During the past few days the legacy media and the Internet have been flooded with news articles, editorials, and blog posts with titles like “Overhead costs exploding under ObamaCare.” This all-too-predictable phenomenon has been breathlessly reported by outlets as different in their ideological perspectives as the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Kos. Sadly, when liberal and conservative publications are equally enthusiastic about breaking a story, it usually means the latter have been duped into promoting progressive propaganda. This case is no exception. The basis for these reports is a “study” produced by a couple of notorious lefty data diddlers.
The Right Prescription
In July of 2009, as the Obamacare debate was heating up, Gallup published a survey indicating that 83 percent of Americans wanted health care reform to make their health insurance more affordable. Now, more than five years after the President’s “signature domestic achievement” was passed, health insurance premiums are higher than ever. And it’s obvious that Obamacare is a major driver of the increase. The Wall Street Journal reports that insurers are proposing rate increases ranging from 25 to 51 percent for 2016. Why? “All of them cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act.”
The Supreme Court is probably about to hand congressional Republicans a once-in-a-lifetime chance to eradicate the Obamacare contagion from the body politic, but the GOP has been typically timorous concerning whether to take advantage of this opportunity. A refreshing exception to this poltroonery has been Tom Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee. Price, who practiced medicine in Atlanta for twenty years before coming to Congress, has not only introduced an eminently viable replacement for the imploding health care “reform” law, but has also said he won’t support proposed legislation that would temporarily extend Obamacare subsidies that SCOTUS deems illegal.
In every speech he has made since announcing his presidential bid, Rand Paul has vowed to repeal Obamacare. At a Las Vegas rally he put it thus: “I will make it my mission to heal this nation… and to repeal every last bit of Obamacare!” But if Paul’s behavior in the Senate is any guide, this is empty rhetoric. Shortly after his Vegas speech, he aided the Democrats in obstructing an investigation into falsified documents submitted to the D.C. Small Business Exchange so that members of Congress and their staffers could receive subsidies to which they aren’t legally entitled.
Last week, even as Baltimore was burning, our “post-partisan” President used the tragedy as an excuse for a political cheap shot. Suggesting that the riots were caused by a paucity of inner city investment, he averred that his agenda “would make a difference right now,” but that he was being thwarted by parsimonious Republicans in Congress. Obama’s claim, which combined a characteristic lie about his own agenda with the insinuation that the GOP is the party of racism, was despicable. But it does offer an opportunity to compare the record of Obama's party on race to that of the Republicans.
The GOP seems determined to reinforce its reputation as “the stupid party.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other prominent Republicans plan to co-sponsor a piece of legislation introduced by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson that, as he recently admitted in the Wall Street Journal, would allow Obamacare subsidies issued through federal exchanges to continue for two more years — even if the Supreme Court declares them illegal. This will not only mask the negative consequences of the sloppily written law, it will antagonize the voters who reinstated the GOP congressional majority last November and provide yet more time for Obamacare to metastasize.
The Supreme Court has again thwarted the Obama administration’s illegal crusade to coerce employers into violating their religious convictions. Late last Wednesday, Associate Justice Samuel Alito stayed an order secured by the administration in a lower court that would have forced several Catholic organizations to comply with Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Despite a high-profile Supreme Court defeat last June in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, President Obama’s HHS bureaucrats and lawyers have continued their attempts to bully obviously exempt entities into obeying the mandate. Justice Alito’s action constitutes the fifth time SCOTUS has been compelled to rein the government in.
If you are masochistic enough to read the “reporting” of the legacy media on Obamacare, you will have noticed a spate of recent stories with titles like the following from CNBC: “Health spending post-Obamacare seen $2.5 trillion lower.” This headline is not only awkwardly worded. It is, like the article over which it appears, misleading. It misrepresents a new study from the left-leaning Urban Institute concerning projected health care spending in a way that suggests the nation has saved enormous amounts of money thanks to the “Affordable Care Act.”
A Supreme Court ruling against the Obama administration in King v. Burwell, according to conventional Beltway wisdom, will create serious political problems for governors and legislators in the 34 states that declined to set up Obamacare insurance exchanges. Most of these officials are Republicans, the thinking goes, and will thus be blamed for letting petty partisanship deprive their constituents of subsidies while plunging state insurance markets into chaos. Public wrath, we are told, will eventually force them to create PPACA exchanges. However, a new voter survey conducted in the affected states suggests that this is very unlikely to occur.
When will John Boehner learn that a bill is bad news if Nancy Pelosi supports it, President Obama wants to sign it, and the press sings its praises? That’s precisely what he had on his hands with H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, a.k.a. the “Doc Fix.” Yet today we find him basking in the approbation of the Beltway establishment for getting this bill passed. This “fix” will add billions to the federal deficit, replace an unworkable price control system with a worse scheme that will dictate how doctors practice medicine and place financial burdens on seniors.