Apocalypse And How

The President unveiled his response to the Massachusetts voters on Monday in his revised healthcare proposal, ObamaScare Redux. Rather than starting over or even paring down, the President upped the ante by billions of dollars – it’s like millions, only with a very large “B”. He also added more penalties, higher taxes for many and expanded Government regulation. You can almost see the choppers of voter disapproval closing in on D.C.

Please understand that I’m not against healthcare reform. But like my friend, Huli, a Golden who lives on the next street, says, it has to be fixed in another way. We need considered business deliberation to meet achievable objectives rather than wild and woolly political machinations.  More about that in a later blog. Perhaps Huli will write it.

Right now, ObamaScare Redux makes the Senate’s version look tame. In fact, Redux is very much an “in your face” retort to overwhelming public opposition to the Democrat healthcare proposals. What is Obama thinking? Apparently, that he can get away with it because he’s tied his Presidency, and his Party, to enacting expansive and invasive government ownership of healthcare.

What are some of the ObamaScare changes? First, cost. The Redux price tag, according to the Administration, is $950 billion, an admitted $79 billion north of the Senate bill’s tab. But the CBO rates the Senate version’s actual cost at over $1 trillion, which means Redux is even higher. Second, penalties. Rather than an annual fine of $750 for failure to buy health insurance, individuals will pay a yearly penalty of 2.5% of their income. So, if you make over $30,000 annually, you’re in the crosshairs.

Third, taxes. They just get bigger. And people making over $250,000 will be hit in two ways. Higher income taxes, of course. But now the Medicare payroll tax will be applied to their unrealized investment earnings. So, the funds people are trying to grow for retirement have a government drain. Redux does provide for oversight of insurance premium rates. But, that can be done without any of the other provisions.

The text of Redux was released on the eve of tomorrow’s health summit with congressional leaders. It incorporates none of the Republican proposals to fix the healthcare mess. Obama has, in essence, stuck out his jaw and dared the opposition to take a swing so he can paint them as partisan. And if they don’t eventually co-operate, he’s threatening to misuse the reconciliation process to ram his plan through with bare majorities in Congress. Can you hear the choppers?

Why, in the face of public opposition, would Democrats even consider voting for Redux? The argument being made for their support, in addition to the usual pork barrel madness, goes something like this. “Since you’ve already squandered so much time on healthcare this term, you’d better have something to show for it in November.”

They must be kidding. Where is the logic in expecting to benefit from actually taking an action that the electorate abhors? Long gone is the lesson of Clinton’s mid-course correction after the 1994 elections. The choppers have them in their sights.

See you on the left-side.