WP:Nancy Pelosi told us there would be days like this. The only way to find out what was in Obamacare was to pass it and see what happens. Congress passed it, the messiah signed it, and we’re beginning to see what happens.
Barack Obama and the gang that can’t shoot straight aren’t having much fun, but if they think they aren’t having fun now, just wait. The “best” is yet to come.
The best the Democrats can say about Obamacare is that it’s an approaching train wreck, in the memorable description of Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. Mr. Baucus was one of the authors of the legislation and now he’s hurrying home to Montana for good, anxious to avert his eyes from all the hair, teeth and eyeballs soon to be scattered along the railroad right-of-way.
Pundits and professors are rifling through the thesaurus, looking for the right word to describe what the Wall Street Journal calls “a fiasco for the ages.” The Journal editorialists reminded everyone that they “fought the Affordable Care Act from start to passage, and we’d like to apologize to our readers. It turns out we weren’t nearly critical enough.”
The editors of The New York Times, Mr. Obama’s most reliable sycophants, are deep in mourning, but working furiously to apply more rouge to the corpse before it turns the parlor too fragrant for a wake. It’s summer, and they’re running out of ice.
The “downside” to the delay in implementing the employer mandate is that it gives Republican critics the facts and figures, the “ammunition to portray the health care reforms as a failure,” The Times says. But not to worry, the year’s delay decreed by the president will allow the Internal Revenue Service time to figure out “how this mandate will work … it is more important to do this right than to do it quickly.”
It’s ever so reassuring to know the IRS is on the case. 🙂
Mr. Obama and his gang obviously don’t know what to do next. Handwringing and delay is never a strategy for D-Day; when the beach slides under the bottom of the Higgins boats it’s too late to consider whether the invasion was a good idea.
The White House announced the one-year delay in enforcing the employer insurance mandate for Obamacare, which might not even be legal, just as everyone was hurrying out of Dodge for the Fourth of July holiday. Minions were hastily assigned to explain the delay.
Mark Mazur, the deputy assistant (or is it the assistant deputy?) of the Treasury assigned to dream up new taxes, complained that the delay was caused by the “complexity of the requirements.” Life, in addition to being unfair, turns out to be complicated, too.
Valerie Jarrett, the president’s most trusted (if not necessarily most competent) adviser, promised that the determined president is “staying the course.” This is not reassuring, either, since it’s “the course” that’s the source of the disaster. The flood has washed out the bridge across the river, but never mind, the road to where the bridge used to be is still there.
Obamacare probably can’t be fixed short of dumping it and starting over, but this would require an admission by the president and his men (and women) that they’re as incompetent and maladroit as events reveal them to be. The president’s acolytes in the media hail the delay as a genius stroke of politics, something to get the Democrats past the 2014 congressional elections before “the fiasco for the ages” is displayed in full.
The president knows better. If this is a genius stroke of politics, he would have called the correspondents into the Rose Garden and, flanked by Cabinet ministers, announced the delay to cheers and applause.
Over the weeks and months leading to November 2014, as The Times observes, the Republicans will have ample opportunity to apply their ammunition to a very fat and attractive target. Even now, the lawyers are searching for clients and precedents to attack the legality of Mr. Obama’s delay.
The language of the Affordable Care Act sets out in Section 1513 in “black-letter law” that its provisions “shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013.” The language is plain and clear; only a lawyer or judge could misunderstand it.
So the political move may in fact, be illegal… 🙂
Plain and clear though the language is, Obamacare was carelessly written and pounded through Congress with such speed and abandon that no one had time (or inclination) to see what was in it. Now we know, and the best is yet to come.
IBD: The IRS scandal has created a further chokepoint to force the reconsideration of Obama-Care. If House Republicans stand firm and refuse to fund any expansion of the IRS to administer ObamaCare, the public will support them in any confrontation with Obama.
Thousands of new IRS agents and employees costing billions will be needed to determine and verify eligibility for the ObamaCare tax credits for the purchase of health insurance. They are also needed to enforce the employer mandate, if it ever becomes effective, requiring employers of more than 50 full-time workers to buy certain health insurance for their workers.
They will also enforce the individual mandate requiring every individual without employer insurance to purchase the health insurance mandated by the federal government. This includes verifying that the insurance purchased by employers and individuals meets federal requirements, including designated benefits.
Without those new IRS resources Obama-Care will cause even more chaos, which we predict will include increasing the number of uninsured, rather than achieving universal coverage.
That’s because both employers and individuals will scramble to avoid the mandate, and many, especially healthy younger adults, will rely on the regulations requiring insurers to sell to them no matter how sick they become, at the same price as for those not sick.
The chaos will also include the soaring health insurance premiums we are already seeing because of the guaranteed issue and community rating regulations and all the additional required “free” benefits. That will further increase the number of uninsured.
Lower Incomes, Higher Unemployment
ObamaCare — and the uncertainty that surrounds it — will exacerbate declining real incomes and persistent high unemployment among middle-class working people as employers reduce millions to part-time employment, and restrict employment altogether, to evade ObamaCare.
This is part of the reason for the delay in the employer mandate, but a one-year delay is not a fix. Rising health insurance premiums are another form of “taxation,” burdening further an economy still in recession.
The ObamaCare chaos will further restrict access to health care in the form of $716 billion in Medicare cuts, and the limits on health care access contained in health insurance offered on the ObamaCare exchanges (attempting to keep costs down).
Such chaos will increasingly force congressional Democrats to consider alternatives to ObamaCare. House Republicans should take advantage of that by targeting some of the most politically vulnerable components of ObamaCare, namely:
• Passing a bill prohibiting ObamaCare from denying health care to anyone based on age.
• Repealing the Medicare cuts contained in ObamaCare. Medicare’s chief actuary says those cuts will cause chaos as a result of closed hospitals and other facilities and denials of health care for seniors.
• Repealing the ObamaCare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which has the authority to adopt further cuts to Medicare without congressional approval.
• Also voting to repeal the unpopular Obama-Care medical device tax and the counterproductive $100 billion a year tax on health insurance (which would also increase the uninsured).
• Repealing as well the ObamaCare slush fund that smuggles billions of taxpayer dollars to left-wing, “progressive,” Obama political activists ostensibly to help explain how to navigate ObamaCare, but actually to help further build a national political machine, effectively taking the Chicago political machine national.
• Voting to give Obama his one-year delay in the employer mandate, along with a one-year delay in the individual mandate, and the rest of the ObamaCare taxes. Or maybe they should just vote to delay the whole thing to 2017, after the next presidential election.
These actions are not intended to “fix” Obama-Care, which is not fixable, but only to further highlight what is wrong with it and challenge Democrats to abandon it. These actions will build the momentum for what ultimately needs to be done: House approval of a full Republican alternative to ObamaCare.