Sunday, March 21, 2010

ObamaCare: A Fraud From A To Z By Herb Denenberg


March 19, 2010

The battle over ObamaCare is not just a debate over another piece of legislation. It is a battle over the survival of America as a free market, free enterprise, capitalist nation capable of producing the greatest outpouring of freedom, opportunity and prosperity in history and with a government based on the principles of the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution. And it’s no exaggeration to say ObamaCare is a battle over the survival of the world, as we know it. That’s because if America is mortally wounded by ObamaCare, the world will lose the strong and prosperous nation on which it depends, as the world’s major force for peace, for prosecuting the war on terror, and for humanitarian aid.

ObamaCare is an attempt by the federal government to takeover one-sixth of the American economy, and expand an already outrageously bloated federal government and federal deficit. It would wreck the greatest health-care delivery system in the world, and would go a long way to wrecking our economy. For those reasons and more, it is essential that ObamaCare be defeated. It is also essential to clear up the endless parade of lies and misconceptions ushered forth by President Barack Obama and ObamaCare supporters in furtherance of their proposals.

For starters, we must clear up the attempt to give ObamaCare a bipartisan odor by adding four cosmetic changes, based on Republican suggestions, to this 2,000-page-plus monstrosity of a bill. This is the equivalent of putting four maraschino cherries on a dunghill and thinking that transforms it into an ice cream sundae. This is just one more phony maneuver so characteristic of this man named Obama. What makes it more obviously phony is the half-baked attempt to implement these Republican suggestions. For example, instead of malpractice lawsuit reform, ObamaCare would merely authorize $50 million so it could be studied at the state level. Mr. Obama thinks he knows how to totally restructure the health-care delivery system, one of the most complicated undertakings in American history. He does that here and now without delay and in fact with reckless haste. But he has to keep studying lawsuit malpractice reform.

Another phony maneuver was the Summit to get Republican ideas and other suggestions. These ideas had been put forward for about a year. They were well known and thoroughly discussed. They were on record in the Senate and the House. The White House knew all about them. So after shutting out the Republicans for about a year, Mr. Obama finally puts on this act of wanting to hear their views…all the time knowing he would revert to his plan and all the time knowing he was going to ram it down the throat of America no matter what ideas were put forward. Has he been deaf and dumb for the first 14 months of his presidency so he did not hear Republican ideas? Yes, just as he sat in the pews of Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright for 20 years and didn’t know what he was all about.

Then after Mr. Obama personally denounced reconciliation when he was a senator, he now embraces it. Equally outrageous is the “deem and pass” approach: deeming the bill is passed without a vote. But this is typical of Mr. Obama, who was a follower of the infamous community organizer Saul Alinsky, who taught that the end justifies the means. In other words, anything goes including lies and broken promises, and ethics, values, and morals can’t get in the way of the “end,” in this case ObamaCare. And that is what the trail of ObamaCare is littered with. We have Chicago-style thugs running the White House, and we better face that reality, however ugly the picture.

Mr. Obama doesn’t want to talk about process, as demonstrated in his interview with Brett Baier of Fox News. He tried to give the impression that process is some sort of obscure technicality that doesn’t make a difference. But as a lecturer (not a professor) of constitutional law, he should have learned that process is an essential element of the rule of law. What’s more, he should realize the American people are interested in the process, and object to procedures that smell of Chicago thuggery rather than sound legal and Constitutional principles.

One of the most king-size lies is that ObamaCare won’t add to the deficit. This is another standard chorus sung by Mr. Obama and supporters of ObamaCare. Mr. Obama was saying this when his latest proposal was only in outline form. As indicated by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), you need exact legislative language to cost a bill, and you can’t cost an outline. So there’s inadequate basis for the claim it doesn’t add to the deficit. He is still saying this during the week of the likely vote, when there’s still no legislative language and no CBO evaluation (as of Wednesday night). In any event, can anyone believe you can give everyone richer coverage, lower premiums, insure 30 million more Americans, and not escalate the deficit? Don’t forget that estimates of the costs of these entitlements are usual a tiny fraction of their real cost. And how could all these legislators be supporting a bill when they don’t know what it will cost? They claim it will cut the deficit, but don’t know what it will cost or its exact legislative language. And the claim is absurd on another count – the unintended consequences and costs of such a massive transformation of our economy and our health delivery system, makes any cost estimate nothing but a shaky and weak guess.

The phoniness of Mr. Obama’s position was demonstrated when Mr. Baier asked Mr. Obama if the Connecticut payoff of $100 million for a hospital to get Sen. Dodd’s vote was still in the bill. And in an astonishing admission, Mr. Obama indicated he didn’t even know if the provision was in the bill, a key issue (along with the Nebraska Kick-back and other special deals). Here again, he advocates a bill he doesn’t fully understand.

Another issue involves claimed savings by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse. Why should we assume Mr. Obama knows how to end it? One reason waste, fraud and abuse persists is that bloated government bureaucracies don’t do anything well, including even ending waste fraud and abuse. Why doesn’t the Obama administration demonstrate it can fix one small piece of the health delivery system before it tears it all down and restructures it? There’s no reason to believe ObamaCare can eliminate the waste, fraud, and abuse. In fact, a massive expansion of benefits will probably multiply waste, fraud, and abuse. What’s more, another fraud on the cost estimates is that taxes go into effect immediately, but many benefits are delayed for four years. With that kind of manipulation, anything can be made to look deficit-free.

Then there’s the question of likely exploding costs and shortages of doctors due to the expansion of Medicaid. A Journal of General Internal Medicine concluded that inadequate government reimbursement has already produced a shortage of primary-care physicians. That’s bad enough, but ObamaCare’s approach to Medicaid means that more unfunded liabilities are thrust upon the states, putting a severe strain on their budgets in a recession. In addition, ObamaCare adds a new benefit (filling the donut hole) to Medicare’s drug program. So ObamaCare lowers the deficit, by expanding two programs now bankrupt and continuing to bankrupt America. And ObamaCare assures that even a lower percentage of Medicaid recipients will have access to doctors.

Perhaps the biggest lie is Mr. Obama’s claim, in the Fox interview, that those who vote no on ObamaCare are voting against healthcare reform and for the status quo. The Republicans at Mr. Obama’s summit demonstrated again for the umpteenth time that they favor healthcare reform and that they have specific proposals they’ve been putting forward for a year. Yet, Mr. Obama to keeps saying the no-voters are against health-care reform and for the status quo. The man Obama is willing to tell any lie, any time, anywhere, as often as he wants, with no regard for the truth. I’ve said all along he is a congenital, pathological liar, and he keeps proving I’m right.

This list of problems with Mr. ObamaCare is long and virtually endless. That’s why the correct approach is to dump the whole bill and start from scratch to bring about the reforms needed to fix the system — provide access for the uninsured and provide better control of escalating costs. There’s no reason these ends cannot be achieved without restructuring the whole system and without the need for thousands of pages of legislation. It’s time to listen to the people, who know better than the radical ideologues and demagogues now in the White House.

Herb Denenberg can be reached at

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