ObamaCare’s Chickens Come Home to Roost

Democrats, anticipating rage over huge premium increases scheduled for 2017, are already trying to blame Republicans

US President Barack Obama walks toward Marine One while departing from the White House, November 2, 2016 in Washington, DC. President Obama is traveling to North Carolina and Florida to campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

US President Barack Obama. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Lies passed ObamaCare legislation, lies supported its implementation. As its death spiral begins, angry and panicked lies by Democratic apologists attempt to deflect accountability for its economic devastation.

ObamaCare’s economic wreckage will insure President Barack Obama’s now classic promises regarding ObamaCare will eventually scar his legacy. History is written usually by the victors. In the case of ObamaCare, the economic losers are so numerous their bitter complaints will write the titles, fill the chapters and pack the footnotes.

Here are two examples of his great falsehoods:

“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” President Obama, June 15, 2009

He repeated  the “keep your doctor lie” the next day, in a speech to the American Medical Association.

“No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.” President Barack Obama, June 16, 2009

The last link leads to the White House website.

Obama has managed to escape accountability for a deception that has damaged many middle class families. When he skated through the 2012 presidential campaign America had yet to feel the full extent of ObamaCare’s policy disaster.  Presidential debate moderators didn’t press him on the point. Obama could sell himself as hope.

It’s November 2016.  The empirical evidence is in. His “Keep you doctor” and “keep your policy” statements were blatant falsehoods.

* * *

Nancy Pelosi has evaded accountability for her infamous ObamaCare comment: “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

Pass it to find out. How blithe and casual, but then she is a liberal Democrat who expects Ultimate Media Privilege.

 

I say it is reprehensible to gamble with legislation that would affect medical care, medical research and medical manufacturing in the U.S. Amalgamated, medicine amounts to roughly 16 percent of the U.S. economy.

The “fog of controversy” Pelosi disdained included political posturing—her posturing, for example. But in a healthy democracy controversy also includes rational discussion and reasoned analysis. In 2009 the Democrats had the White House. They also had the votes in Pelosi’s House and 60 votes in the Senate. They had what amounted to a “lock” on federal political power in the U.S. A lock is one thing, but in Barack Obama America also had a president who despised his Republican opposition. His personal contempt and disdain for Republicans was palpable. He brooked no discussion and refused to engage in any semblance of give and take politics. Reasoned analysis was something MIT’s Jonathan Gruber provided—not Paul Ryan.

Barack Obama’s words and deeds indicated he believed reasoned analysis in American governance was the province of Democrats. Republicans? Fill in the usual community organizer rhetoric: evil, stupid, heartless, starve the poor, feed’em ketchup, etc.

One of the most pernicious lies spread by ObamaCare supporters in government—and the press—was that Republicans offered no ideas.

So Democrats rammed ObamaCare’s health insurance monstrosity down America’s collective throat. Not one single Republican legislator voted for the monstrosity.

Democrats, anticipating raging public ire over the huge ObamaCare premium increases scheduled for 2017,  are already trying to blame Republicans for the hapless program. Yes, lies attempt to shift blame as ObamaCare expires.

But here’s the truth. Obama lied. ObamaCare’s about to die.

* * *

ObamaCare’s official name, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, wages war on honesty. The ACA is not affordable. It doesn’t protect patients and certainly doesn’t protect their wallets. It’s lack of affordability and its bureaucratic incompetence ultimately limits and in many cases denies medical care to millions of Americans.

In Fall 2016 the press can no longer ignore ObamaCare’s looming failure.

“At least 1.4 million people in 32 states will lose the ObamaCare plan they have now, according to state officials contacted by Bloomberg…”

To summarize the Bloomberg analysis, ObamaCare gives Americans fewer medical insurance choices, not more. The remaining choices are more expensive. As a result, a large number of people are losing or will lose access to health care that was available prior to the ACA’s implementation.

“In North Carolina, for example, a BlueCross BlueShield insurer will be the only option in 95 of the state’s 100 counties after Aetna and UnitedHealth said this year that they would leave. That will leave 284,000 people looking for a new plan, according to the state….In Tennessee, UnitedHealth and the state’s BlueCross BlueShield plan are pulling back, and about 117,000 people will lose the plans…”

Bottom line: ObamaCare’s collapse not longer looms. It has arrived.

* * *

ObamaCare ought to teach politicians that fining people for failing to buy a defective product is a poor motivator. Whether the ObamaCare penalty is called a fine or a tax doesn’t matter to the middle-class wallet. Failure to buy what the bureaucrats call a qualifying policy extracts cash from American taxpayers.

How does a citizen object to what amounts to an opaque bureaucratic decision? Great question. We’ve passed the legislation but Nancy Pelosi herself cannot tell us precisely what’s in it.

In “The Federalist 62” James Madison argued that “Laws must be few, understandable, and stable.”

“The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous – It poisons the blessings of liberty itself – It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow.”

ObamaCare “system picture” originally appeared in 2010 Investors Business Daily produced a “system picture of ObamaCare. The IBD link is no longer active. This one is.

The private sector rewards people who produce goods and provide services that solve problems or satisfy desires. Those who don’t struggle and fail. Not so in the government sector if an unrestrained and unaccountable political class  continues to support a failed program with taxpayer billions.

*  *  *

MIT professor and self-proclaimed genius Jonathan Gruber has disappeared down the mainstream media memory hole, just like Democratic Party operative and street fighting man Robert Creamer.

The War On Honesty hasn’t forgotten him. Here’s Genius Gruber proudly asserting that the American people are too stupid to understand what’s good for them.

According to Genius Gruber, the Obama Administration’s calculated lack of transparency helped pass the law.

 

In other words, bureaucratic jargon and tortured linguistic obfuscation allowed the Congressional Budget Office to avoid scoring the ObamaCare mandate as “taxes.”

Genius Gruber is admitting vague language is a bureaucratic tool waging war on honesty and deceiving the American people.

Genius Gruber made a lot of money as a paid consultant and an adviser on health care legislation. Vermont paid him $400,000.

He also had a $297,000 consulting contract with Health and Human Services which he did not disclose while publicly promoting ObamaCare.

Essentially, Genius Gruber got a paycheck for conspiring to commit a calculated intellectual and political deception. And he seems to be proud of it.

*  *  *

Ah yes, the website fiasco. The rollout was a study in incompetence.

The Democrats’ culture of crony capitalist corruption is part of the backstory.

According to the Daily Caller, the website contract was a $678 million no-bid contract given to CGI Federal, a company whose senior vice-president was a college chum of Michelle Obama.

According to the mainstream media Michelle is beloved. I’ll bet she’s beloved at CGI Federal.

* * *

One of the most pernicious lies spread by ObamaCare supporters in government—and the press—was that Republicans offered no ideas.

That’s false.

February 8, 2010, Reuters: “Republicans favor less ambitious legislation with a much smaller price tag and no tax increases.”

Note Reuters used the phrase “Less ambitious.” “More practical and more easily implemented” would have been a much more accurate assessment of the Republican alternatives. I know, that assessment would have violated the mainstream media narrative.

The list at the link, however, is accurate and fairly thorough, so Reuters deserves a thank you. I’ll quote four Republican ideas from the report that illustrate my point about practicality and comparative ease of implementation.

  • Allow insurers to sell policies across state lines. Currently health insurance is regulated by the states and consumers in one state cannot purchase a policy sold in another state. Republicans argue that the current restriction locks people into expensive plans in states with high minimum-coverage requirements. Critics argue the proposal could spark a race to the bottom for coverage and consumer protections. The Senate-passed Democratic healthcare bill included a version of this proposal.
  • Create new state high-risk pools or reinsurance programs to provide insured people access to health insurance. Republican backers argue this would give everyone access to insurance coverage. Critics argue that most of the millions of uninsured people are between jobs and would not be able to afford the premiums that, at least in one proposal put forward by Representative Dave Camp, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, would be capped at 150 percent of the average premiums within a state.
  • Some Republicans, including Senate Finance Committee member Charles Grassley, call for barring insurers from excluding people with pre-existing conditions and argue that the reinsurance program would allow for coverage of those people who wait until they get sick before purchasing insurance. Reinsurance pool premiums would be higher than regular insurance. The Democratic bill bars insurers from excluding people with pre-existing conditions. But their bill would require everyone to purchase insurance to prevent people from waiting until they get sick to get coverage, which would send insurance premiums soaring.
  • Allow small businesses to pool together in associations to purchase health insurance. Republicans argue this would help them obtain more-affordable coverage. The Democratic bill would create insurance pools through new state and national exchanges where individuals and businesses would shop for insurance plans. (Source: Reuters)

There were other Republican and bi-partisan suggestions, such as opening up Medicare with sliding scale premiums, co-pays and deductibles. In 2013 Dr. Ben Carson sketched a plan using medical savings accounts.

Carson also compared ObamaCare to slavery—hey, it was enslaving to force people to try to sign up through a malfunctioning website and then fining/taxing them for failing to do so.

* * *

Ah, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. In a diatribe he delivered September 16, 2001—in the wake of 9/11—Wright thundered “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

It was an ugly, crude, anti-American insult.

Now ObamaCare’s chickens have come home to roost. ObamaCare is an economic and political disaster  imposed by Barack Obama and his Democratic Party. Wright’s insult consisted of stupid words that can be mocked and ignored. Not so the roosting disaster of ObamaCare. It will take a decade and billions of dollars to repair.

Austin Bay is a contributing editor at StrategyPage.com and adjunct professor at the University of Texas in Austin. His most recent book is a biography of Kemal Ataturk (Macmillan 2011). Bay is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel and Iraq veteran. He has a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Columbia University.

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