The time Karl Rove “proved” Obamacare would never reach 7m sign-ups

Yesterday, President Obama announced that the administration has met its goal of getting 7 million people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care act, aka Obamacare.

Stephen Colbert has some great clips of Fox News claiming, only a few weeks ago, that the administration would never reach its goal of 7 million sign-ups.

In fact, just one week ago, Karl Rove even brought out his “white board” to “prove” that the 7 million sign-ups were impossible.


Karl Rove on Fox News, 3/24/14: “There is no way they’re gonna get anywhere close. It just ain’t gonna happen.”

Rove’s “proof” is classic Rove. You see, even though 7 million people signed up for Obamacare plans, what if – Rove asks – some of those people refuse to pay their  premium? They then would lose their insurance, so the number of total insured would be lower.


This is a game the GOP has been playing on health care reform from the beginning.  They’re trying to define-down the number of actual sign-ups by claiming that you’re not really “signed up” until you’re paying your monthly premium (people aren’t paying their premiums until, you know, their insurance actually starts).

Rove’s argument is absurd, because even after you’re paying your monthly premium, you could still stop paying the next month, and then lose your insurance. So he could keep arguing forever that the administration will never meet its goal until people pay in advance for a lifetime’s worth of insurance. 

Here’s the video of Rove on Fox a week ago. After that is Stephen Colbert talking about Rove and the ACA milestone being reached.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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80 Responses to “The time Karl Rove “proved” Obamacare would never reach 7m sign-ups”

  1. U Dontknowmelikedat says:

    Karl Rove,Dick Morris and Rush Limbaugh are all disgusting old fat white men

  2. Badijoe says:

    It seems that Republicans really hate the idea of sharing Health Care and Hospitals with average Americans. Carl Rove was wrong with George Bush, the past elections, and health care. He is so irrelevant.

  3. kingbee says:

    It must really s uck to be you. As with many right wingers you are very negative about America today and in the future. Our country is strong and getting stronger every day. For just one day would you please think and say positive things about our country and our administration. Make a positive contribution instead of constantly trying to demoralize Americans. I fought for my country and find you a vexation to the spirit. God bless this land that I love.

  4. Jimijams says:

    Lee Atwater taught Karl Rove EVERYTHING he knows.

  5. dzerres says:

    OK, so where’s the Republican plan? ….. crickets …..

  6. Ami says:

    Attack, lie and smear is all FAUX and Rove knows how to do.

  7. Mary Martin says:

    It takes some real dumb dumbs to still listen to a word he says and follow him. I don’t want to guess why these poor idiots are being led by the nose or whatever else they’re being led by.

  8. Mary Martin says:

    Well. I guess Fox has produced a ton of data to make you take this stand. Most people who have never had healthCare, will let you know that you’re as phony as the Fox. They got you right where they want you, standing in the dark.

  9. Bob Munck says:

    what if – Rove asks – some of those people refuse to pay their premium?

    By that logic, the rich don’t really pay a lot of taxes, because they could stop. And the Sun doesn’t really rise in the east …

  10. Bill_Perdue says:

    Under Obama, and for the rich only, the government is their best friend, rewarding them for creating economic chaos with trillions from war spending, from qualitative easements and from Obama/Romney/HeritageFoundationcare.

  11. rwnjwatch says:

    And you would propose to leave them behind? I’m trying to understand.

  12. ATrober says:

    The numbers signed up isn’t the main point.

    The main point will be proven in time: quality is going down and entitlement obligations are going to break the U.S.

    Fast-food mentality Americans can’t see further than the window at the drive-thru when they want something.

  13. ATrober says:

    Try 20% not paid.
    And, that’s optimistic.

    Even IF 100% paid, it’s still going where Medicare and Medicaid went. If you’re a Gen Xer or later, you’ll see when the Boomers are thru with this nation exactly what entitlement obligations are going to do to your standard-of-living.

  14. ATrober says:

    First, your numbers are wrong. At least 20% have not paid.
    Second, review the last several hundred years of socialization and recent American history per where this is going. A few might get a good deal upfront, the majority are not, and it’s going to burden the nation with more debt.
    Third, the U.S. is insolvent. And, that’s a fact. Without curtailing the spending (something BOTH parties are doing), it’s absolutely a definite fact: the U.S. will default.
    That’s going to leave us in a far bigger mess than any government service can bail us out of
    And, ironically, it was entitlements high-and-by far that got us here. (No, the military budget did not do this, entitlements did it).

  15. ATrober says:

    Some venture capital is chasing insurance, not due to ACA’s success, but rather the fact the government is seen as a grab-bag for cash.

  16. ATrober says:

    all you had to do is create a record of your login or filling out a partial form to be considered “signed up” by the latest push-back and this 7M claim (that’s cooked numbers).

  17. ATrober says:

    The numbers are cooked, skewed and full of *details* amounting to the fact there are not 7 million ****insured**** through ACA. And, that’s a fact.

    As for Karl Rove, I wish he and Cheney would just go away. They’ve done enough destruction to the U.S.

  18. BeccaM says:

    1996 for me.

  19. Houndentenor says:

    Yes, I know. I’m one of them. I haven’t had insurance through an employer since 2001.

  20. BeccaM says:

    The list of people who don’t get insurance through their jobs is pretty long, actually. There are the part-timers. Those who work irregular hours (overtime one week, very little the next). Every single small business owner with few or no employees (like me). The unemployed. Seasonal workers. And before ACA, there were plenty of employers who either could not afford to or simply did not feel like offering health insurance to their full-time employees.

    All these people out on the individual insurance market, and increasing numbers either utterly unable to afford the ridiculous premiums for crappy coverage or locked out entirely due to pre-existing condition denials.

  21. cold340t says:

    This guy is relevant why? $$$$$$$$$$$$$, I see!

  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    The main right wing parties in the US are the Democrats, the Republicans and the Libertarians.

  23. Bill_Perdue says:

    Things will just get worse as long as the rich rule.

  24. Naja pallida says:

    That theory relies on Republicans in Congress being entirely complicit, because if they had even a sliver of evidence that the number was faked or even fudged, they’d be all over it, setting their hair on fire and shouting it from the rooftops. Not just making up laughable lies about people not paying for it. Not to mention, the insurance industry… if they weren’t seeing comparable numbers of new policy holders, they too would be screaming foul.

  25. Force Crater says:

    Can we get anywhere with the hopelessly broken political system that exists today? There are no political solutions.

  26. soleri says:

    Shorter Bill Perdue: Repeal Obamacare! Replace with $15 minimum wage in SeaTac.

    How sweet to replace the real world with triumphalist rhetoric from the fringe. Karl Rove is smiling.

  27. oikos says:

    And Rove was right again-just ask President Romney

  28. americansagainstobama says:

    Heritage did not come up with Obamacare. You are referring to a decades old document that nobody ever acted upon, or cared about until a leftist blogger found it in some archive.

    Obamacare was written by lobbyists and big pharma.

  29. americansagainstobama says:

    There is no evidence that 7 million have bought insurance. The administration has released zero data to support that.

    Of course we have a media that doesn’t even questions it.

  30. Bill_Perdue says:

    Romney/Obamacare is not a step towards single payer or socialized medicine or any other sane scheme. Its a step backwards for more profits for insurance and pharmaceutical companies who pay the bribes that keep the WH and Congress toeing the line.

    We can’t get there from here.

  31. rmthunter says:

    Obvious next step: single payer.

  32. Bill_Perdue says:

    He’s far too sleazy and he makes too much money.

  33. rmthunter says:

    Considering the Republicans’ unremitting, high-volume propaganda campaign, I think it’s remarkable that 7 million actually checked it out and signed up.

  34. Bill_Perdue says:

    Your question revolves around the basic component of Romeny/Obamacare – the profitability for insurance companines. Socialists are for socialized medicine based on taxing the rich.

    Unlike Obama and other corrupt politicians we don’t give a damn about insurance company profits.

  35. Bill_Perdue says:

    That is a personal comment.

    “Democrats are not part of the left” is true and it’s a political comment. Socialists fight for unions and workers and we don’t give a damn about the fortunes or electability of Democrats and other corrupt and sleazy right-wing parties. They’re the past.

    Socialists and the union left are beginning to make gains against Democrats and other right wingers. We’re beat a long time Democrat sellout in Seattle, garnering 100,000 or so votes in campaign for a better minimum wage than Obama’s right wing proposal for $10.10. That was a sweet victory. And so was the victory of a score or so union independents who ran against Democrats and beat them in Ohio. Sweet. There are plans take those very modest beginnings and repeat them across the country. Sweeter still. The few Democrats and Republicans in office the better off we’ll all be.

  36. Bill_Perdue says:

    None of us has access to socialized medicine. which is the only pertinent question.

  37. Naja pallida says:

    There are over 50 million uninsured people in the US, the majority of which are employed, but have simply been unable to afford health insurance. Then, there were also people whose employer dumped them onto the private market. All in all, 7 million was actually a pretty conservative estimate for the number of people who would be proactive enough to start looking as soon as they thought there might be a chance that they might be able to afford health insurance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure a small fraction were people who felt compelled by fear of the penalty, but I can’t imagine that was a significant driving factor. Now that may change once they actually start enforcing it.

  38. Rick Santana says:

    True that perhaps I can’t prove my comment, but is it a coincidence that 7 Million was reached by the deadline?

  39. Honor And Harmony says:

    The repubs are a sad party of turds. They going the way of the dinosaur for good reason. I wouldn’t piss on these people if they were on fire.

  40. pappyvet says:

    He’s such a twetchooous twixter

  41. Naja pallida says:

    So you suppose the only reason why 7 million people bought insurance is because they were threatened? What percentage do you suppose actually wanted some semblance of health care?

  42. 2karmanot says:

    Elmer Fudd should retire.

  43. Rick Santana says:

    Americans were threatened with fines, that’s the only way the goal was met. What a failure *smh*

  44. BillFromDover says:

    Jesus Christ in an emergence room; how else are they supposed to keep the costs down for the cheapest plans?

    Ya want lower deductibles… purchase a more expensive plan.

    This ain’t about Obamacare, it’s about Insurance 101 for Dummies!

  45. BillFromDover says:

    Seriously… wasn’t this the same guy who had “The math”?….0…1c.1.39.hp..4.17.2005.0.B-JB9qgYYNg

    How long can one live on Bullshit Mountain without coming down to purchase a carton of reality?

  46. AnitaMann says:

    Right and wrong don’t matter when spewing propaganda. Volume and repetition of message matter.

  47. AcquiredExpertise says:

    Excuse me very much, but really: Who on Earth Still Gives A Flying F… What Karl Rove Says?

    If he’s ever actually right about anything, it’ll be news — but only after the fact. Until then, I’m not listening or reading one more story about anything he says, here or elsewhere.

    And that goes for Sarah F’ing Palin as well.

    At some point, the talent pool has to be culled of its dead wood. New meat, please.

  48. Houndentenor says:

    There’s also this idea among the pundit and political classes that everyone with a job gets insurance through their job. That’s just not true. Plenty of people work at or near full time (including working extra hours off the clock which is illegal but happens all over…see recent news reports) and have to go and get their own insurance on the open market which was until recently far more expensive than group plans. It’s still not as good as what you can get with a good (rather than crappy) job, but it’s better than it was before.

  49. Houndentenor says:

    I know a lot of liberals wanted single-payer but there was no way that could have passed. I’m not sure it could have even gotten out of committee.

  50. 1strepublic14thstar says:

    Republicans can say “I don’t believe it” to anything in order to explain it away. This is the party of “unskewing” polls and “I’m entitled to THE math” to explain away the actual math.

    This is the party that claims Obama didn’t call the attacks in Benghazi “terrorism.” When proved wrong by the video recordings and transcripts, they tried to argue that “terrorism” and “act of terror” are TOTALLY different.

    The modern conservative movement has its own alternate reality and its own alternate “fact” set.

  51. soleri says:

    That is a political comment. If you’re too good for this world, you shouldn’t be involved in politics. It will only disappoint you. It’s odd that people on the right actually get this better than our side. They always hyperventilate for the most extreme right-winger but end up voting for Bush, McCain, Romney, etc. And guess what? They’ve moved their party so far to the right that it’s just barely in the solar system. The left needs some of that energy. Instead, we wave the white flag at the slightest speed bump. We’re already getting ready to do it again with either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren as our proxy Purist-in-Chief. We’re not going to win until we stop trying to make politics about our personal virtue. Creating a majority is hard work. We can’t afford to be too vain about the setbacks. Obamacare is a tremendous achievement. It’s not good enough for you? Then do the rest of us a favor and stand down. You’re a drag on our side. At this point, you’re only helping Republicans.

  52. Houndentenor says:

    The people signing up for Obamacare don’t have access to employer-sponsored policies. Duh.

  53. Houndentenor says:

    This is the guy who was so sure that Romney was going to win Ohio in 2012 that he had him campaign in Pennsylvania (which he had no hope of winning) instead. I think Rove needs some sort of basic math class because his numbers never add up.

  54. lynchie says:

    Kristol and Rove are continually wrong about everything they weigh in on and yet the talk shows can’t get enough. Instead of cow shit coming out of their mouths they are treated as if it is gold. Keep throwing out frothy shit for the t party and old farts to chow down on. Ensures lots of money for these two.

  55. Bill_Perdue says:

    Make political comments.

  56. soleri says:

    Have you thought about levitating yourself above this vale of tears so you’re no longer contaminated by humanity’s grubbiness?

  57. Bill_Perdue says:

    Politics for Democrat and Republican politicians is a corrupt business. That upsets the decent among us.

  58. Texon says:

    Ham head is wrong again.

  59. soleri says:

    Politics is a messy business, which invariably upsets the angels among us. We do what’s possible, not what’s perfect. And over time, if we’re mature enough, we improve the system. I would much rather have seen a single-payer system. That was not going to happen because there weren’t 60 liberal votes for it in the Senate. Money has severely contaminated our political system (see today’s McCutcheon ruling, USSC). To say both parties are right-wing is the kind of nonsensical nihilism that created this current situation. In 2000, all the angels threw up their delicate hands and voted for Ralph Nader. Al Gore, who in actuality won the election, was finessed out of a clear Florida win. Bush prevailed, appointed Roberts and Alito to USSC, who have since dismantled McCain/Feingold and given corporations complete personhood. The Kochs, et al, now own the government. We are even further away from a strong liberal majority in Congress.

    Sometimes something is better than nothing. Tell the people who now have affordable health insurance that it would be better if they could go without so purists get to be right about how awful both major parties are. That way, we can just skip the trying part and go straight to the hell of Republican rule. If it’s what you want, say it out loud: “i’m a purist. Fuck you. And I don’t care if you live or die”.

  60. Bill_Perdue says:

    The problem with Romney/Obamacare is not the spin about enrollment numbers by the partisans of the two main right wing parties. The problem is that it’s a result of corrupt behind the scenes deals by the WH and Congress that deliberately created a system meant to enrich insurance and pharmaceutical companies at the expense of working people.

    These news stories illustrate some of those problems.

    Some of the largest health insurers are hitting all-time highs. … Shares of UnitedHealth Group (UNH +0.74%), Humana (HUM +0.91%), Aetna (AET +0.94%) and WellPoint (WLP +1.73%) rallied Wednesday — with all four recording all-time highs in the wake of the Obama administration announcement that total enrollment in Affordable Care Act health exchange plans now tops 5

    Despite Glitches, Obamacare Profit Windfall To Insurers Well UnderwayWhile politicians and pundits alike inside the beltway beat up the White House over computer system glitches, healthinsurance companies still project robust revenue growth and profits from a boom in business from newly insured Americans under the Affordable Care Act.

    The out-of-pocket costs for people with diseases requiring ongoing treatment “could still be so
    high they’ll have trouble staying out of debt,” The Associated Press reports. Such costs include
    a health plan’s annual deductible—the amount of money a person must shell out before the insurance company begins to pay a claim—as well as co-payments and “cost-sharing.”

    “On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, but Other Costs Can Be High – Deductibles
    and other out-of-pocket costs on plans bought through the government are much higher than the typical employer-sponsored policy.
    ” NY Times 12 09 2013

  61. TampaZeke says:

    And Romney’s STILL gonna win the presidency just as soon as those uncounted votes come in from Ohio!

  62. BeccaM says:

    I know. Remember the Max Cleland debacle in ’02? More than a few folks, myself included, believe that loss was a test run. Going from 5% ahead a week before the election to losing by 7%? I still don’t buy that it was those attack ads.

  63. Naja pallida says:

    Not tin-foil hattiness at all… that has happened in how many elections now? Not just federal, but many smaller races too. And still, nobody has been held accountable, for any of them. This kind of thing will always happen when we let blatant partisans run the elections, and things are run differently in every damn precinct. The whole system is in serious need of standardization.

  64. PeteWa says:

    keep using that new math, shit flower.

  65. Silver_Witch says:

    Ohh I love that tin-foil hat…wouldn’t it be great if it was true and their failure was so utterly unexpected.

  66. BeccaM says:

    Well, if you’ll pardon my tin-foil hattiness, but I think Karl believed the fix was in, just like it was in 2004’s Ohio returns.

    It was supposed to stay “too close to call” until around 3am EST, at which time late tabulations from GOP-friendly electronic ballot and tabulation companies would ‘suddenly find lots of votes for Romney, in an utter upset with respect to the pre-election and exit polls.

  67. Naja pallida says:

    You mean the state where Karl Rove’s personal polling said Romney was going to win in a landslide, and that he spent weeks repeating over and over that Romney couldn’t possibly lose?

    The guy has been stuck in his own bubble, smelling his own farts for so long, it’s burnt out a few brain cells. I just can’t understand why people keep listening to him. If a Democratic lobbyist was that wrong, he’d have been flushed down the toilet with Anthony Weiner and John Edwards in an instant.

  68. BeccaM says:

    A guilty pleasure: I still sometimes watch that video of when, on Faux News of all places, Turdblossom was informed that Ohio had been called for Obama…

  69. Naja pallida says:

    One, it was implemented by Obama. Anything to do with Obama must be destroyed. It doesn’t matter what. Republicans have more than once have voted against their own bills as soon as Obama got on board.

    Two, they know the system really sucks, they designed it that way; to enforce profit over people. Sure, the weak measures that were passed are turning out to be successful, but the overall goal of creating a fair health care system for all Americans is still a pipe dream. The insurance industry is still a racket. They know they can still point at all the things it doesn’t even try to do, and claim failure. In five or six years, when health care costs haven’t dropped nearly as much as they thought they would, Republicans will cry failure again. They don’t want credit, because they know the plan was never intended to create a real health care system.

  70. BeccaM says:

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise. The ‘conservative right’ represented by the Heritage Foundation in the 1990s has by 2014 become unacceptably socialist-communist-liberal by their current definitions of conservatism.

    Back then, it was, “Okay, people can have healthcare, but there should be a lot of profit built in. No single-payer.”

    Now it’s, “People only deserve healthcare if they can afford it and insurance only if the insurance companies feel it is profitable to cover them.”

    This has happened on quite a few positions formerly held by the conservative right. They used to be in favor of universal gun-buyer background checks, but no more. Their former refrain for dealing with unemployment was retraining programs — now it’s, “F*ck off and die you lazy unemployed loser.”

    In the steady rightward ratcheting of far-right conservatism, it’s only natural that their former positions will be disavowed one by one.

  71. BeccaM says:

    Indeed. I remember receiving a stern letter back in November, from my new insurance provider, cautioning me that my coverage would not take effect on January 1st unless I sent them the first month’s premium. (I already had, and the letter did say if I’d already paid to disregard it, but it was clear they weren’t letting anything slide.)

  72. BeccaM says:

    That’s what I’ve noticed as well.

    The GOPers sometimes pay lip-service to the pre-existing condition thing, as well as young adults being able to stay on their parents’ policies. But they mean it about as much as Obama meant it when he said he was in favor of a public option. They know it sounds good, but the only plan they have is the one put forth by Ted Cruz: “Repeal every word.”

    So we go back to how it was in 2009: Virtually impossible to get individual insurance anymore or, if you could, it was guaranteed to be junk insurance. Not only do we return to pre-existing condition denials, but remember that lovely practice called “recission”? Where, if you got sick, the insurance company would scour your medical history to find something you failed to disclose to them and then retroactively cancel your insurance from the date of issue?

    Plus no limits on medical cost/premium ratios. No Medicaid expansion anywhere (this alas is a major problem with ACA, with a great many people now in the ‘too much money for pre-ACA Medicaid but too poor for ACA premium subsidies’ gap). Elimination of the annual/lifetime benefit caps.

    These are all why the GOPers were frantic to try to scuttle the entire ACA before the better parts became active. However, in my opinion, failing to eliminate the pre-existing condition thing on day one, back in 2010, was the single biggest mistake the Dems made on this whole issue. Behind even the lack of a public insurance option.

  73. woodroad34 says:

    A preview of the 2012 meltdown on Fox…..bloated little turd (w/o “blossom”)

  74. Naja pallida says:

    One could write a book about all the things Karl Rove has been utterly wrong about. It’s astounding that people still hand him gobs of money, just so he can go out and blow it on being even more wrong.

  75. Naja pallida says:

    It’s not like insurance companies are in the habit of offering policies on credit.

  76. Elijah Shalis says:

    You know what really baffles me? The Heritage Foundation is the one that came up with this health care system and RomneyCare now ObamaCare. Shouldn’t their wall street and plutocrat masters be thrilled that everyone is now required to buy PRIVATE insurance? THIS IS THEIR IDEA! They should be taking credit for it instead of this.

  77. judybrowni says:

    “The biggest change that affects everyone with insurance is the elimination of prior conditions, the lifetime cap.”

    I have a friend who died two years ago by falling through those cracks in the health insurance racket.

    Her daughter would still have a mother, under the ACA.

    So shut the fuck up, Carl Rove!

  78. judybrowni says:

    Since,up to this point, something like 85-95% of those previously enrolled paid their premiums ON TIME, what’s the big fucking deal?

  79. Rick Roberts says:

    I don’t understand this ridiculous talking point about some people not paying. Of course, some people won’t pay! A fact of life is that some people don’t or can’t pay their bills. This is something that credit card companies, utilities, and insurance companies have experience dealing with. They have whole departments for it. It has always been the case that some people don’t pay.

  80. Peter says:

    Unfortunately everyone focuses on the number of people who sign up for the ACA as the determining success factor. The biggest change that affects everyone with insurance is the elimination of prior conditions, the lifetime cap and all the other enhancements to health care policies in the US. While it would have been way better to provide all this with the public option providing free health care for all in the US, the focus only on the number of people buying new policies is not the only factor that determines success of this legislation.

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