If you look up the definition of "bait and switch," you will find a reference to ObamaCare.
OK, you won't really find mention of ObamaCare. But it would be perfectly understandable if you did.
Its supporters used a series of cynical accounting tricks to make it seem as if the health care reform law would reduce, rather than increase, federal budget deficits. That isn't likely to pan out, as noted in a devastating recent study by Charles Blahous, a Medicare trustee, and by countless other observers.
And now, more and more small businesses are discovering that ObamaCare's lure of supposed tax credits for companies that provide medical insurance to their workers was a mirage -- or at least requires such a complicated application process that it isn't worth the aggravation.
Joyce Rosenberg, who writes on small business for The Associated Press, spelled out what a joke the tax credits really are for lots of businesses.
Companies are excluded from the credit if, for instance, their average employee earns more than $50,000 per year.
Businesses that want the tax credit also have to pay a minimum of half the insurance premiums for their workers, making applying for the credit even less appealing.
Businesses with 25 or more full-time workers are barred from receiving the credit. That freezes out lots of small businesses altogether.
And things are dicey even for companies that meet the fewer-than-25-employee rule. Owners of many such businesses employ their relatives, yet the tax break for premiums paid on insurance is denied when the worker is a family member.
Then there is the matter of the application process itself.
"The calculations are mind-numbing," a certified public accountant in Pennsylvania told the AP. Many of his firm's clients found that the accounting fees they had to pay to apply for the tax credit wiped out any benefit they got from it.
Who could dream up such a punishing, off-putting process?
Why, the very people who assured us that ObamaCare as a whole was such a fine deal!
If they can't be trusted to make this relatively small tax credit useful and accessible, what possible reason do we have to believe they have the wisdom to be making far larger decisions about the medical care we receive?
The president and Democrats in Congress sold us a bill of goods on ObamaCare. And far too many of us bought it.
Now, bit by bit, we are seeing the folly of entrusting health care to the same elected officials who have helped drive the national debt up into the $16 trillion range. Only it may be too late to do anything about it.