There are two schools of thought on the government shutdown and the effort to stop Obamacare. On one side, some argue that the shutdown has pushed aside all the news coverage there otherwise would have been on the fumbling and farcical rollout of Obamacare. On the other side, some argue that the shutdown has drawn attention to the fight over Obamacare.
I’m really not sure which is more true, but it’s clear to virtually everyone with a pulse that Obamacare thus far has been an unmitigated disaster, and an embarrassment.
Remember when then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said “We’ve got to pass the bill to find out what’s in it”? Well, her words are sounding more and more prophetic.
The Obamacare website has basically crashed and burned. Interminable waits. Incomprehensible jargon. Unsuccessful attempts to even begin the process of signing up. The Obama Administration completely refuses to answer questions as to how many people have successfully enrolled. Commonsense tells you it’s either too embarrassingly low, or so dysfunctional that they have no idea.
You know you’ve got a problem when even your usually reliable liberal friends are making fun of you. Top Obamacare implementer Kathleen Sebelius was challenged to a contest when she was on John Stewart’s Daily Show. He said he’d bet her he could download every movie ever made more quickly than she could sign up online for Obamacare.
Even former Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs admitted that the rollout of Obamacare had been “bungled badly” and that it was “extremely embarrassing.”
And it’s not like someone unexpectedly sprung this on the Obama Administration. THEY’VE HAD THREE WHOLE YEARS TO PREPARE!
It’s inevitable that the Obama Administration, in trying to find a scapegoat for this train wreck, will come around to blaming Republicans (even though every Republican in the House and every Republican in the Senate voted against its creation, and have voted innumerable times for its repeal.) They’ll say Republicans caused the shutdown, and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) would otherwise have gone swimmingly. And if that doesn’t work, they can always blame George Bush.
If they do ever get the website working, let’s not forget we’ll all be in the loving arms of the IRS. After all, the IRS is principally responsible for penalizing individuals and businesses who fail to comply with the intricacies of Obamacare, and for enforcing all Obamacare’s new taxes and fees. (Be afraid. Be very afraid.)
Now to the costs. The Chicago Tribune ran a front page story this past Sunday on Obamacare, and what impact it would have on real people in the Chicago area (and remember, Chicago is Barack Obama’s hometown.) Adam Weldzius, who is a 33-year-old single father will see his monthly premiums double, and his annual deductible triple, for the same level of coverage he now has. Mr. Weldzius was quoted as asking “For someone who’s always had insurance, who’s always taken care of himself, now I have to change my plan?” (I thought Obama had promised “If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it.”)
Chicago insurance broker Rich Fahn says “It’s been major sticker shock for most of my clients. I’m telling clients that everything they know historically about health plans has changed. They either have to pay more out-of-pocket or more premiums or both. It’s an overwhelming concern.”
In conclusion, in my opinion, the Affordable Care Act, which really should more appropriately have been titled the Unaffordable Care Act, is perhaps the worst piece of legislation ever enacted into law in this nation (with the possible exception of the Fugitive Slave Act). Its disastrous rollout will likely only be surpassed by the disastrous impact it will have on millions and millions of Americans as it gets its tentacles into their lives.
Post Script: And finally, since we’re bumping up against the debt ceiling again, I’d like to credit Ray Loebker for forwarding to me the following quote from then-Senator Barack Obama, explaining why he intended to vote against increasing the debt ceiling back in March of 2006.