The Supreme Court’s decision to hear two constitutional challenges to the HHS contraception mandate has frightened Obamacare’s media cheerleaders into launching another of their propaganda campaigns designed to protect the “reform” law from itself. Those Americans still naïve enough to rely on establishment news outlets for information on current events are being told that Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius are part of a sinister conspiracy to restrict access to birth control, endow corporations with religious rights, and escalate the “war on women.”
The Right Prescription
On Thursday afternoon the Obama Administration made another attempt to persuade the public that the number of people who are losing their health insurance in the individual market really isn’t that bad. Since President Obama has said that such people can keep their insurance for another year, it’s not clear why the administration bothered. The best guess at this point is they are in Throw-As-Much-Propaganda-Out-There-And-See-What-Sticks mode.
Anyway, the Department of Health and Human Services touted a study by the liberal health-care group FamiliesUSA that purported to show that “less than 1 percent of nation’s non-elderly are at risk of losing their current individual market plan and paying more for insurance” on the Obamacare exchanges.
To get that one percent number FamiliesUSA assumed that everyone below 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) is eligible for a subsidy to help purchase insurance on the exchanges. As the study claims:
The conventional Beltway wisdom about Obamacare’s future is that it will be very difficult to repeal, even if the 2014 midterms end with the GOP still in control of the House and holding a majority in the Senate. This mindset is epitomized by David Frum, who recently concluded a blog post with the following admonition: “Repeal is a fantasy. Reform is the task ahead.” Like a lot of establishment journalists, Frum has a short memory. The repeal of the “Affordable Care Act” is by no means without precedent in recent congressional history. In fact, one need look no farther back than 1989 to find a corollary.
It is wrong, of course, to take pleasure in the misfortune of others. Still, I must confess that I have derived no small amount of schadenfreude from news stories about Obamacare advocates who have been adversely affected by the not-so-Affordable Care Act. It would take a stronger man than yours truly to suppress a smile as the law’s media pimps pule about their canceled health plans, when smug urban progressives get mugged by the reality of “reform,” and lifelong Democrats publicly denounce President Obama as a brazen liar while declaring their intention to become foot soldiers for the Republican Party.
John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, criticized Obamacare twelve months too early.
It was a year ago today when the Naples Daily News reported Schnatter responding to a question about whether Obamacare would cause Papa John’s franchise owners to reduce their employees’ work hours, “That’s probably what’s going to happen. It’s common sense. That’s what I call lose-lose.”
Under Obamacare’s employer mandate companies with 50 or more full-time employees—“full time” defined as 30 hours a week or more—must provide their workers with health insurance or pay a hefty fine. Schnatter was pointing out that his franchise owners would have an incentive to reduce many employees to 29 hours or less so as to limit the number of full-time employees to less than 50.
Last Friday, capping off a week filled with disturbing revelations of bureaucratic incompetence and presidential mendacity concerning Obamacare, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the “reform” law’s notorious contraception mandate. On behalf of the majority, Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote that the mandate would force the plaintiffs in Gilardi v. HHS to choose between bankruptcy and violating their religious beliefs: “They can either abide by the sacred tenets of their faith, pay a penalty of over $14 million and cripple the companies they have spent a lifetime building, or they become complicit in a grave moral wrong.”