drudge immediately countered, "Obamacare media nurse at TPM writes: 'So Drudge doesn't appear to have been fibbing about paying' prescribes IRS form.'"
Dropping down to the charge that it's possible Drudge wasn't "fibbing" is not such a far cry from the premature conclusion Scott made. In his article, first published almost a week ago but last updated on March 27, 2014. Then Scott wrote, "Matt Drudge Is (probably) lying about paying a huge Obamacare 'Liberty Tax''"
Some have pointed even to Scott's use of the word "huge" in his headline as misleading since the Drudge tweet which set Scott spinning never mentioned the size of his payment at all. The entirety of Drudge's tweet, in which he also coined his term "Liberty tax," was: "Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not 'getting covered'...I"m calling it a Liberty Tax!!"
Scott's logic is difficult to follow. For instance, Scott, has published his latest article urging those who would judge Obamacare by the enrollment numbers to disregard any spin on the possibly low enrollment numbers. Those numbers, offered Scott were only important "if nobody signed up."
What's important, posits Scott, is not whether folks are happy with Obamacare and show that unhappiness by failing to enroll. What's really vital is whether or not insurance companies are happy with Obamacare. Following Scott's logic, an analogy might be that it doesn't matter if your new car runs if the dealer is happy and keeps the "For Sale" signs displayed.
Scott points out that insurance companies have the option to bail out and stop offering their company policies through the health care exchange. Bottom line: if insurance companies don't bail, then Obamacare is sustainable.
Scott failed to mention that already a White House’s 2015 budget proposal has been made to spend $5.5 billion next year on an Obamacare program labeled a “bailout” of the insurance industry. According to an article on The Hill, "The Affordable Care Act creates a temporary pool of money, known as risk corridors, to pay insurers who enroll a higher-than-expected number of sick patients through 2016."
Scott conceded that an imbalance of the risk pool, as described above, may lead to premium increases. The possibility, nay probability of the healthcare act failing to meet it's goals leading to a jump in premiums has been widely reported on the Drudge Report. However, Scott pointed out that premium increases were a constant for healthcare policies before Obamacare.
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