Could the boondoggle we call "Obamacare" be a bigger disaster? Is there any better example of the arrogance, incompetence and remorselessness of top-down central planning?
The very name of the law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is a deceptive euphemism, as it neither protects patients nor makes health care more affordable.
The law was born in hell. The premises upon which the bill was based, the promises its proponents made and the corruption and high-handedness in its legislative process tainted it from the outset.
Remember how the administration sent a threatening letter to Humana and other companies, threatening legal action for expressing their opinion that under Obamacare, some seniors would lose their coverage? Or how it pressured insurance executives to support the plan?
Anyone paying attention at the time knew the bill was full of accounting gimmicks and political tricks. Sen. Lamar Alexander aptly described Obamacare as "the most brazen act of political arrogance since Watergate ... in terms of thumbing your nose at the American people and saying, 'We know you don't want it, but we're going to give it to you anyway.'"
It was not President Obama's fancifully optimistic predictions about the bill that were vindicated but those of the bill's opponents, whom Obama brutally demonized during his endless campaign to pass the measure.
Contrary to Obama's assurances before it passed, Obamacare would increase, not decrease, the cost of health insurance to individuals. It would not improve but reduce the quality of health care. It would not reduce but increase the deficit. It would not come close to eliminating the number of uninsured. It would not enable people to keep their own plans or doctors. It would violate the conscience rights of faith-based health providers. It would fund abortion. It would create new burdensome taxes. It would not grow the economy but shrink it. It would increase unemployment and part-time employment. It was a Trojan horse for a single-payer plan. It would result in many doctors' early retirement and thousands of bright students reconsidering their pursuit of a career in medicine.
The American people sensed from the beginning what a mess Obamacare was. Even after all the lies, backroom deals and executive branch strong-arming, the people didn't buy into it. Indeed, the authoritarian cram-down of this monster catalyzed the creation of the tea party and led to the Republican congressional rout in 2010.
Without exhibiting an ounce of remorse for this nightmare, the administration has stood by the law with stubborn tenacity, ignoring the people's will every step of the way and bending the law and rigging its implementation in order to ensure its survival. When the administration was faced with the prospect of employers dropping their coverage to avoid drastic premium increases, it arbitrarily and capriciously granted more than 1,000 temporary waivers, more than half of which went to members of union health insurance plans, to delay the inevitable pain the law will inflict.
Now it's deja vu all over again, as the administration recently announced a one-year delay in Obamacare's employer mandate, the effects of which, conveniently, will not fully manifest themselves until after the 2014 congressional elections. This was after officials adamantly insisted that the implementation of the law was on schedule. The administration did not consult with Congress to amend the law or tweak it in any way to make it work, but in keeping with its contempt for the rule of law, it unilaterally imposed this change via executive fiat — in wholesale defiance of the president's duty to faithfully execute the laws. The culture of lying surrounding Obamacare is so pervasive that once again, the administration has attempted to candy-coat its selective delay of the law as a prudent move. Imagine its audacity in characterizing this move as "continuing to implement the ACA in a careful, thoughtful manner."
Lest you think this employer mandate delay is a one-off event (of course, you couldn't rationally think that, considering the aforementioned thousand-plus waivers), the Heritage Foundation's blog, the Foundry, details a dozen more Obamacare implementation failures that aren't getting as much media play. These include the abandonment and then the repeal of the CLASS Act, missed deadlines on insurance exchanges, a partial delay of the law's anti-conscience mandate, a delay in the promised right of workers to choose plans from different insurers in the small-business exchanges, a reduction in access to care for children with pre-existing conditions, a delay in the government-run plan for states, gross underperformance of high-risk pools, the insolvency of the early retiree reinsurance program, a defunding of co-ops, the repeal of a provision that would have allowed certain workers to use contributions from their employers to buy exchange health plans, and Medicaid expansion rightly rejected by many states.
Even Democrats and the liberal media are now acknowledging that this legislation is a "train wreck." It is utterly unworkable, a drag on the economy, a menace to health care and a comprehensive assault on our liberties, yet Obama will not be deterred in his single-minded obsession to expand government through the vehicle of health care.
It would not be an act of extremism for Congress to defund this law. It would be exceedingly irresponsible for it not to. Defund and repeal.
Washington Examiner columnist David Limbaugh is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate (www.creatorsyndicate.com).