Obama, Democrats Own the ACA
Obama, Democrats own the ACA
At 11:19 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2009, led by the rousing Nany Pelosi battle cry of “But we have to pass the (health care) bill so that you can find out what’s in it…” and by an overwhelming margin of 220-215, with only one Republican vote, and with 39 Democrats defecting, the Affordable Care Act passed.
In 2010, the American people were so pleased with the ACA that they helped Republicans gain a historic 60-plus seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The massive sea change in the U.S. House was nothing compared to what happened earlier in the year in Massachusetts when hell actually froze over. One of the most liberal states in the country, if not the most liberal, elected Republican Scott Brown to fill Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat. Brown’s primary campaign promise was that he would vote against the ACA.
The ACA was known more for its generous bribes and kickbacks, with infamous names such as the “Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase and the Baucus Bribe,” than for actually improving health care. Other states would receive special treatment, just without the special moniker. Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Florida and Hawaii would all receive special bribes for their support of the ACA. Vermont was promised $10 billion in additional funds. The population of Vermont is only 600,000 people (and approximately 150,000 cows). For a self-described socialist, you have to give Vermont Sen. Bernie Saunders credit; he knows how to bring home the pork. Although it may have been business as usual for politicians in D.C., these special favors not only weaken the integrity of the ACA, but expose the sleazier side of government for all to see, no longer in the shadows, but in plain view on CSPAN.
As President Obama’s approval ratings continue to sink and Americans’ distrust and confusion regarding Obamacare continues to increase, the Democrats have dug in their heels. Like the donkey that represents their party, they would rather remain stubborn than admit that Obamacare has been, and will continue to be, a disaster.
Obamacare is hurting our economy through higher taxes and the negative effects that numerous companies are experiencing. Still President Obama pushes on. The Department of Health and Human Services has handed out waivers like candy and admitted the technology meant to support the exchanges isn’t ready. It recently acknowledged portals such as the D.C. exchange, small business gateways and the Spanish language Web site will not be ready for the Oct. 1 deadline.
The Obama administration has missed half of all the statutory deadlines. Yet the Democrats push on. The employer mandate, a key provision to Obamacare, has been delayed by executive fiat, bypassing the House. Still Obama and the Democrats keep running for the cliff. To add insult to injury, just a few days ago we learned the IRS cannot account for $67 million from the Obamacare slush fund. That’s $67 million hard-earned taxpayer dollars unaccounted for. The Affordable Care Act was a program that Obama and the Democrats touted would be a model of efficiency, ensuring there would be no waste.
The Democrats blame the Republicans for being obstructionists, forgetting their own arrogance when they hastily crammed this down the throats of the American people late on a November Saturday night. Only the individual mandate remains, the Democrats’ last refuge of this shattered policy. While some Republicans and even some Democrats have suggested delaying the individual mandate, Obama and the Democrats remain obstinate, believing it is better to roll out a terrible plan than to admit they have handled this whole process with callous indifference. Americans know, even if Obama and the Democrats refuse to admit it, that delay is not only warranted, but it would be the sensible thing to do. Wiser heads would not only delay the individual mandate, but would delay the whole ACA.
President Obama recently stated that those who were opposed to ACA would stop calling it Obamacare if it succeeds. The crowd chuckled, clueless to the looming policy disaster. However, this statement got me thinking; when Obamacare fails will the Democrats admit they were wrong and finally get around to listening to the American people? Will they work in a bipartisan manner to improve health care? Or will they pump billions of dollars we don’t have to satisfy their egos?
The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. President Obama and the Democratic Party own it. No blaming the Republicans since the Democrats foolishly chose to go it alone. President Obama was the chief architect and the Democratic Party the builders of this dysfunctional and poorly conceived plan. Now the American people must try to live in a house built on a weak foundation.
Like hamsters in a habitrail, Americans will be forced to run around another endless maze of more unnecessary and burdensome bureaucracy. This was never about health care, it was always about power and ideology — just another grand experiment by D.C. elitists who conveniently excused themselves from the test, while casually reminding us that there will be “glitches” and “rough patches” along the way. So much for “shared sacrifice.”
Jeff Chidester was raised in New Hampshire and has lived and worked in the Far East and Europe for extended periods. He is the host of New Hampshire Perspective, heard each Sunday at noon on 96.7 The Wave and WGIR AM 610.