August 6 2013

Congress: The ObamaCare Free Zone

Charlotte Hays

QUOTE OF THE DAY:    

America has a two-party system. But it’s not Republicans versus Democrats. It’s the ruling class — Republicans and Democrats — against everyone else. Consider how President Obama just gave Congress its very own ObamaCare waiver.

So writes Michael Cannon for National Review Online.

ObamaCare—as tax cheat Leona Helmsley famously observed for taxes—is for little people.

Congress, which imposed the burden of ObamaCare on the rest of us, will now depend on subsidies from us taxpayers to avoid feeling the pinch. Obviously, this is disgusting.

But even more distressing than the personal disgust we may experience because of Congress’ refusal to live by the laws it passes, there is the violence this exemption does to our form of representative government. We have no voice and those who decide refuse to listen to us. Then they get special privileges.

When ordinary citizens protested the health care legislation, they were dismissed as racists, even though racial politics were the last thing on their fiscally-oriented minds.

When polls showed that the people didn't want ObamaCare, Nurse Ratchett Pelosi told us that once it was passed, we'd love it. I suspect she didn't really care whether we liked it or not. She wanted to make history and realize a 50-year-old dream of her caucus regardless of the jerrybuilt nature of the new health system.

The GOP on Capitol Hill is divided on whether to defund ObamaCare, despite the presidential veto that would follow. The defunders believe that once ObamaCare subsidies kick in, we’re lost because it’s hard to cease subsidizing people once they have become dependent. Michael Barone writes:  

The fact is that no one knows for sure [what will happen after subsidies kick in]. But whatever happens, there are good reasons for Republicans to regard Obamacare as a legitimate target.

One is that, unlike Social Security and Medicare, the law was passed by Democrats only, with no bipartisan consultation. Democrats could do that only because accidents — like the later-overturned prosecution of Alaska Republican Ted Stevens — gave them a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate.

That’s a contrast with the 2003 Medicare Part D prescription-drug bill, which, as Ornstein points out, Democrats didn’t try to undercut after it was passed. But Democrats were widely consulted during the legislative process, and a nontrivial number of them voted for the final version.

A second point is that Obamacare — unlike Social Security, Medicare, and Part D — wasn’t consistently supported in public-opinion polls. Quite the contrary.

Those feelings have been intensified as glitch after glitch in Obamacare come to light — and as the president indicates, contrary to his constitutional duty, that he will not faithfully execute parts of the law.

When they passed Obamacare, Democrats thought they were achieving a triumph free of any cost. Now, as Obamacare founders, they are paying the price.

Unlike the rest of us, however, that price won’t include higher premiums.

We the citizens can say a million times that we don't like this bill, but President Obama and the Democrats on the Hill don't really care.

Listening to us would threaten their legacy.

By the way, I'd love to see the GOP members forego the subsidies and pay for their own health insurance.

But don't hold your breath.

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