Four Pinocchios and Counting

Charles Krauthammer, long time Washington Post columnist and political observer, explains the significance of the first phase of the looming ACA debacle in his column today.

“Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that ‘If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan. Period.’ He writes, quoting President Obama touting the ACA back in 2009 and later.

“The cancellations lay bare three pillars of Obamacare: (a) mendacity, (b) paternalism and (c) subterfuge.”

As for the mendacity, the President, his official spokesman Jay Carney, and his acolyte James Carville are now saying that the quoted statement did not apply to “substandard” individual policies. Perhaps they could have been clearer. Big perhaps. That was a classic half-truth – which is effectively a lie. It’s like bragging that you came in second in a marathon when there were only two runners. Actually, it’s worse.

Krauthammer’s absolutely clear observation is “[a]s if this is a partisan issue and not a brazen falsehood clear to any outside observer — say, The Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler, who gave the president’s claim four Pinocchios. Noses don’t come any longer.”

Paternalism has been the bedrock of feudal societies, the Progressive Movement of a century ago, and today’s leftist agenda..

“We canceled your plan, explained presidential spokesman Jay Carney, because it was substandard. We have a better idea,” Krauthammer relates.

Better for whom? What is their standard? Who decided? Wish they would stop being so good to us. What the nation is going to end up with is expensive standard health care insurance policies and lousy health care. Except, of course, for the top tier – the “1%” – who the President and his toadies publicly vilify, but privately court. The ACA is really a boon for the insurance industry. At the time it passed, Aetna and United CEOs were giddy with excitement, though lately they discovered that if you lie with dogs, you’ll get fleas, and are having second thoughts, as are labor unions.

“Obamacare is the largest transfer of wealth in recent American history. But you can’t say that openly lest you lose elections. So you do it by subterfuge: hidden taxes, penalties, mandates and coverage requirements that yield a surplus of overpayments.”

Most of the wealth transfer is not going to the consumers of medical services, but to the clients of the K Street lobbyists, and to expand government power. Anyone that believes differently is living in a dream world.

Not long after the passage, I heard Dr. Ron Anderson, then CEO of Parkland Hospital remark that the scariest words in the ACA were the 200 instances of the “The Secretary shall. . . .” Given that the “Secretary” referred to in the statute is Kathleen Sebelius, that is now even scarier. The thousands of pages of regulations, that defines matters like standards and procedures, as well as eligibility criteria, and myriad other details are in her hands (or rather those of her minions).

For Charles Krauthammer’s column, please see this link.

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