Hart: Public policy - the real legacy of Obamacare

Hart: Public policy - the real legacy of Obamacare

April 22nd, 2014 by Ron Hart in Opinion Columns

Ron Hart

Ron Hart

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Outgoing U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hopes Obamacare covers injuries sustained from being shoved out a door.

After magically manufacturing her own low-ball projections of 7 million-plus sign-ups for Obamacare, she high-fives herself, then exits stage far left. She leaves the smoldering ruins of a poorly thought out commandeering of one-seventh of our economy by a bumbling group of ineffective ideologues.

The media coverage was what you would imagine. CBS called her "heroic." Fox asked for details and accountability. MSNBC called Fox "racist and sexist" for wanting details. CNN built a paper airplane, tossed it around the studio and interviewed experts on Sebelius' projected flight pattern back to Kansas.

The fact that most mainstream media applauded her tenure was expected. It's like Cat Fancy Magazine declaring kittens are cuter than puppies.

Sebelius was a dutiful liberal foot soldier for President Barack Obama. When the website rollout proved to be a debacle, she supported Obama's story that he knew nothing about it. Our president was too busy knowing nothing about the IRS targeting his political opponents, NSA spying on us, and Benghazi.

As a reminder of how Obamacare came about, Democrats crafted this disastrous bill in 2009 when they owned both houses of Congress and the White House. Obamacare violates the very foundation of our Constitution, so most people assumed the courts would strike it down - and most reasonable judges did. Then Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts shocked the country by voting to uphold it.

Obamacare was a solution when there was really not much of a problem. All we needed was tort reform, competition for insurance across state lines, and less - not more - government regulation.

One of the more egregious deceits of Obamacare is that it front-loaded the goodies: kids up to age 26 and preexisting conditions would be covered. Most major spending for Obamacare does not kick in until 2014. Costs and regulations were pushed to the back end. Obamacare is like a flimsy hospital gown: you're covered up front, but at some point you come to realize that you are very exposed from the rear.

Remember when Obama said it would not add a penny to the deficit? Well, based on the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office numbers, The Weekly Standard said the "Affordable" Care Act will cost $2.6 trillion - and counting. Obama says 8 million people have signed up, but as many as 20 percent have not paid. At least 3.5 million of them already had health insurance policies that were cancelled because of Obamacare. So to insure maybe 4 million people at a cost of $2.6 trillion over 10 years, this monstrosity could cost us $650,000 per person insured.

Obamacare has 20,000 pages of confusing regulations. Obamacare's price tag does not include $1.1 trillion in additional paperwork, regulations, fraud, angst and jobs lost for us to comply.

Obama now needs his current Budget Director, Sylvia Burwell, to put lipstick on this pig. Future discussions about Obamacare will center on cost overruns, so who better to massage the numbers to Congress than someone who has been doing it for years?

Through executive fiat, Obama changes the rules whenever he feels like it. He was busy picking Michigan State to win the NCAA basketball tournament in a made-for-TV "March Madness" event while Putin was marching and Obamacare was already costing Americans money. But don't worry, Mr. President. You can just issue an executive order making Michigan State the NCAA basketball champion.

Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com.