MEET SYLVIA BURWELL, THE TITANIC’S NEW CAPTAIN

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss some interesting features of Sylvia Burwell’s background that the legacy media have failed to report:

The establishment media have made much of Burwell’s long career in government, pointing out that it goes back to the 1990s when she served under President Clinton in various capacities, including Deputy Chief of Staff. None of these reports, however, mentions the most bizarre feature of her tenure in that administration.

And what would that be?

On the night that White House Counsel Vince Foster committed suicide during one of the myriad scandals that defined the Clinton presidency, Burwell (then Sylvia Mathews) rummaged through the dead man’s garbage, presumably to make sure that it contained no documents implicating the President or Mrs. Clinton, one of Foster’s law partners.

And, more recently:

NBC News, in a story that somehow slipped past the editors, reports the following: ‘A single person shut down the entire U.S. government … Not a congressman, but an unelected woman named Sylvia Burwell who … sent the email that initiated the process that has closed national parks.’ This eventually led to the refusal by park rangers to allow WWII veterans into their own memorial.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

NO, THE OBAMACARE DEBATE ISN’T OVER

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss our President’s delusional belief that all further argument about the future of his “signature domestic achievement” would be pointless:

Last Tuesday, our President swaggered into the Rose Garden to announce that 7.1 million people have signed up for health coverage through Obamacare’s exchanges … ‘The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.’

Well, not quite

The problem with this claim is that no one with a basic grasp of arithmetic believes Obama’s enrollment figures, only about a quarter of the electorate supports his ‘reform’ law, and it is still the target of multiple lawsuits challenging its constitutionality.

Even if the President’s enrollment figures passed the laugh test, and the public actually liked the law, the Obamacare debate would continue in the courts where it will slowly be dismantled.

This is precisely what happened to McCain-Feingold. To read the rest of the column, click here.

WHY THE OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT FIGURES DON’T PASS THE LAUGH TEST

The White House has announced that 7.1 million people have signed up for health insurance under the ironically-titled “Affordable Care Act.” The LA Times reports that 9.5 million of these were previously uninsured. Er … what’s wrong with this figure? David Hogberg provides the explanation:

That included not only the 3.1 million young adults who are covered by their parents’ plans but also about 2 million on the exchanges and 4.5 million on Medicaid.

First, no one with an sense believes these exchange and Medicaid numbers. And, as Hogberg explains, the quoted number of kids covered under the slacker mandate is also highly questionable:

The Census Bureau shows that from 2009, the year before the slacker mandate began, to 2012 the number of uninsured 18-24-year-olds declined by about 976,000. But not all of those went onto their parents’ insurance. For that age group, Medicaid enrollment grew 271,000 and employer-based coverage increased 447,000 during that same period. That would mean that those newly insured by joining their parents’ coverage were at most 258,000.

This revelation demonstrates that the Obama administration and its media toadies are striving to give new meaning to “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” To read the rest of Hogberg’s column, click here.

OBAMACARE: THEY SHOOT HORSES DON’T THEY?

In today’s American Spectator, I suggest putting Obamacare out of its misery. It’s the only humane thing to do.

I recently came across a good analogy for Obamacare in a book about the Crimean War. The “reform” law is like a mortally wounded horse thrashing and bleeding on a 19th century battlefield. Every cavalryman of that period understood precisely what had to be done in that situation.

Sadly, neither the President nor his HHS bureaucrats can make that claim where Obamacare is concerned.

They have done everything they can think of, both legal and illegal, to get the beast on its feet. And they keep telling the public that a few more bandages and stitches will put it in fine fettle. The Galen Institute, which has been keeping a running tally, reports that the number of such remedies has now reached 38.

It isn’t working. A new AP poll shows that public support for Obamacare has hit a new low of 26 percent. Even the uninsured hate it.

For Obamacare, there are two choices: Let it die a slow and painful death, like McCain-Feingold, or put it quickly out of its misery.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

UNINSURED: OBAMACARE IS UNAFFORDABLE

In today’s American Spectator, I explain why only 10 percent of the uninsured have enrolled in Obamacare.

A new survey confirms that the ‘Affordable Care Act’ has failed to achieve one of its most important goals — making health coverage accessible to the uninsured. As the Washington Post reports, ‘Just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one.’

Why so few?

According to the survey, which was released last Thursday by McKinsey & Company, the most common reason cited by uninsured respondents was lack of affordability. Out of five possible reasons for failing to enroll, most chose, ‘I could not afford to pay the premium.’

The plight of the uninsured was a major selling point for the passage of Obamacare, and the law’s advocates claimed the lack of insurance was killing more people annually than automobile accidents.

So, why isn’t the dog food selling? The uninsured problem was always a hoax. To read the rest of the column, click here.

ANOTHER ILLEGAL OBAMACARE EDICT?

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss Obama’s latest attempt to save the Democrats from the consequences of his “signature domestic achievement.”

President Obama is planning to break the law, once again, in an effort to protect vulnerable Democrats in the Senate. According to news reports, ‘the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet Obamacare’s minimum coverage requirements.’ In the absence of this “directive,” health insurance companies would have to cancel millions of health policies just a few weeks before November’s congressional elections.

Obama’s edict would theoretically forestall, until after those crucial midterms, a tsunami of voter outrage that would inevitably drown the reelection prospects of many Democrats.

It’s not clear, however, that another delay of this Obamacare provision will save the Democrats. The people who vote in midterm elections are, on average, more sophisticated than the voters who participate in presidential elections. The percentage of voters who remember Obama’s past deceptions will be much higher in November than it was in 2012.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

DRUG RATIONING FOR SENIORS BEGINS

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss an under-reported and ominous proposal by the Beltway bureaucrats who run Medicare:

Since passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, seniors enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program have been guaranteed access to “all or substantially all” of the drugs in several classes of pharmaceuticals. President Obama’s health care bureaucrats, however, have proposed removing three of these classes from the “protected” list.

What kinds of drugs? Immunosuppressant drugs used in transplant patients, antidepressants and antipsychotic medicines.

Yes, you read that correctly. These are drugs used to facilitate organ transplants and treat patients suffering with mental illness. CMS represents this as a cost-saving measure. But the amount of money these changes will save is virtually nothing by Medicare standards.

But rationing is as much about control as it is about money. To read the rest of the column, click here.

OF COURSE HE SHOULD BE IMPEACHED

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the only real solution for Obama’s serial violations of the Constitution:

Most pundits and politicians discuss Obama’s serial violations of the Constitution as if mulling an interesting academic subject. They ponder such arcana as the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the number of Senate votes required to convict an impeached President, the effect of the process on the GOP’s electoral prospects in 2016, ad infinitum. Few, however, discuss impeachment as a serious possibility or even a rational course of action.

In a less complacent nation, the question would not be rhetorical. It is the duty of the House of Representatives to impeach Obama. Every member of Congress takes an oath to defend the Constitution and the President has declared war on that foundational document.

Barack Obama is systematically destroying the checks and balances the framers put in place to limit the power of the office he holds. The powers of the Presidency, as the founders conceived them, were meant to be constrained by two coequal branches of the government — the national legislature and the judiciary. President Obama routinely flouts inconvenient laws passed by the former and publicly excoriates the latter when its rulings displease him.

There are certainly enough Republicans in the House to pass articles of impeachment. Their inaction is not about votes. It’s about cowardice. The GOP is more concerned about its short-term political prospects than the long-term good of the Republic.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

MSM WHITEWASHES CBO REPORT

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the farcical attempt by the “news” media to put a positive spin on the CBO’s damning assessment of Obamacare’s effect on the economy and employment:

The CBO report has created a serious dilemma for a press corps dedicated to protecting the Democrat Party from the electoral consequences of its own folly. This problem was exacerbated by the inadvertent accuracy of some early media reports about the CBO’s findings.

Within a few hours, however, the hard-hitting journalists of the legacy media used their virtuosic investigative skills to uncover the real truth behind the report. This produced a variety of “never mind” stories:

Typical of these was a piece titled, ‘Why the CBO report on Obamacare is good news,’ in which Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times explained that the unfortunate misunderstanding was caused by ‘basic innumeracy in the press.’

It’s difficult to argue with Hiltzik’s suggestion that many in the media are illiterate in mathematics, but he is far less convincing in his contention that the disappearance of 2 million FTEs from the workforce is good news:

To read the rest of the column, click here.

A SERIOUS GOP ALTERNATIVE TO OBAMACARE

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the health care reform plan that Dr. Tom Coburn, Senator from Oklahoma, and two other GOP Senators have proposed as a replacement for the disastrous Obamacare:

The most frequently repeated Democrat talking point concerning Republican opposition to Obamacare is the claim that the GOP has offered no alternative. This is nonsense, of course, but it has proved an effective device for suppressing a serious debate about the President’s ‘signature legislative achievement.’

From now on, however, that canard will be difficult to perpetuate—-particularly for Democrat Senators facing angry midterm voters:

The CARE Act … is more than a legislative prophylactic meant to protect Republicans from the charge that they aren’t for anything but a return to the dreaded “status quo.” The CARE Act, unlike the stillborn Obamacare, is a serious health care reform proposal.

In fact, it could be used by smart Republicans in the same way Newt Gingrich used The Contract with America in 1994. If managed properly, the CARE Act could save U.S. health care and regain the Senate for the GOP.

To read the rest of the column, click here.