Joan Walsh of Salon.com threw a classic Salon.com race-card fit the other day because Ted Cruz referred to healthcare.gov as being run by Nigerial scam artists:

Hey, did you hear the one about the disappearing “Nigerian email scammers”? They’ve “become a lot less active lately” because they’ve “all been hired to run the Obamacare website.” That’s Sen. Ted Cruz, folks, on his Reactionary Real America Victory Tour Monday night, and he’ll be here all week, maybe all decade. Tip your waiter!

Declaring that our first black president’s signature policy achievement is being run by “Nigerian email scammers” is GOP dog-whistle politics at its finest. Of course, Cruz wasn’t just going for cheap laughs at the expense of the Affordable Care Act. He knows it’s a short hop from Nigeria to Kenya for his Obama-hating Houston audience.

Twitter - @Salon - Nigerian scammer dog whistle

It’s actually not a short hop from Nigeria to Kenya, over 2000 miles, but whatever.

I think the Nigerian scam artist analogy fits, although there is no single perfect analogy for the redistribution of wealth scheme that is Obamacare.

The American people were promised one thing, and are receiving another.  The thing they were promised — you can keep your doctor and your insurance, and pay less through easy to use exchanges — never existed, any more than “Mohammed Abacha,the son of the late Nigerian Head of State.”

But since we have to be absurdly sensitive to “short hops” from Nigeria to Kenya so as to stay off of Salon.com’s radar, perhaps we can refer to healthcare.gov, and Obamacare more generally, as BernieMadoff.healthcare.gov.  Again, not a perfect analogy, but it demonstrates a point.

Once again, what you are promised is not what you get.  As with Madoff, the promise was merely the hook, and those who “pay less” rely on future insureds and taxpayers paying more.  If those future insureds, particularly The Bros, fail to pay in more than they should, Obamacare collapses much like a ponzi scheme collapses when the con artist can’t find new “investors” to pay older investors.

 CBS News reports that HealthCare.gov pricing feature can be off the mark:

CBS News has uncovered a serious pricing problem with HealthCare.gov. It stems from the Obama administration’s efforts to improve its health care website. A new online feature can dramatically underestimate the cost of insurance.

The administration announced it would provide a new “shop and browse” feature Sunday, but it’s not giving consumers the real picture. In some cases, people could end up paying double of what they see on the website, CBS News’ Jan Crawford reported Wednesday on “CBS This Morning.” …

But CBS News has learned the new “shop and browse” feature often comes with the wrong price tags….

CBS News ran the numbers for a 48-year-old in Charlotte, N.C., ineligible for subsidies. According to HealthCare.gov, she would pay $231 a month, but the actual plan on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s website costs $360, more than 50 percent higher. The difference: Blue Cross and Blue Shield requests your birthday before providing more accurate estimates.

The numbers for older Americans are even more striking. A 62-year-old in Charlotte looking for the same basic plan would get a price estimate on the government website of $394. The actual price is $634….

Industry executives CBS News spoke with could not believe the government is providing these estimates, which they said were useless and could easily mislead consumers. They also said that the website repeatedly states the actual prices could be lower, but it makes no mention that they could be higher.

I hope that comparing healthcare.gov and Obamacare to Bernie Madoff is not, you know, anti-Semitic, because it’s almost precisely the same hop from Jerusalem to Kenya, as from Nigeria to Kenya