Archive for August, 2013

This is the Stuff of Revolutions

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

This week we learned about a pending (and galling) extra-constitutional maneuver seeking to exempt members of Congress from Obamacare … because, after all, why should our elected representatives live under the same laws they pass for the rest of the country?

The hideous health care law that was rammed down our throats on Christmas Eve 2009, in practice, means that about 11,000 members and congressional staff are set to lose the generous health coverage they now have as part of their federal benefits program. Instead, they would be forced to receive the lower-quality health coverage of the Obamacare exchanges. And because members of Congress and many of their aides don’t qualify for Obamacare subsidies, that means thousands of dollars a year in extra insurance costs.

Fear not for the aristocracy, my friends. The Obama administration is once again prepared to skirt the Constitution by effectively rewriting a ratified law to create a special Obamacare reimbursement for the privileged class, formerly known as civil servants. Mind you, Obama has no authority to do so, just as he didn’t when he unilaterally pushed back the effective date of the Obamacare employer mandate. But what’s a little tyranny among friends?

One thing is for sure: Members of Congress will never extend to ordinary Americans the same reimbursements that they may now be receiving themselves. So, it appears that disgraced former Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards was actually on to something when he spoke so often about the class-dividing existence of “two Americas.”

Yet the real class divide in the Age of Obama isn’t between the rich and the poor. It’s between the political class and the rest of us. I mean, you really didn’t expect members of Congress to pay the same inflated premiums brought on by Obamacare, did you? Those are for serfs like you to pay. And make sure you do, or else you’ll find IRS enforcement agents at your door … who, by the way, are also asking for an Obamacare waiver.

Jim Signorile
Managing Editor, The Sovereign Society

Congress wants exempt from Obamacare

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

No argument for Obamacare’s repeal can top the simple fact that Members of Congress do not want it to apply to them.

Today’s Politico reports that the House and Senate congressional leadership—both Democrats and Republicans working in cahoots with Obama Administration officials—have been secretly negotiating for months trying to find a way to exempt Members of Congress and their staffs from being forced into Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges.

Beginning on January 1, 2014, these exchanges, to be run by the federal government or the states (under federal rules) will offer federally “qualified” insurance coverage for millions of Americans. Ordinary Americans must either sign up or face a tax penalty. Senator Max Baucus (D–MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has now famously described the Obama’s Administration’s implementation of this process as an oncoming “train wreck,” and Henry Chao, an Administration official involved with the implementation of the law, just hopes that Americans can avoid a “third-world experience.”

According to the Politico story, there are two major reasons why Members of Congress want to exempt themselves and their staffs from the terms and conditions of the law:

  1. They fear higher health care      costs. Congressional leaders fear that being forced into the      Obamacare exchanges will result in higher health care costs for themselves      and their families and their aides. “The problem stems from whether      members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health      insurance premiums subsidized by their employer—in this case the federal      government.” This is also true for millions of ordinary Americans. They      could also lose their employer-based coverage, and they could also face      higher costs. Also contrary to the President’s promises, independent analysts expect health      insurance premiums to rise sharply, particularly for younger workers and      their families.
  2. They fear the impact on Capitol      Hill employment. “There is concern in some      quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the      exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a ‘brain drain’ on Capitol      Hill, as several sources close to the talks put it.” Given the insane      spending and record deficits, it’s hard to imagine how a Capitol Hill      “brain drain” could produce even worse government. But ordinary Americans      who run businesses are also faced with anxieties, particularly whether      they will be able to hire or retain valued employees or reduce full-time      workers to part-time employees in order to avoid Obamacare’s mandatory      costs.

For veteran Capitol Hill watchers, shenanigans behind closed doors to enable Congress and its staffers to escape Obamacare come as no surprise. After all, the national health care law was fashioned through repulsive backroom dealing (the “Cornhusker Kickback,” the “Louisiana Purchase,” etc.) that set a record for arrogance and contempt of popular opinion. Favored businesses and unions got special exemptions (more than 1,200 waivers) from Obamacare’s insurance rules. So consider today’s Politico revelation just marquee for a rerun of a tiresome old movie: one set of rules for Congress and another set of rules for the rest of us.

If Congress quietly wants to exempt itself from Obamacare, that’s great—so long as it includes the rest of us in that midnight amendment

Hurry up and Die — inevitable with Socialized Medicine

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

by Michael Tennant February 4, 2013

Japan’s “universal” health-care system, like all such systems the world over, is in trouble, with costs rising and the population aging. Nearly 25 percent of Japanese are over the age of 60, a proportion expected to increase to 40 percent over the next 50 years. Since the old generally require more — and more expensive — medical treatment than the young, the increasingly aged population is putting a severe strain on Tokyo’s health-care budget. End-of-life care, which can last for months at great expense, is especially problematic.

One Japanese politician, however, has come up with a solution: Just let the elderly die instead of treating them.

“Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government,” finance minister Taro Aso said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. “The problem won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.” (Emphasis added.) click for entire article