Thursday, November 14, 2013

Keep On Digging

So let me see if I can get this Obamacare debacle straight.

Four years ago Democrats, without a single Republican vote in either house of Congress, passed a law that had to be passed before we could know what was in it.

The Supreme Court ruled that the law was legal under Congress' taxing authority, but didn't comment on whether the law was legal as it did not originate in the House of Representatives, as all taxing measures must as stated in the Constitution.

On multiple occasions, the president stated that under his signature law, you could keep your current insurance and/or doctor if you liked them.  Everyone in the administration knew this not to be true.  Even mainstream Democrats now admit this, it's really not up for debate.

President Obama, unilaterally and without any authority to do so granted by law, granted a one-year extension for businesses to cover employees.

One of the Republican demands during the government shutdown was an agreement to delay the individual mandate for insurance by one year.  Obama and the Democrats refused and eventually won that battle.

The Obamacare web site was opened in early October and flopped miserably.  People could not sign up for insurance.  If the contractor cannot get the web site operational by the end of the year, citizens will be put in a bind--they'll be fined for not having the very insurance they're incapable of signing up for.  There's no provision in the law not to fine them.

Democrats in Congress are starting to talk about delaying the individual mandate by a year, something they refused to do only a couple months ago back when only "terrorists" and "anarchists" were suggesting such a thing.

Concurrently, the president said today that he's looking at ways to allow people to keep the insurance that he promised that he could keep but that got cancelled because it did not conform to what his law said it should conform to.  There's no provision in the law to allow this, it would have to be a new law.  Obviously the insurance industry, which has spent years preparing for Obamacare, is now upset over even more changes they'll have to deal with (and which will certainly cost them money).

Have I missed anything?

To some degree I'm sharing Jonah Goldberg's schadenfreude:
If you can’t take some joy, some modicum of relief and mirth, in the unprecedentedly spectacular beclowning of the president, his administration, its enablers, and, to no small degree, liberalism itself, then you need to ask yourself why you’re following politics in the first place. Because, frankly, this has been one of the most enjoyable political moments of my lifetime. I wake up in the morning and rush to find my just-delivered newspaper with a joyful expectation of worsening news so intense, I feel like Morgan Freeman should be narrating my trek to the front lawn. Indeed, not since Dan Rather handcuffed himself to a fraudulent typewriter, hurled it into the abyss, and saw his career plummet like Ted Kennedy was behind the wheel have I enjoyed a story more.

Alas, the English language is not well equipped to capture the sensation I’m describing, which is why we must all thank the Germans for giving us the term “schadenfreude” — the joy one feels at the misfortune or failure of others. The primary wellspring of schadenfreude can be attributed to Barack Obama’s hubris — another immigrant word, which means a sinful pride or arrogance that causes someone to believe he has a godlike immunity to the rules of life.
Neither Jonah nor I are happy that individual Americans are suffering, so don't even try that stupid argument.  No, our joy is purely at the expense of the president and his beliefs.  What is happening is exactly what any thinking person knew would happen if this kind of law were passed, and perhaps there's some sense of satisfaction at having our knowledge validated by reality.

Oddly enough, Obamacare as been the best thing to happen to Republicans in general, and to the idea of conservatism, in quite some time:
In just six weeks, Republicans have completely erased a 9-point deficit in a generic congressional ballot question and are now running even with Democrats.
When you're in a hole, the first rule is to quit digging; the Democrats, however, seem intent in increasing the tempo of their digging!  I don't know if we should help them; rather, we should sit back, pass the popcorn, and enjoy the spectacle.  It's like watching the blooper episode of American Idol, and the singing just gets worse and worse. What conservatives really need is a Simon Cowell, the guy who's both loveable and hateable at the same time, to twist the knife even more with acerbic but absolutely correct commentary.

Update, 11/16/13Well said:
The public’s anxiety will not abate. Obama will not escape blame, and his party’s representatives in Congress fighting for their careers will continue to call new strikes against a law responsible for a wholly unnecessary crisis, the explosion of newly uninsured.

This is a tale of misfortune and woe so Shakespearean that only history’s greatest bards could have ever dreamed it. So many liberals sacrificed so much to bring this creation to life. As it has become clear that their creation is a monster, they are struggling against the increasingly inescapable realization that they may have to kill it in order to save themselves, and their party, from an age in the wilderness.
Update #2, 11/16/13:  Again, well said:
As Obamacare continues its spectacular public impersonation of the LZ Hindenburg, dropping flaming wreckage across the politico-economic landscape, I am still just utterly gobsmacked at the dazed bafflement on the face of the true believers in government.

"How could this be going so spectacularly wrong?" goes the hand-wringing lament.

How could it not? Seriously! You think a bunch of people can sit down and... Lux Fiat! the rules for how 15% of the economy works in one fell swoop, in what amounts to a giant bong-fueled bull session, and have nothing go wrong? You might as well try to change the spark plugs on your car while the engine's running.


maxutils said...

No, you summed it up pretty well.
obama 'reinstating ' his promise will likely not work; cancelled policies will probably remain cancelled. To add to that, the one thing that Obamacare needs to have happen, won't: It depends on a wide patient pool, and that won't happen now, so everyone who does sign up will be paying higher rates. Obama may just be the worst President we've ever had.

Anonymous said...

Breitbart would have been the one to write the acerbic commentary! Sure miss him--he would have loved this debacle!

Shannon Severance said...

The Supreme Court ruled that the law was legal under Congress' taxing authority, but didn't comment on whether the law was legal as it did not originate in the House of Representatives, as all taxing measures must as stated in the Constitution.

Pedantic, but no the decision was a 4, 4, 1 descision.
4 said the act exceeded the authority granted in the constitution.
4 said the act was a valid exercise of authority granted by the commerce clause.
1 justice (Roberts) said the act was not valid under the commerce clause, but was a valid exercise of the power to tax.

Since the 4 who held it proper under commerce clause and 1 who held it proper under power of taxation, both held that the act was valid, the act stood. They didn't need a majority to agree on "why?".

Allan Folz said...

It is Shakespearean: Hoisted by their own petard. :)

maxutils said...

I can fix it, but no one would vote for me.
1) Address cost. Use tort reform to reduce malpractice insurance premiums ...don't reduce claims in the case of gross negligence.
2)Increase competition ... allow insurance companies to sell wherever they want.
3) Pass legislation that requiring any employer that provides insurance to allow the employee to take the equivalent amount and apply it elsewhere if they wish. More options, more competition.
4) Establish (ouch) a government system where if you can't afford an individual plan, you get to enter a randomized pool of patients which can be bid on.
5) pre existing conditions, gender inequality ... get over it. The basis of insurance is that you pay a smaller amount over the course of a lifetime for coverage you may never need to prevent a horrible incident that ruins you. Everything should be covered.
6) Stop providing health care for people who don't have coverage or can't pay for it. I know that sounds harsh, but we do the same thing for every other type of insurance, and require a 'universal mandate' or bond for auto insurance.