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The Perfect Storm: ObamaCare and DemoDebt

By Mark Alexander
web posted September 23, 2013

The DemoDebt showdown on September 30 and the implementation deadline for the next major phase of Obama's UNaffordable Care Act on October 1 are combining to create the "perfect storm," a formula for extended economic stagnation and, consequently, the greatest domestic threat to American Liberty and free enterprise since Franklin Roosevelt's despotic administration.

To summarize, in 2010, under Democrat majorities in the House and Senate, Barack Hussein Obama obtained one of the Left's most coveted political prizes -- a plan to nationalize health care. This had long been the "crown jewel" of socialist governments, having also been proposed by Hillary Clinton during her husband's regime.

The stated rationale for the so-called "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," now ubiquitously called "ObamaCare" (but perhaps more aptly called ObamaCareless"), was to "control health care costs" and "provide insurance coverage for the uninsured," approximately 15% of Americans with no medical coverage -- which is not to say no medical care.

Of course, the real rationale for ObamaCare is the implementation of a scheme that will ultimately give the central government authoritarian regulatory control over more than 20% of the U.S. economy. Obama and his NeoCom cadres of statists on the Left have effectively hijacked the once-noble Democrat Party and converted it into their own socialist party tool in their ongoing effort to pull the plug on our Constitution.

Ultimately, the objective of ObamaCare is to implement a massive single-payer system, in effect, placing the management and rationing of health care services under the thumb of a bloated and inefficient central government, with the objective of using that "achievement" as a major political stepping stone to implement a much broader socialist agenda in the coming years.

Our nation is about to take a great leap in that direction, with devastating consequences.

As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid surmised earlier this summer, "What we've done with ObamaCare is a step in the right direction, but we're far from having something that's going to work forever. ... We had a real good run at the public option ... don't think we didn't have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system." When asked if he really meant to say "single payer," Reid responded, "Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes!"

Indeed, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the grossly misnamed "Health and Human Services" bureaucracy, infamously proclaimed during Obama's first presidential campaign, "I'm all for a single-payer system eventually."

For his part, Obama was clear in his objective to nationalize health care: "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14% of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody."

In other words, Obama's objective is to convert the U.S. into a Euro-style socialist state. Were he to look across The Pond, however, he would notice that the UK is now moving to privatize its National Health Service in order to avoid the fate of other EuroUnion states teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

Recall, if you will, the inimitable words of Winston Churchill: "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." More recently, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher aptly noted, "Socialist governments ... always run out of other people's money. They then start to nationalize everything."

Sound familiar?

So, with the debt ceiling deadline looming, and implementation of ObamaCare imminent, the war of words is heating up, with Republicans in the House attempting to use the debt debate as leverage to defund or modify ObamaCare. Republicans will not fall on their sword over Obama's unmitigated government spending and growth, but will hopefully obtain some ObamaCare concessions using the debt debate as leverage.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has announced that he would advance a bill to make raising the debt ceiling conditional on defunding or delaying implementation of ObamaCare. In doing so, he and his Republican colleagues will argue that they are merely following Obama's lead, as he has already unilaterally delayed certain mandates that could be a political liability for the Left.

For his part, Obama is using his center stage bully pulpit to undermine the Republican maneuver: "We don't have an urgent deficit crisis. The only crisis we have is the one that is manufactured in Washington, and it's ideological. And the basic notion is that we shouldn't be helping people get health care and we shouldn't be helping kids who can't help themselves and whose parents are under resourced, we shouldn't be helping them get a leg up."

Last Monday, Obama stepped up the Demo-goguery: "Republicans in Congress don't seem to be focused on how to grow the economy and build the middle class. ... [A]re some of these folks really so beholden to one extreme wing of their party they're willing to tank the entire economy just because they can't get their way on this issue?"

And the master of "smoke and mirrors" offered this debt-ceiling lesson to his low-info supporters who "haven't been keeping up": "Now, this debt ceiling -- I just want to remind people in case you haven't been keeping up -- raising the debt ceiling ... does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy. All it does is it says you got to pay the bills that you've already racked up, Congress. ... It's always a tough vote because the average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we're running up our debt, so people don't like to vote on it."

"Pay the bills that you've already racked up, Congress"? Apparently Obama's trillion dollar "economic stimulus program" FAIL is just something Congress "racked up."

South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson had it right back in 2009, when he interrupted Obama's introduction of his nationalizing health care plan to a joint session of Congress: "You Lie! You LIE!"

I second that motion, without apology, and have found that it is applicable to just about anything Obama says.

Of course, Republicans are endeavoring to "grow the economy and build the middle class" as Obama takes the nation down the tubes.

According to the Congressional Budget Office this week, Obama's plan to continue mounting debt on future generations is unsustainable, and that debt load is exacerbated by the rising costs of ObamaCare.

As the number of major corporations opting out of ObamaCare grows, and as states and individuals start calculating the enormous cost of the exchange programs, and as even Obama's most ardent supporters -- unions -- abandon his socialist scheme to nationalize health care, Obama defiantly claims, "A lot of the, you know, horror stories that were predicted about how this was gonna shoot rates way up and there were gonna be death panels and all that stuff, none of that stuff's happened. And in two weeks, the Affordable Care Act is gonna help millions of more people. And there's no serious evidence that the law, which has helped to keep down the rise in health care costs to their lowest level in 50 years, is holding back economic growth. All of the horror stories that were talked about have not come true."

Not YET! In the words of P.J. O'Rourke, "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."

ObamaCare costs

Even the liberal editors of Obama's hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, opined, "Let's delay and rewrite this ill-conceived law. Congress need not start from scratch. Lawmakers can build on what all of us have learned from three years of painful trial and error. Three years of attempting, but failing, to make this clumsy monstrosity work for the American people."

Obama blames the fracturing of his ObamaCare coalition on propaganda: "The problem we have is that over the last four years billions of dollars have been spent misinforming people about what this law is about. All of the horror stories that were talked about have not come true."

But in fact it's the Left's dezinformatsia propaganda machine that has spent billions "misinforming people." And that was before the bludgeoning from a $700 million taxpayer-funded ObamaCare marketing blitz, funneled primarily to Demo friendly ad agencies and media outlets.

ObamaCare also gives the government strong-arm capabilities associated with communist dictatorships. Most notably, Sarah Hall Ingram, who served as commissioner of the IRS office responsible for targeting Obama's "enemies list" in 2012, is now in charge of the IRS office enforcing ObamaCare mandates. This greatly expands the opportunity to target a much broader "enemies list" with a wide range of tax and regulatory compliance mandates.

Ingram and her cronies have at their disposal an unprecedented amount of personal information centralized under the ObamaCare Data Hub, a compilation database of all manner of information on every American, ostensibly to determine eligibility for subsidized insurance.

With the brewing political battle over the budget deficits and implementation delays as a backdrop, here is the shortlist of ObamaCare bullet points from our previous analysis on this socialist behemoth:

  • Suspension of employer mandate -- Obama unilaterally suspended application of the employer mandate portion of the law. This is a clear violation of constitutional authority. Obama has stepped over the Constitution, as he frequently does, to pick and choose which laws or portions of laws he enforces without consultation with Congress. It also throws the law off balance, because it allows employers to skip their obligations but leaves individual consumers and employees beholden to the law.
  • Congressional Exemption -- The Office of Personnel Management quietly issued a blanket exception that allowed Congress and congressional staffers to continue to receive their generous health benefits rather than having to enroll in ObamaCare. Louisiana Sen. David Vitter has introduced legislation to reverse the OPM exemption and end the subsidy, as required by the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act, one of Newt Gingrich's Contract With America provisions. Of course, Congress continues to exempt itself from most mandates and regulations it imposes on the rest of the nation.
  • Political Exemptions -- HHS has issued exemptions to hundreds of employers, nonprofit groups, and union organizations for delaying their entry into ObamaCare. The reasons for the exemptions are because these groups will lose employees, money, or members by taking part in the law as it is currently designed. However, the exemptions have been either arbitrary or directly linked to organizations that have publicly supported the law or the president and Democratic elected officials.
  • Subsidies -- HHS lifted all restrictions for people applying for subsidies to pay for federally approved health benefits. These millions of people will therefore be on the honor system in reporting their income or whether they are already receiving assistance from an employer or other federal entitlement -- a clear invitation to mass-scale fraud.
  • Insurance premium increases -- ObamaCare claims that premiums will not go up. Indiana is predicting a 72% hike; Ohio is predicting an 88% hike. Florida and California project even greater devastating increases.
  • Insurance coverage changes -- A July Wall Street Journal analysis revealed that few of the low-rate insurance policies that healthy people now purchase will be available once the law is fully implemented. Individuals will be forced to pay more regardless of their need for coverage.
  • California insurance companies opting out -- In the nation's most populous state, Anthem Blue Cross is opting out of covering small businesses. UnitedHealth and Aetna are opting out of individual consumer insurance pools. This severely threatens the viability of the insurance exchange in the state.
  • Doctors opting out -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced in August that the number of doctors opting out of seeing Medicaid patients has tripled in the last three years. Doctors are also limiting the number of Medicare patients they treat, and fewer doctors are taking on new Medicaid patients.
  • Implementation Delays -- During the last week of August 2013, HHS delayed signing agreements with insurance companies that would sell plans on the federal exchanges beginning October 1. One reason was the technical difficulties in coordinating the display of information on federal websites.
  • ObamaCare Speak -- The IRS rules defining minimum essential coverage do not mention the word "tax" in explaining the penalty for not meeting minimum coverage standards. Instead, the new phrase is "shared responsibility payment."
  • Power of the Exchanges -- Federal and state bureaucrats will have the power to arbitrarily bar from taking part in the insurance exchanges any physician or health care services that don't meet certain standards. Standards, by the way, are being set by an unnamed and unaccountable panel of experts appointed by the government -- in other words, death panels. States and the federal government will also be able to bar the sale of insurance to individuals and small businesses outside the exchanges.
  • Seeking Donations from the Private Sector -- this past spring, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius privately reached out to numerous health industry officials, businesses and charitable groups, asking them to provide material or financial donations to aid the implementation of ObamaCare. She wrote letters or made phone calls to private groups, church organizations, and health industry executives. The presumption was that larger organizations were expected to contribute more.
  • "Bending the Cost Curve" -- ObamaCare was supposed to bend the cost curve down. But a May report by the House Energy and Commerce Committee compiled from 17 of the country's largest insurance companies stated that insurance premiums will rise 100% on average, and in some cases as high as 400%. Small businesses will see hikes of 50% to 100%.
  • Employers trimming coverage -- Insurance brokers are now designing and packaging bare-bones plans that employers can offer to their employees in order to cut costs. The plans are modeled after traditional catastrophic care plans that offer coverage for only certain circumstances. These plans will remain within the realm of the law because the level of employer-sponsored coverage was never specified.

All this being said, there is a silver lining.

Ironically, Obama, the consummate narcissist, having himself embraced the name "ObamaCare," will, along with future generations of Democrats, suffer a severe reversal of political fortunes. Why? Upon the implementation of ObamaCare, every American of every political stripe who has any issue with health care, whether a hangnail or heart transplant, will blame Obama and the Democrats, who were solely responsible for forcing this abomination upon the American people.

In the meantime, until a majority of "we, the people" are ready and willing to throw off this tyrannical burden, we will suffer the consequences. As 18th century philosopher Joseph de Maistre wrote, "Every nation gets the government it deserves."

In 1816, Thomas Jefferson provided the words that should form the rallying cry for every conservative candidate on the 2014 ballot: "We must make our election between economy and Liberty, or profusion and servitude." ESR

Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.

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