KING V. BURWELL IS MUCH BIGGER THAN OBAMACARE

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss why Wednesday’s oral arguments before SCOTUS will cover issues that, in the long term, are far more important than health care reform or insurance subsidies:

John Adams, in a 1775 essay referencing the Roman historian Livy and other sources, wrote that a republic was’a nation of laws, not of men.’” As recently as fifty years ago, most Americans would have intuitively understood his point and why it was relevant to their lives. Today, it isn’t clear that the President of the United States, the leaders of the Democratic Party, or the members of our “news” media would grasp the meaning of Adams’ words, much less that they still matter today:

We will soon discover if the same can be said of the Supreme Court.

The Court will hear oral arguments this Wednesday in King v. Burwell. The petitioners in this case want the justices to rule that the Obama administration must abide by the provisions of PPACA that govern insurance subsidies. The text of that law, better known as Obamacare, requires that all subsidies must flow through exchanges established by the states. But due to the refusal of 36 states to set up such ‘marketplaces.’ the Obama administration cobbled together federal exchanges in those states.

The administration is now issuing illegal subsidies via those exchanges. The President conducts himself in a manner utterly inconsistent with republican principles and his constitutional oath.

This is, at its core, what King v. Burwell is about. It is rather an attempt to prevent the President from doing further violence to the Constitution. To read the rest of the column, click here.

NO, MR. PRESIDENT, OBAMACARE ISN’T WORKING

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the latest futile attempt by the White House to convince us that this smoking train wreck is working:

Last week, the White House took to Twitter for purposes of publicizing its latest Obamacare enrollment blarney. Far more informative than the tweet’s fictitious sign-up numbers was the schmaltzy video to which it was linked. Staged in the Oval Office, this one-act farce features a simpering HHS Secretary briefing our Thespian in Chief, who then delivers the following soliloquy: “The Affordable Care Act is working. It’s working better than we anticipated. It’s certainly working a lot better than many of the critics talked about early on.” In Obama’s 27-word script, “working” appears 3 times.

The President doth protest too much, methinks. But don’t take my word for it.

Ask the folks who learned last Friday that Obama’s bureaucrats sent them erroneous tax information relating to PPACA. AP reports, “Officials said the government sent the wrong tax information to about 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers, and they’re asking those affected to delay filing their 2014 returns.” And, as with most government blunders, the price will be paid by those who can least afford it. Robert Pear points out in the New York Times, “[T]housands of lower-income Americans who qualified for subsidized insurance had hoped for tax refunds and now must wait for weeks to file their taxes.”

To read the rest of the column, click here.

OBAMACARE RULING MAY END CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the absurdly apocalyptic predictions that have appeared in the media about the consequences of a Supreme Court ruling against the government in King v. Burwell.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell three weeks from now, and the possibility that the justices might uphold the health care “reform” law as written has driven our liberal friends to the edge of lunacy. This is never a long journey for anyone on the left, of course, but they have arrived at the precipice with unusual alacrity this time.

Their predictions about the outcome should the Court rule that “established by the state” actually means “established by the state” have gone from the merely portentous to the downright apocalyptic in only a few months.

They started predicting that the Court would “cripple” Obamacare. But 60 percent of Americans disapprove of the law, so this didn’t exactly cause panic in streets. Next, they said that a ruling against the government could deprive many of taxpayer-funded insurance subsidies. The taxpayers were oddly unmoved.

Now, they have resorted to claims so wild that even progressives will have trouble taking them seriously. To read the full column, click here.

UNINSURED BALK AT OBAMACARE BITE

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the discovery by Kaiser that half of the uninsured remain without coverage because the cost of insurance is too high under Obamacare:

When it became obvious a couple of years ago that Obamacare would accelerate health care inflation, the law’s boosters began claiming that cost control was never its primary goal … As expressed by the New York Times, the new story goes thus: ‘At its most basic level, the Affordable Care Act was intended to reduce the number of Americans without health insurance.’

A new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation may cause Obamacare partisans to regret retreating to that position:

‘When asked why they lacked insurance coverage, more than half of adults who appear to be eligible for assistance volunteered that coverage was too expensive.’ That’s right. A law that will cost $2 trillion over the next decade is unable to fulfill the one promise “reform’s” advocates still admit to making on its behalf.

Obamacare’s last claim to legitimacy has vanished. To read the rest of the column, click here.

STEVEN BRILL’S LATEST WORK OF FICTION

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss America’s Bitter Pill, the largely fictitious account of Obamacare’s conception and passage written by Steven Brill:

I put off reading Steven Brill’s new book for much the same reason I procrastinate when it’s time to clean the gutters on my house. I was sure it would be a boring chore that would leave me yearning for a shower. A previous encounter with this writer’s work in a 2013 edition of Time suggested that this tome would contain a catalogue of canards about U.S. health care, a tendentious account of the tawdry political process that produced Obamacare, and some hare-brained theory on how to fix our medical delivery system.

My forebodings were well-founded.

Brill’s ideological recidivism colors every word in America’s Bitter Pill. Thus, the hopelessly dysfunctional Rube Goldberg contraption whose supporters still call the “Affordable Care Act” isn’t the product of sleazy politicians determined to take over a sixth of the U.S. economy and gain control over the most intimate decisions Americans make about their lives. It is rather the result of pressure put on those well-meaning public servants by “the hospital lobby” and the other special interest groups that control U.S. health care.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

TAVENNER TAKES A POWDER

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the resignation of CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner and her legacy of incompetence and corruption:

Marilyn Tavenner, the Obama administration official who presided over Obamacare’s worst debacles and most devious deceptions, has finally made an intelligent decision—she resigned. Tavenner ran the government bureaucracy responsible for the inept rollout of HealthCare.gov, the promulgation of phony PPACA enrollment figures, and the handout of legally dubious waivers to Democrat-friendly donors. And, when Congress subpoenaed her emails—stop me if you’ve heard this one before—she discovered that they had somehow been deleted.

Having thus committed as many blunders as can be reasonably expected of any incompetent apparatchik, she announced last Friday that she will depart next month.

To read the rest of this tawdry tale, click here.

OBAMACARE HITS HARVARD, FACULTY FUMES

The reaction of the Harvard faculty to the depredations of Obamacare is one of the most satisfying stories I have read since November.

Robert Pear, one of the few honest writers at the NYT, reveals how these hypocrites respond to being treated like the hoi polloi:

For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.

Talk about poetic justice!

Members of the Faculty … voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard employees to pay more for health care. The university says the increases are in part a result of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which many Harvard professors championed.

Read the rest of this story. The schadenfreude is delicious. The kvetching from theses alleged progressives takes irony to a new level.

OBAMACARE: THE REAL PAIN STARTS THIS YEAR

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the employer mandate and other aspects of Obamacare whose ill effects will be personally felt by most Americans beginning in 2015:

Obamacare was designed such that its most harmful provisions would not be implemented until after the President had been returned to office for a second term and his Democrat accomplices had been reelected to their congressional seats. Fortunately for the nation, the latter part of that strategy was a spectacular failure. Nonetheless, it did provide the public with a temporary reprieve from the health care law’s most painful exactions. That brief respite is now at an end.

This year, you will begin to experience the realities of “reform” first hand and you are not going to like how it feels. In fact, you are probably already feeling the first twinges without recognizing that their source is Obamacare:

If you are among the 150 million Americans who get health insurance through their employers, for example, chances are that the coverage your company offered for 2015 has much higher premiums than did last year’s plan. The President and his toad eaters in the legacy media will do their best to convince you that these increases are caused by insurance company avarice, but this is merely another lie they are peddling in the hope that they can save Obama’s ‘signature domestic achievement.’

The actual cause was the looming employer mandate and other Obamacare regulations that took effect January 1. To read the rest of the column, click here.

HAPPY EMPLOYER MANDATE DAY!

Our alleged President illegally postponed Obamacare’s employer mandate until after the recent midterms in the vain hope that it would preserve the Democrat Senate majority. But it went into effect today:

Starting Jan. 1, employers with 100 or more full-time workers face hefty increases in their health insurance costs as they comply for the first time with the mandate.

It doesn’t matter that millions of employees don’t need or want many of the “benefits” Obama and his accomplices deem “essential.”

[Employers] must now offer the government’s comprehensive coverage — including ‘free- preventive care — for all employees working 30 or more hours a week, or risk being fined $2,000 per employee per year.

And guess who ends up paying the inceased cost? Many businesses can’t afford the increase in overhead. So, the employees take the hit.

Oh, I almost forgot, the customers will face price increases for the products and services produced by the affected companies.

Good job Mr. President.

GRUBER TOLD OBAMA IN 2009 THAT PPACA WAS UNAFFORDABLE

Jonathan Gruber really is the gift that keeps on giving. The Daily Caller has found yet another example of the professor committing candor:

President Obama’s health care adviser Jonathan Gruber said that the Affordable Care Act would definitely not be affordable while he was writing the bill with the White House.

According to The DC:

Gruber said that Obamacare had no cost controls in it and would not be affordable in an October 2009 policy brief … At the time, Gruber had already personally counseled Obama in the Oval Office.

And how did our President respond?

Obama, meanwhile, told the American people that their premiums would go down dramatically.

In other words, Obama did what he does best. He lied. Gruber also told Obama that the only way to cut costs was to ration care:

The real substance of cost control is all about a single thing: telling patients they can’t have something they want. It’s about telling patients, ‘That surgery doesn’t do any good, so if you want it you have to pay the full cost.’

Obamacare is, like our President, a fraud.