Breaking faith with the American people, on everything from health care to oil drilling.
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Self-Deception and Dangerous Delusions
Another passage in President Obama’s Portland health care stump speech indicates something else is going on beyond a pattern of deception. Obama said:
So now that this bill is finally law and all the folks who have been playing politics will finally have to confront the reality of what this reform is, they’re also going to have to confront the reality of what it isn’t. They’ll have to finally acknowledge that this isn’t a government takeover of our health care system. They’ll see that if Americans like their doctor, they will keep their doctor. And if you like your insurance plan, you can keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you. It hasn’t happened yet. It won’t happen in the future.
This sounds more like someone who is quite sure that the health care legislation has been grossly misunderstood and that he will be vindicated by the reality of the now enacted legislation.
So let me be the first to reveal that the now enacted legislation is, indeed, a government takeover of the health care system. President Obama’s legislation creates over 100 new government bureaucracies, agencies, boards, commissions and programs with power over health care. These government authorities will now be involved in telling doctors and hospitals what are the “best practices” in health care, what works in health care and what doesn’t, what health care is cost effective, and what is quality health care and what isn’t, as if centralized government bureaucracies will know this so much better than your own, presumably hapless doctor.
Through both the individual and employer mandates, President Obama’s legislation also forces individuals to buy and employers to provide the health insurance with the exact benefits that he and his wise bureaucrats in Washington are certain you must have, regardless of what you want. Obama and San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi kept repeating the mantra that the bill would provide “choice and competition.” But with these mandates, where is the choice, not to mention the competition? They could have created real choice and competition in a national market by allowing interstate sales of health insurance. But they were not in favor of anything that did not expand the power and reach of government, which is not where you get “choice and competition.”
Under President Obama’s legislation, the government also dictates to insurance companies exactly what health insurance they must sell, to whom they must sell it, and at what price, and even redistributes premium income among insurance companies through “risk adjustment.” There is actually no aspect of essential health care that President Obama’s legislation leaves beyond government control.
Moreover, President Obama has now bet his Presidency on “If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it.” But you can’t keep your health plan if your employer terminates your coverage. Yet the legislation President Obama just signed encourages employers to do precisely that, as they can avoid the much higher and rising costs of the mandated health insurance by dumping their employees into the Exchanges, for a penalty that is a fraction of such costs. The expert Lewin Group estimated that close to 20 million workers would lose their employer health plan in this way, an analysis which the Democrats just dismissed as a fascist plot. I say it will be a lot more.
You also can’t keep your plan if your health insurer opts out of the business. President Obama is so certain he knows so much more than his own Medicare Chief Actuary, who has said that Obama’s sharp cuts for Medicare Advantage health plans will cause close to 10 million seniors to lose those plans, which provide them better benefits and coverage than standard Medicare.
And you also can’t keep your doctor if he terminates you because he is cutting back on his practice, or retiring early as an Obamacare refugee. Or if you are a senior and he stops taking Medicare patients due to Obama’s draconian Medicare cuts.
Perhaps Obama thinks that since his legislation doesn’t even become fully effective until 2014, and it will take time to have these effects, you will forget these promises he used to sell it, just as you may have forgotten all of his campaign pledges from 2008. Or maybe he thinks he will be out of office by the time you realize what has happened, even after a now remotely possible second term.
But maybe he is self-deceived to the point that he actually believes the health care fantasies he is weaving, which certainly seems to be true of Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional Democrats. Such self-deception fantasies are clearly on display in the controversy over the reported losses by major American companies already resulting from the passage of President Obama’s health care legislation. The companies tried to tell the Democrats these losses would result from the legislation. But, again, the Democrats simply dismissed what they had to say as a right-wing plot. Now the Democrats are shocked at the reality of the companies reporting the losses in legally required public accounting statements. If those reported losses are not correct, then the SEC can and should prosecute the companies.
But the reported losses are correct, as determined by professional accountants simply complying with the law. The reaction of top Congressional Democrats and the Obama White House simply reveals how out of touch with reality they are. President Obama and the Democrats promised us their government takeover of health care would promote jobs and economic growth by reducing costs for employers, but already it is doing just the opposite.
Beyond Health Care
But we see the same patterns on other issues beyond health care. During the 2008 campaign, Obama said, “Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.” Federal spending in 2008, when he was making this promise “throughout his campaign,” was $2,983 billion. President Obama’s own budget projects federal spending for this year of $3,720 billion, and for next year of $3,837 billion. That is some net spending cut. The health care legislation President Obama just signed involves by his own admission hundreds of billions in net spending and tax increases, just over the next 10 years. I say it will be a lot more.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?