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Oct 22 2013

The Obamacare Conspiracy to Follow the Law

The right-wing Investors Business Daily seems to think that the Obama administration is involved in a conspiracy for following the law by allowing people to register to vote when they sign up for health insurance in the exchanges. Yet IBD admits that the law requires this. “Is Healthcare.gov Designed To Register Dem Voters?” the headline asks.

The crash-prone government health-care site asks applicants if they want to register to vote as they try to sign up for ObamaCare. By sheer coincidence, a plurality of the uninsured are likely Democratic voters.
Call it Motor Voter on steroids — the piggybacking of voter registration to an otherwise unrelated government function.

Those trying to navigate Healthcare.gov, a website that looks and functions as if designed by the department of motor vehicles, are being asked if they want to register to vote just in time for crucial 2014 midterm elections that are likely to be a referendum on ObamaCare.

Indeed, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesman Brian Cook cites the Motor Voter law, also known as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, as justification.

The law, he said, “requires states to offer voter registration (at) all offices that provide ‘public assistance’ (including Medicaid applications). Because people applying on Healthcare.gov could be eligible for either Medicaid or Marketplace coverage, we will be providing info on voter registration to people who request it.”

And that is exactly what the law requires, as they themselves admit. So where is the conspiracy, exactly? The site is designed to comply with the law. So remember, on Planet Wingnuttia, it’s tyranny if the president refuses to comply with the law — except when doing so bothers them, then it’s all part of a conspiracy.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    Gregory in Seattle

    blackwhite:

    …this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink.

  2. 2
    cswella

    By sheer coincidence, a plurality of the uninsured are likely Democratic voters.

    No shit. The people who know just how bad it is at the bottom of the barrel aren’t voting for republicans…

  3. 3
    Michael Brew

    The assumption that the majority of uninsured are Democrats is amusing.

  4. 4
    Dunc

    They’re undermining democracy by registering people to vote! The fiends!

  5. 5
    doublereed

    The ACLU had an article about how the opening of the ACA was going to be very good for voting rights in this country.

    https://www.aclu.org/blog/voting-rights/why-today-big-day-voting-rights

    Of course, they see people getting voting rights as a good thing.

  6. 6
    Doug Little

    The assumption that the majority of uninsured are Democrats is amusing.

    Well to be fair once anybody who didn’t have healthcare finally can afford it, and benefit from it, they are not going to look at the Republicans who are trying to deny them healthcare favorably, regardless of affiliation. Maybe this will turn some voters to the democratic side when the veil is lifted and they finally realize that the Republicans don’t have their best interests at heart.

    That’s what is so fucking stupid about the Republicans stance against the ACA, it’s going to be a widely popular program regardless of the static that they put up. You would think they would get on board and claim the idea for themselves as is is basically a Republican formulation anyway, maybe that will come later.

  7. 7
    Mr Ed

    We can’t have the wrong type of people just signing up to vote, they might not vote the right way.

  8. 8
    Chiroptera

    Let me see if I got this straight.

    Allowing only heterosexual couples to marry doesn’t violate the rights of gay couples since even gay people retain the right to marry someone of the opposite sex.

    But allowing all people the ability to register to vote when they sign up for health care is a conspiracy because it may be that Democratic voters are more likely to benefit from this.

    Okay, I think I got it.

  9. 9
    Chiroptera

    An even more apt comparison:

    If allowing people to register to vote when they sign up for health care is a conspiracy because Democrats are more likely to benefit, then what does that make voter id laws when that seems to work against Democrats?

  10. 10
    troll

    The fact that they see registering eligible voters as a bad thing speaks volumes, and none of it good.

  11. 11
    Modusoperandi

    Wake up, people! It’s all part of his plan. First, get Motor Voter passed decades earlier. Then, give them subsidized access to private insurance on a open, public exchange (see: Socialism). Next, sign them up to vote. Result: an army of healthy voters.
    Do you know how hard it is to disenfranchise healthy Democrats? Test it: give Carter a shove. That old coot is unstoppable!

  12. 12
    Rip Steakface

    Those trying to navigate Healthcare.gov, a website that looks and functions as if designed by the department of motor vehicles

    No. Just no.

    Here’s my state’s DOL:
    http://www.dol.wa.gov/

    And healthcare.gov is utterly different looking. The DOL website is very much “form follows function” – it ain’t pretty, but it’s easy to navigate, just use the tabs at the top. Healthcare.gov is much prettier and surprisingly simple to boor. You just click the huge fucking green button and do as it says from there. Thankfully, Washington has its own health care exchange, so I don’t have to deal with the server issues healthcare.gov currently has.

  13. 13
    freemage

    The best part of this is that it’s so easily refuted by their own talking-points. Remember, the GOP has been insisting that exposure to the ACA will cause a massive backlash in 2014. So if we’re to believe that this system is going to be so horrific, the last thing the conspirators would want to do is not only help people who have been exposed to it vote, but also to put in their minds the connection between the site and the election. If the GOP really thought that the ACA was going to be a disaster for a majority of Americans, they’d be all for this component.

  14. 14
    Leo Buzalsky

    So where is the conspiracy, exactly?
    I would think this would be somewhat obvious. If people can believe that Obama’s birth itself back in the early 60′s (?) was part of a conspiracy that wouldn’t take full effect until 40 years later, then certainly some event from a mere 20 years ago could also be a conspiracy. So, obviously, that wording in the voter act was done preemptively in preparation for Obamacare. Duh! ;)

  15. 15
    vmanis1

    As a side comment, it seems that at least part of healthcare.gov’s problems come from a simple overload. (There may be many other problems too, I just don’t know.) Since most heavily used websites use a form of load balancing—when you go to a heavily-used site, maybe even this one, your request is redirected to one of several servers, so as to equalize the load on each one—it’s actually pretty easy to limit load. When a potential overload situation is encountered, anyone attempting to log in is told that the system has reached its capacity, and that they should try again later (this is easy to do with the load-balancing software I mentioned). The anecdotal stories I’ve seen about healthcare.gov report a page saying the system is overloaded, but then people log in and still find it grossly slow.

    It would appear that, as with many other systems, a good job of requirements engineering was not done. I know that if I had written the requirements, `Able to handle overload conditions gracefully’, would have been one of them, with a specific requirement that, before the system was released, it be able to pass a stringent load test.

  16. 16
    exdrone

    To really freak them out, Healthcare.gov should implement an online support video featuring a tech dressed as a Black Panther.

  17. 17
    dogmeat

    By sheer coincidence, a plurality of the uninsured are likely Democratic voters.

    Have we actually established this as accurate? I know a number of state arguments for/against adopting exchanges for the ACA have found that large numbers of those who would benefit are actually lower income, rural, generally Republican voters. Even if this were the case, I would think, generally, that states that are generally Democratic states to begin with will see an increase in Democratic registrations, but states that are generally Republican will likely see increases in Republican registrations. In those “purple” states, they are likely to lose ground.

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