The coming train wreck

“If you think the Obama health law is only for the uninsured and you won’t be affected, you’re in for a surprise next time you go to the doctor. Be prepared for questions unrelated to why you are seeking medical help — questions that you don’t want to answer.

“Whether you’re at the dermatologist or the cardiologist, you’ll likely be asked: ‘Are you sexually active? If so, do you have one partner, multiple partners or same-sex partners?’

“Doctors are being turned into government agents, where they’re pressured financially to ask questions they consider inappropriate and unnecessary and violate their Hippocratic Oath to keep patients’ records confidential.” —Obama Wants Your Sexual History, by Betsy McCaughey

“The Left has a long history of convincing its supporters to slip on fur-lined chains of obedience in every other aspect of their lives, by convincing them the only liberty that really matters is sexual freedom, which mean Bible-thumping judgmental conservative prudes want to take away. Guess what, suckers? Now you’re going to have ObamaCare inspectors monitoring your bedroom activities, and you’ve traded away too much of your freedom and dignity to say “no.” The government owns your body now, and it has a vested interest in observing and controlling everything you do with it. […]

“The ObamaCare commissars are so desperate to push their crappy exchanges into service on October 1 that they’ve forgone security measures. There’s not much training or vetting for the gigantic army of bureaucrats hired to administer this disaster.

“Last week, a staffer accidentally sent an unsecured Microsoft Excel spreadsheet containing 2,400 Social Security numbers to an insurance broker who wanted to become an ObamaCare navigator. The crack ObamaCare data security team swung into action by calling the broker and asking him to delete the file. Doubtless the data harvested on your sex life will be treated with equal care.” —ObamaCare Monitors Your Sex Life, by John Hayward

“The machinations surrounding ObamaCare go all the way back to 1995, when the first Republican congressional majority in 40 years passed the Congressional Accountability Act that applied 13 civil rights, labor, and workplace safety and health laws to the United States Congress and its Legislative Branch agencies. They required those entities to follow many of the same laws applied to the private and public sectors. In 2009, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) proposed a similar amendment for ObamaCare, and it was unanimously adopted by the Finance Committee.

“When a watered-down version of that amendment (excluding committee staff members) was included in the Christmas Eve passage of ObamaCare in 2010, Harry Reid neglected to address what would happen to the health insurance premium subsidies the government provides for Congress and their staff members. As a result of Reid’s mistake, approximately 11,000 members of Congress and their staffs would have lost the coverage they currently receive under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Those premium subsidies range from $5,000 to $11,000.

“Unsurprisingly, these Washington insiders were outraged at the thought of being placed in the ‘Medicaid Plus’ programs being offered at the exchanges, even as they would be forced to come up with thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for an inferior-quality health insurance plan. Congressmen even had the nerve to warn of a ‘brain drain’ from Washington if the law remained intact. Those would be the ‘brains’ that have helped to accumulate $17 trillion of national debt, and more than $85 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

“On July 31, the president told Democrats in a closed door meeting that he would become personally involved in resolving the issue. One week later, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) proposed a new rule ‘fixing’ the problem, absent the necessity of congressional approval. That the OPM lacks the authority to make such changes, whether they are in the form of paying for insurance plans that lack FEHBP contracts, allowing exchange contributions, or giving Congress and their staffs a de facto pay raise in return for having to contribute more to their own healthcare costs, is apparently irrelevant.” —DC’s Fight over ObamaCare Exemption Gets Dirty, by Arnold Ahlert

“Just when you think Washington politics couldn’t get dirtier, Congress finds a new low. To hold onto their illegal Obamacare subsidy that no other American earning $174,000 could get, members of Congress are trying to silence the subsidy’s chief critic, Sen. David Vitters, by dredging up a 2007 unproven accusation that Vitters patronized a prostitute before being elected to the Senate.

“Shockingly, the cabal also proposes that any member of Congress who votes for Vitter’s proposal would be ineligible for the subsidy if Vitter fails and the subsidy stays. Has anyone in Congress read the Constitution? You can’t make a lawmaker’s future remuneration dependent on how he votes. […]

“Don’t depend on the subsidy’s supporters to defend it on the merits. There are none. Instead, according to draft legislation obtained by Politico, Democrats are weighing whether to eliminate health care subsidies for lawmakers for whom there is ‘probable cause’ that they patronized prostitutes, or to deny the subsidy to lawmakers who vote for Vitter’s amendment.

“‘Harry Reid is acting like an old-time Vegas mafia thug, and a desperate one at that,’ Vitter said in a statement. ‘This just shows how far Washington insiders will go to protect their special Obamacare exemption.’

“These goings-on help to explain why Congress’s job approval rating is 11 percent approve, versus 75 percent disapprove (Fox 9/6 to 9/8).” —Sex and Subsidies in the Nation’s Capital, by Betsy McCaughey

“So the Republican-controlled House of Representatives — with the help of a couple of Democrats — has voted to defund ObamaCare. In response, President Obama, declaring that the Republicans are ‘trying to mess with me,’ has accused the House of trying to shut down the government.

“But the government will only shut down if Obama vetoes the budget that comes to his desk. The House budget funds everything except for implementation of the Affordable Care Act better known as ObamaCare. In truth, by refusing even to negotiate with the House leadership and threatening to veto a budget that doesn’t fit his own specifications, it is Obama, not the House of Representatives, who is putting the country at risk of a government shutdown.

“It’s also sadly typical that Obama sees this debate as being all about him. The Republicans aren’t trying to overturn a deeply unpopular bill that was crammed through on a party-line vote despite widespread opposition by Republicans and Democrats. They’re ‘trying to mess with’ Obama. It’s not about policies or governance, it’s about personalities. […]

“One reason, I suspect, that he’s set down a red line on ObamaCare is that it’s pretty much the only legislative accomplishment he can claim as his legacy. The problem with that is that ObamaCare was unpopular in 2010 (that’s why Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who crammed it through, is no longer speaker, but a minority figure in a GOP-controlled House). ObamaCare has become, if anything, even more unpopular now as costs have risen way beyond projections even as the number of people covered has shrunk to less than half of what was advertised. People are losing their insurance — or their jobs — as policies are canceled and employers shift to part-time hiring in order to escape ObamaCare’s onerous restrictions. It’s no wonder that an NBC poll a week ago found that 45% of U.S. adults say that the Affordable Care Act will make the health care situation in the U.S. worse, while only 23% say the law will make it better. And as ABC notes, currently 52% oppose the law, and, even more striking: ‘In 16 ABC-Post polls since August 2009, it has never received majority support.’

“Now, in spite of these sentiments, Obama will negotiate with Iran or Syria, but not with the House Republicans. And if the Senate passes the House bill and sends it to him, Obama will presumably enforce this red line and veto the budget, plunging the nation into a government shutdown.” —Obama Selfish, Stubborn on Health Care, by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

“The most important red line of Barack Obama’s presidency was scrawled hastily in January 2007, a few weeks before he even announced he was running for president.

“Soon-to-be-candidate Obama, then an Illinois senator, was thinking about turning down an invitation to speak at a big health care conference sponsored by the progressive group Families USA, when two aides, Robert Gibbs and Jon Favreau, hit on an idea that would make him appear more prepared and committed than he actually was at the moment. Why not just announce his intention to pass universal health care by the end of his first term?

“Thus was born Obamacare, a check-the-box, news-cycle expedient that would ultimately define a president.

“‘We needed something to say,’ recalled one of the advisers involved in the discussion. ‘I can’t tell you how little thought was given to that thought other than it sounded good. So they just kind of hatched it on their own. It just happened. It wasn’t like a deep strategic conversation.’” —President Obama’s Health Care Conversion, by Carrie Budoff Brown and Glenn Thrush

“Premiums are bound to go up significantly. The law mandates coverage for pre-existing conditions and requires insurers to pay for procedures and services they previously had the discretion to withhold or charge more for, which makes providing health care to the insured more expensive. The only way to hold costs down is to bring younger, healthier people into the system. But those are the very people most likely to pay the fines rather than pay exponentially more for insurance.

“Obamacare is a house of cards just waiting to fall of its own weight. As unhappy as Americans are now at the prospect of Obamacare, just wait until they have to live under it. Even Democrats will be pushing to rewrite the law once their constituents feel its full effects.” —Let Obamacare Fail on Its Own, by Linda Chavez

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