Obamacare Lawbreaker in Chief: Barack Obama
By Selwyn Duke
"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly," said Abraham Lincoln. It's ironic that Barack Obama has claimed to pattern himself after Lincoln, because his modus operandi is just the opposite: perpetuate a bad law by enforcing it loosely.
Or in a targeted fashion that suits political necessities.
With millions losing health coverage Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Gang promised they could keep and with the Obamacare rollout a washout, the president's answer to his bad law is quintessential Obama. Don't end it. Don't mend it.
His latest expedient: Give insurance companies the option to let people keep health plans that the government claims are "substandard" for another year. Note that Obama doesn't want to do this legislatively. Rather, in a move that even screaming socialist Howard Dean suggests is unconstitutional, the king will grant you a stay of execution. Of course, this only delays the inevitable.
But Obama has done this before. He proceeds with the confidence of a man who says, "My law is so darn good that it doesn't work when actually enforced." Thus did the president early on offer more than 1000 Obamacare waivers to various entities.
Have clout? Waiver.
Can grease palms? Waiver.
Little guy with bupkis? Don't ever waver.
That is, until throwing the commoners a few crumbs accomplishes something. What would that be? Consider that a one-year waiver would delay the inevitable until just after the 2014 mid-term elections.
Obama has done this before, too. While Obamacare was passed in 2010, its implementation was delayed a few years until — also coincidentally, I'm sure — Obama had safely won re-election.
This brings us to a little thought exercise. If 2012 had seen Obamacare's rollout, how badly would the president have been rolled over? Forget about Mitt Romney — Obama would have lost to Clint Eastwood's chair.
The truth is that Obama's one-year-stay offer is a cynical ploy. The president couldn't care less about the people who've lost insurance; he knows well that he needs them and others to pay higher premiums so that their wealth can be redistributed throughout the system. Obama's law is Dr. Kevorkian-writ-large and needs, as he would put it, "fundamental" change to have hope, yet he won't even tweak it. But he will tweak the enforcement of it — especially when an election is nigh.
Perhaps Obama is smart enough to understand that where revolutionary change boils violently, evolutionary change is a slow simmer. The people are that proverbial frog in a frying pan full of water: full implementation of Dr. Kevorkian-writ-large is a high flame that might provoke a jump for the safety of repeal. Gradual implementation, however — with malleable law enforcement — is an incremental burner increase that can allow the people to become inured to the new healthcare normal. That's the idea, anyway.
Moreover, will "permitting" insurance companies to maintain the old plans for a year do even a year's worth of good? I'd think that since they now have to cover people with pre-existing conditions (which is like having to offer fire "insurance" to a guy whose house is already burning down), they'll have to recoup the money that costs by raising premiums on the low-risk pool.
But the one-year stay does do some good — for Obama. After all, the president can now say when insurance providers cancel people's policies, "Hey, these companies had the option to let you keep your plan, but while you're needy they're greedy." All these policies would have to be canceled a year from now, but it suits Obama to have the insurance companies do as much of his dirty work as possible "voluntarily" in the interim.
If a law is worth making, it's worth enforcing; and if it's not worth enforcing, it's not worth making. So my solution here is Lincoln's:
Enforce Dr. Kevorkian-writ-large strictly.
To the letter.
No, this isn't a cynical ploy to give the GOP a perhaps unassailable 2014 election advantage at the expense of the common man. The fact is that unless the Obamacare dragon is slain, its fiery breath will consume all the current low-cost plans one way or another, sooner or later. And all delaying the inevitable does is give Obama the chance to slow-boil that frog.
And, really, why should there be any argument? Contrary to Nancy Pelosi's wisdom, you don't find out what's in a law by passing it. You find out by implementing it. Let the voters find out, now — with a full dosage. Then they can decide at election time if the Republicans should get the Dr. Kevorkian treatment — or if Dr. Kevorkian-writ-large itself should.