President Barack Obama has a way with words, but sometimes he has a bit of trouble with arithmetic - and logic. Gloating over news of a supposed last-minute surge in the number of applicants signing up for health insurance under the wondrously misnamed Affordable Care Act, he said the number given (7.1 million) signified not "myth" but "math." Obamacare is here to stay, he said. The time for debate has passed.
Unanswered in all the controversy surrounding his signature legislation "reforming" one-sixth of the U.S. economy, are the following questions that would appear to be of interest and worthy of further debate:
How many of those signing up have paid a first premium?
How many were previously uninsured?
How many lost the insurance they once had because of Obamacare?
How many have seen their premiums and deductibles go up rather than, as promised, go down?
How many have found their new policies to be unaffordable? How many enrollees are in the young and relatively healthy demographic group needed if the insurance industry is to survive in the absence of huge federal subsidies?
How many have lost a doctor or access to a hospital they were told they could keep?
And then there is the president's, and the country's, deeper problem:
How many still have confidence in what their president tells them?