“With ObamaCare so much in the news lately, we should all keep in mind that Nancy Pelosi told us that the Affordable Care Act, as it was originally called, would have to be passed before we’d know what was in it. A lot of people thought she was kidding. I wasn’t one of them. For one thing, she isn’t even as funny as Harry Reid. For another, there are a lot of nutty people in Congress, but not one of them is crazy enough to sit down and read a 2,000 page piece of legislation.
“While it’s true that L. Ron Hubbard’s Mission Earth is even longer, at least it had something of a plot. ObamaCare, on the other hand, was a plot, conceived as a way to take over a sixth of our economy, thus redistributing wealth, and turning us into Greece.
“Frankly, I can’t help taking some satisfaction in seeing some of its most passionate supporters belatedly coming to their senses. First it was the Catholic Church that thought the bill was hunky dory until the hierarchy discovered that coverage for contraception was mandated for Church employees. The unions also helped Obama shove this monstrosity down our throats. But imagine their surprise when they found out that employers were not only firing workers, but cutting hours in order to avoid the more onerous aspects of the law. When things like this happen, even the non-religious have no choice but to accept Intelligent Design by a Creator with a wicked sense of humor as a very real possibility.” –Burt Prelutsky
“ObamaCare is all about expanding the power of the Internal Revenue Service – that’s the only promise it has actually kept, the only part of the 11,000-page program that’s actually working the way it was supposed to. The IRS became as important to health care as any doctor or hospital when ObamaCare was passed, because they are its enforcement arm, and like all central planning schemes, there’s a huge amount of enforcing to be done. And IRS employees want no part of the program they’ll be enforcing on everyone else. They know better than to get involved in this train wreck. They like their existing plan, and unlike you, they think they should be able to keep their plan.” –John Hayward
“Some Republicans have joined Democrats in efforts to exempt staffers from Obamacare, but not all. Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina recently said that Congress should have to live with the same law that everyone else does.
“‘I have no problems with Congress being under the same guidelines,’ Burr said. ‘I think if this is going to be a disaster–which I think it’s going to be–we ought to enjoy it together with our constituents.’
“A spokesperson for the House Ways and Means Committee chaired by Republican Dave Camp of Michigan echoed Sen. Burr’s sentiment.
“‘If the ObamaCare exchanges are good enough for the hardworking Americans and small businesses the law claims to help,’ the spokesperson said, ‘then they should be good enough for the president, vice president, Congress and federal employees.’” –Warner Todd Huston
“President Obama does not have the authority to choose which parts of the law are enforced. In 1975, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously against President Richard Nixon’s inflated claims that he could selectively carry out the law. But going to court to keep presidents in line is slow and necessitates finding litigants to sue the president. The framers gave Congress a more practical way to resist a power-hungry president: defunding. Defunding is precisely what members of Congress are supposed to do when a president breaks the law. It’s checks and balances in action. Two centuries ago, the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution James Madison declared in Federalist No. 58 that Congress’s authority over spending is the ‘most complete and effectual tool’ to stop a president from grabbing more power than the Constitution allows.” –Betsy McCaughey
“Another absolute certainty about ObamaCare is that it will be an epic bonanza of fraud, perhaps unequaled in the history of the welfare state (and that’s really saying something.) If you thought the ObamaPhone ripoff was bad – you’re paying a surcharge on your cell phone bill so scam artists can walk away with half a dozen “free” phones – just wait until billions of dollars begin surging through the leaky pipes of ObamaCare’s monster subsidy network. This is going to be little more than an overpriced bureaucracy throwing bags of taxpayer loot on the table and shouting ‘Come and get it!’ to the people who are already rooking the welfare state for billions.
“For one thing, when Obama violated the law to move the employer mandate back a year, he also disabled the anti-fraud protections on ObamaCare’s subsidy stream, which relied heavily upon data collected from employers for security. This leaves a $600 billion subsidy system – designed to reach far into what we used to call “the middle class,” back when it had meaningful independence from government – running on the honor system, just like ObamaPhones.
“Forbes recently published a jaunty little article entitled ‘The Dishonor System: A User’s Guide to Committing Fraud On the ObamaCare Exhanges.’ Besides outlining a number of easy ways to scam the system, most of which boil down to minor paperwork fudges, the Forbes article notes that people will have plenty of incentives to cheat. They know all kinds of special deals were cut to ram ObamaCare through Congress… and now they’ve watched Obama break the law again, to give Congress a special ruling-class waiver from the requirements that will be driving their wages down, while jacking their premiums up. They know the system is rigged to punish generous employers, responsible employees, and above all healthy people. That’s an environment in which many will feel ethically justified in breaking lightly-enforced rules to get what they ‘deserve.’” –John Hayward
“Obamacare is proving too unwieldy even for the greediest of big government centralizers in the Obama administration. With only months to go before their Frankenstein was set to get its jolt of electricity in January 2014, they’ve announced a series of delays. The employer mandate, whereby businesses with 50 or more employees must certify that they are providing insurance that meets government requirements, will be delayed by a year.
“When you design a Rube Goldberg health care system with a thousand moving parts — subsidies, mandates, exchanges, reporting requirements, sliding scales and varying eligibility for Medicaid, expanded Medicaid and so forth — it doesn’t take much to bring the whole contraption to a halt. By delaying the employer mandate, the Obama administration undercut its own complex system for calculating people’s eligibility for health exchanges. In theory, it was supposed to be based on family income, family size, the lack of employer-provided insurance, eligibility for other government programs and more. …
“Under the circumstances (and leaving aside the legal problems with delaying implementation by executive fiat), the logical solution might have been to delay the entire law for one year. Instead, the administration announced that people could sign up for the exchanges based on the honor system. This outright encouragement of fraud is profoundly immoral and takes the country is precisely the wrong direction.” –Mona Charen
“The administration has popped the bubble of hope some small business had that switching to part-time staff would let them escape the high costs of Obamacare.
“The Small Business Administration on Thursday created a website to explain to businesses that the government will simply tally up the number of part-time employees firms have to determine if enough hours have been worked to essentially create a ‘full-time equivalent.’
“Some smaller businesses had thought that if they could get under the 50 full-time employee cap that activates Obamacare by cutting full-time workers and hiring more part-time workers they would escape having to provide costly health care insurance — or pay a federal fine.
“Several business organizations have been warning smaller firms of the provision in Obamacare, but many were confused and waiting for the administration to finally explain the so-called employer mandate calculation. …
“From the SBA website: ‘Example: Company X has 40 full-time employees working 40 hours per week, along with 20 part-time employees working 15 hours per week. The 20 part-time employees are counted as 10 full-time equivalent employees. Company X has 50 full-time employees and is subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions.’
“Under Obamacare, a full-time work week is just 30 hours.
“Edmund F. Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation said the rules are a problem for employers at the margin of 50 full-time workers. The rules also cover seasonal workers: If a company with seasonal workers had the equivalent of 50 full-time employees for just 121 days, Obamacare kicks in.” —Paul Bedard
“British politicians used to boast that the National Health Service was — and some left-wing holdouts maintain it still is — ‘the envy of the world.’
“These days, beset by scandal after scandal and facing spiraling costs, the NHS would be lucky to attract a covetous glance from an accident-prone Somali, and any U.S. conservative who doubts the urgency of stopping Obamacare before it can be fully implemented would do well to pay attention to the disaster unfolding across the pond. A report released last week revealed that as many as 13,000 patients may have died unnecessarily in NHS hospitals between 2005 and 2012.
“The investigation discovered appalling standards of care, with patients being left without food and water, forced to lie in soiled beds, and left in ambulances because there were no beds available. The report further accused hospital staff of being more focused on meeting government-imposed targets than on patient care.
“To make matters worse, standards were allowed to slip so dramatically because the watchdog tasked with monitoring the performance of NHS hospitals — the Care Quality Commission — covered up incidents of its employees failing to spot problems or to investigate complaints; they even used gagging orders to silence potential whistleblowers.” —Mike McNally