President Obama will sign up for health insurance through an Affordable Care Act exchange, press secretary Jay Carney said Monday
“I don’t have an update for you on that. I know that he will and has said that he will,” Carney told reporters.
Asked when the registration will happen and whether the White House will make it open to the press, Carney responded: “I’ll get back to you.”
Carney’s comments Monday were the first recent confirmation of the president’s plans. He has the option of choosing to work through the District of Columbia or his home state of Illinois.
As POLITICO has noted, the president’s decision would be a symbolic one, since he and the first family rely on White House doctors for medical care. It would also come at a substantial out-of-pocket cost because it would not be taxpayer subsidized.
Last I checked, the taxpayers paid the President’s salary – $400,000 a year, plus a nice expense account – so in the end taxpayers will still be subsidizing his “out-of-pocket” costs when it comes to health insurance.
1) Neither the President nor his family will lose access to their favorite doctors as a result of shopping on the exchange site, 2) they won’t receive a notice in the mail stating their plan(s) will be cancelled at the beginning of the year, and 3) considering the President’s near-half a million dollar annual salary, this isn’t going to make a dent in “his” pocket (but it might impact the crease in his slacks - paging you, David Brooks). So why do this? To make it appear that the President understands what the common man and woman are going through, though he and his administration know full well and good that the reality of his situation is drastically different than it is for most of the millions who have been negatively impacted by Obamacare.
As usual, symbolism – style over substance – is everything with this White House. The whole idea behind people demanding that politicos who pushed for Obamacare sign up for it was/is so they can understand what the average Jane and Joe are having to go through with losing their primary care physicians, the higher costs, etc. Unlike you and me, the Obamas will not be impacted at all by the President’s signature law – whether or not he ultimately signs up for health insurance via the ACA. They’ll still have 24-hour access to the country’s best doctors and will not have to pay a dime for them. I suspect even the average low information voter is aware of this.
This President and his handlers really are tone-deaf, but then again – what else is new?