Five Game-Changing Questions on ObamaCare

HEALTHCARE LAW PROTESTS AT SUPREME COURT“What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?” is the question that tripped up the bridge-keeper in the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, resulting in the bridge-keeper’s immediate death.

Well-thought out questions about ObamaCare directed at President Obama would not result in the same fate, but politically-speaking, they could be just as much of a game-changer.  Maybe this is why President Obama has allowed so few questions following his recent statements concerning ObamaCare.  This is an unpopular law that is being promoted with empty slogans and outright lies.

But tough questions must be asked.  Here are five of my suggestions:

Question 1: “Why do you refer to ObamaCare as a law that is already in place when your administration has been treating it as a malleable bill for three years?” There are many examples of administrative actions taken that contradict the wording of the Affordable Care Act, but here are a few: over 1200 ObamaCare waivers have been granted since the law’s passage, primarily to labor unions.  The administration has also abandoned the CLASS Act part of ObamaCare, and the administration has recently announced a delay of two years for the employer mandate.  None of these actions have any basis in the wording of the law as passed by Congress.

So why not make a few more changes to ObamaCare, especially if they are supported by the general public?  Republicans in Congress only seem to be taking their cue on the changeability of ObamaCare from the Obama administration itself.  It is pretty inconsistent to spend three years changing a law and then claim that because it is a law, with the president’s signature, that the law cannot be changed.  Of course it can be changed – President Obama has been changing it on the fly for three years!

Question 2:  “Why is it so wrong to bargain with congressional Republicans on a continuing resolution that changes some or all of ObamaCare when you have essentially been bargaining with your supporters on ObamaCare since it passed three years ago?” This is the problem with granting waivers and exemptions from the law that is binding on the general public.  Apparently it is fine to bargain with supporters of the administration – and that is what it is, an implicit bargain for continued political support — but not OK to bargain with Republicans.

I will answer my own question here, which is that the Republicans cannot threaten to withdraw political support for President Obama, because Republicans are the loyal opposition.  But the question should be asked anyway.  It exposes the cynicism at work here.

Question 3:  “When you were a senator in 2006 and a Republican president requested that Congress raise the debt ceiling, you spoke on the Senate floor that such a request showed a ‘lack of leadership’ and you voted against the increase.  Now your aide compared congressional Republicans who oppose raising the debt limit to terrorists and arsonists.  Do you stand by that characterization?”

Let’s face it: President Obama is asking senators and representatives to vote “yes” on something.  And instead of meeting with these people and making the case for a higher debt limit, he calls them names and threatens them with blame for a “no” vote or not acting at all.  Not only is this childish, but it is also unrealistic.  Calling people names is not a good way to get them to do what you want them to do.

Question 4: “Why not equalize the applicability of ObamaCare to everyone, including yourself, the entire executive branch, Congress, their staffs and families?”  This different treatment may be the most annoying part of ObamaCare.

The public has watched with disgust the shenanigans in Washington, where healthcare policies for the political class and federal workers are exempt from the healthcare laws that apply to the rest of us.  Even the IRS agents who are in charge of enforcing ObamaCare on the rest of us do not want to be subject to it.

Question 5: “How could you have been so wrong in promising a $2,500 annual drop in healthcare premiums for a typical family of four under ObamaCare?”  President Obama mentioned this figure many times throughout his 2008 campaign, and in the months preceding the passage of the law.  President Obama may claim that he was making a good faith projection, but the reality is that when he repeatedly made this promise he was way off.  Instead of going down, most family’s healthcare costs are going up.  Way up.  Healthcare premiums may well replace the mortgage, food and car payments as a typical American family’s top monthly expense.

So, after all these and other questions, a typical ObamaCare supporter might complain of ineffective messaging – they usually do.  But in this case the Obama administration has already pledged $67 million to over 100 organizations to help “navigate” consumers through their health insurance options under ObamaCare.  Celebrities have signed up to help promote ObamaCare.  Now NBC News has decided to spend a whole week extolling the virtues of ObamaCare.

Maybe NBC News can persuade me that the letter I received last week telling me of a 71% premium increase, for a worse health insurance policy, was not in fact true.  Or maybe NBC News can tell thousands of employees whose hours were dropped to part-time because of ObamaCare, that their demotions were for the best.  ObamaCare is a disaster and anyone trying to sugarcoat it or even explain it has a tough road to hoe.

Reality is difficult to hide.

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  • realist2

    Aren’t these the questions an objective media should be asking? Sorry, I just answered my own question.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    ““What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?” is the question that tripped up the bridge-keeper in the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, resulting in the bridge-keeper’s immediate death.”

    IIRC, the bridge keeper asked the question but failed to answer the clarifying counter question: “European or African?”

    Something like that.

    • WW4

      We see this played out in today’s polls:

      Do you approve of “Obamacare?”
      Do you approve of the PPACA?

      Or you could say “Do you believe in a model for health care where people are individually mandated to purchase coverage on state-run exchanges?”

      And the counter-question would come:

      Obamacare, or Newt/Heritage/1993 GOP Congress?

  • oandroplex700

    obumblecare will be the albatross of a disaster, that will haunt obam, for the rest of his years, when the foolish followers of obam, find out, what the 2,550 pages of obumblecare consist of

    • MalalchHaMavet

      Nothing will haunt Obama, he is the Devil re-incarnate

    • superpsychomom

      Is it up to 2,220 pages now? I thought it was still “just” 2,200…I cannot fathom how it needs to be that long. I wrote down what I would put in a healthcare reform bill and it was about 225 words.

  • M. Demetrius

    This bill/law is not and never has been about health care for the public. It is about consolidating power in the Executive Branch’s hands. It is about controlling the population. Why else would it have been knit together with the IRS (not a synonym for “customer friendly agency”), placed under their control, and enforced by over a hundred thousand new hires? Oh, wait, now I remember Obama saying that these extra employees (armed with .40 cal hollow points) are being hired to “make sure we get all the deductions the taxpayers are entitled to”. Gosh, I feel better now, don’t you?

    Pelosi once said we have to “pass this thing so we can see what’s in it”. Well, now that we’re finding out, somehow, she’s still in favor of it.

    • WW4

      Opposition to this law was never about health care for the public. It was about a very lame attempt to cast an idea born in conservative circles and championed for two decades where it’s “tyranny” somehow, some way went unnoticed by people who write articles about tyrannical soft drink sizes and motorcycle helmets, passed by Congress after two years of discussion, surviving 41 attempts to defund it, two elections, and a trip to the SCOTUS–as being “rammed down our throats.”

      Opposition now is warning people not to enroll, and thus face penalties, and thus sabotage the exchange model, and thus NOT have health care–gee, I wonder why?

      Obama Derangement Syndrome comes to mind.

      • WW4

        ^(This is me, surprise!)

      • DuRight

        Typical of a statist, and typically wrong.

        For starters, the law isn’t about health care, it’s about political control of the citizenry’s health care. Any doubts about this should be erased with the Democrat operatives rummaginf Republican donor tax returns and the IRS harassment of conservative tax-exemption applicants. And this stupid, foolish, unread, incredibly complex law is about control. Period.

        Two decades of leftist nonsense trying to ram the law down the citizenry’s throats. Congratulations- you had a brief window and took advantage. I hope every “yes” voter chokes on it.

        SCOTUS’ decision wasn’t even based upon what the government made as its case, instead saving it by declaring it a tax. Oh, it is, in its way- premiums for tax payers, subsidies for tax consumers. That’s a clever way of raising taxes without actually voting on the tax rates.

        Being that Obama handed out gifts of waivers and illegally declared delays to suit him and his cult, the law seems to be up for negotiation, so why not with Congress? This law is extremely unpopular and its predictable effects are being felt by hundreds of thousands already, with those losing full-time status and their health coverage as its result.

        No, it’s all on you statists who want Obama to be e dictator and you want a one-party state like the old Soviet Union. Only the GOP and the Second Amendment stand in your way. Make no mistake, every one of you statist cult of Obama types are no better than an invading force, and deserve no less than what the Second Amendment provides for such infestations.

        • WW4

          How typical of someone who listens to nothing but propaganda to not be able to actually address any of my points or summon anything beyond a “strong opinion” on your part. That’s a lot of verbiage, up there, without any substance. Try again. Use a fact. There are currently none in your statement. Use one specific fact. Heck, use two!

          • CowboyUp

            He did address your ‘points’ but apparently it went over your head.

          • WW4

            Talking points and opinions don’t meet the standard of debating facts. We can have a discussion of opinions; mine might agree with yours more than you think. But to do that constructively we have to acknowledge facts. Not my opinion, not your opinion.

            Obamacare may be good, bad, indifferent. I am saying what it IS and what its stated goals ARE–not skipping ahead to read between the lines and predict the future according to my worldview.

            Opinion: I think the ACA has several achilles’ heels that bother me. I also am not an advocate for a single payer, gov’t run system. But it bugs me to see the ACA depicted as some totalitarian enterprise, when that so blessedly easy to refute with facts.

          • DuRight

            You don’t know what I listen to, read, or do. What I do know is that the history of such programs are unworkable, the costs consuming disproportionate national wealth with little to show for it, and corrupts a country into devolution. These are facts, and truth.
            Your stupid attempt at rebuttal show you to be an Obama dupe- which is the polar opposite of an informed and vigilant American. You’re just a piece of the Marxist cancer that has to be excised.

          • WW4

            The programs we had before we both cost-consuming and not benefitting the consumer.

            What you are calling “facts” here, once again, are your “predictions” and “opinions.” Really, what’s the point of debating someone who doesn’t know what a fact is? Keep on with whatever “feels” right to you; it’s your modus operandi.

        • Joel Cairo

          DuRight is correct. In the end, the authoritarians want to use this to control the lives of every American by holding the ability to get medical care over their heads. Other things will follow in due course. Such people are never satisfied until they have everyone under an iron fist.

          I should also point out that John Roberts first declared that it wasn’t a tax, than decided that it was, all in the same opinion. My law school professors would have failed me had I done the same.

      • Sapper1

        Me. Demetrius I guess you are unaware of the individual that began the movement toward socialized medicine. That would be Ted Kennedy. The Kennedy’s were anything but Conservatives. They were so desperate for power and control that they would do anything to secure it. The biggest obstacle in their way was finding a way to get control of the whole population. The best way was to get into the medical field. Being a liberal you would be blind to the reasons for wanting to control everyone through health care.

    • Joel Cairo

      Of course she is in favor of it. She plans on being one of people in control. The situation would be different if she was on the outside looking in.

  • Toidi

    Let’s say a person goes uninsured two or three years from now. Suppose that person gets really sick. Do you honestly think he will be denied healthcare of some kind, that he will be allowed to roll around on the ground of in agony of, say, terminal cancer?
    Of course not. So we’ll have the added burden of more expensive health insurance/healthcare plus all those out of the loop who are were being treated, one way or another, before the ACA.

    • WW4

      And you and I will pay for that person, and that person will not be accountable in any way. THE WHOLE PROBLEM WITH OUR OLD SYSTEM.

      • DuRight

        Which is typically about 2% of the cost of health care.
        Much better is to remove as much as possible the third-arty payer system and make health coverage an individual choice, more directed toward catastrophic care. Routine medical exams paid out of pocket.
        Faith in the power of markets is justified. Faith in politicians is a fool’s errand.

        • WW4

          I am not against that solution. You are absolutely right about the third party system. I respect the position you take in your last sentence. But what you have written does not address the problem of the costs incurred by the uninsured.

          Where are you seeing that the costs incurred by the uninsured account for only 2% of costs?

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “And you and I will pay for that person, and that person will not be accountable in any way.”

        The only way to get out of accountability is fraud or bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is still a kind of accountability.

        The solution is worse than the problem.

  • WW4

    Answer 1: It’s the executive branch’s job to figure out how to implement law.

    Answer 2: It’s the executive branch’s job to figure out how to implement law.

    Answer 3: Presidents very commonly adjust their past positions from the perspective in the driver’s seat. We can probably find examples in every administration. Next?

    Answer 4: It IS equalized. Congress is not “exempt” from the ACA in any way unique from anyone else with a large employer already providing care that meets the standards of the law.

    Answer 5: Because he doesn’t have a crystal ball; and because change does not happen overnight. The exchanges need participants.

    Wow, that was easy!

    • BevfromNYC

      But it is NOT the Executive Branch’s job to CHANGE the law. That is for Congress to decide as representatives of the people who elected them. Therefore it is not within the power of the Executive Branch to grant waivers, OR exemptions or delay the implementation of ANY part of any law…period. Because if he can do that, then what is the point of even HAVING a Constitution or laws, right?

      • WW4

        Do you have specific objections to the waivers or exemptions and the reason for them, or do you just object to the fact that they exist? (Remember, Congress is not exempt in any singular, special way, as most conservative sites are trying to…let’s say, “be less than truthful about.”) Can you be specific about the parts of the law that are being “changed” by the administration?

        • BevfromNYC

          No one should be exempt for any of it including Obama. He should be the first one to sign up and pay for his entire family. Obama unilaterally delayed the Employer mandate without consent of Congress. He has also issued over 1500 waivers to his pals and major donors. Where in the bill or the Constitution does he have the authorization to do any of that?

          • WW4

            What, specifically, is your problem with the delay of the employer mandate and the waivers? Is it “procedural,” or do you actually think it is harmful in some way?

          • Moa

            Because it is against the Constitutional system and the construction of the US Republic.

            Congress makes and funds laws. The executive branch executes them. It does not change laws to suit itself – doing so is unconstitutional and an overreach of power.

            The President simply cannot do as he pleases.

            Don’t you get that??????

          • WW4

            The law has not changed. It is being gradually implemented.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “The law has not changed. It is being gradually implemented.”

            But the law does not allow for that. The whole point of insurance is to pool risks and now he’s handing out favors while the others are screwed jumping in to a “pool” before it’s ready.

            It’s not trivial. It’s not like he delayed rollout for everyone. He changed who must comply according to a selective timeline.

          • BevfromNYC

            Judging from the website roll out, they should have delayed the whole thing or scrapped it. If the Obama Administration and the Dems were trying to highlight how incompetent they are, the succeeded brilliantly! Maybe they should have read the bill before they voted on and signed it into law. Really, with all of the supposedly brilliant minds in this Administration, they couldn’t figure out how to do an Excel spreadsheet of basic information and create a website that any 12 year old with a Mac can do?

        • DuRight

          Why shouldn’t those imposing the law upon the citizenry be subject to the law as well? Are we citizens or subjects?
          You seem to believe the latter.

          • WW4

            They are. Anyone whose employer provides coverage that exceeds the standards set by the law is exempt.

    • Cha5678

      And it’s the legislative branch’s job to fund or not fund the people’s priorities. Hence, no funding for Obamacare in the House’s CR.

  • Joel Cairo

    Perhaps that $67 Million would be better spent paying for actual medical care premiums. Then the price might come down a little.

  • Gamal

    Here is another question. “What do you say to people who argue that Obamacare will increase the number of people dying of cancer?” So far I am the only one saying this. Why? Until this year I was part of an HMO that paid the entire amount for procedures like colonoscopies that screen for colon cancer. After postponing for several years more than I should have I decided to have one only to find out afterwards that this year I had to pay over $600.00. It was hard enough to motivate myself to have the procedure when it was free, now that the Obama economy has drained my finances I will be much more unlikely to have another one. I say that knowing that early detection is the key to curing cancer. I am sure that many others will balk at screening procedures if they have to pay for them. The inevitable consequence will be that more people will die of cancer.

    • Moa

      I worked on some software in my country screen for bowel cancer. You can buy a kit to do a test yourself and have it processed by a lab inexpensively. I’m pleased to say that the program I was a part of has saved dozens of lives, and doctors are pushing for the trial to be ended and the system to be rolled out nationwide. A small victory of technology (of which I was just a cog).

      Sorry to hear about your difficulties with the Obama economy. I hope your fortunes improve (lame pun intended :) ).

      • Gamal

        I looked up the test, it’s for blood in the stool. Unfortunately if a person has hemorrhoids or an irritable bowel they already have blood in their stool.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      But more of them will die anatomically correct according to their true spiritual gender.

      Isn’t that freaking awesome?

  • Michael Gonzalez

    When I voted for Obama, I voted for change, but not to change the whole Affordable Health Care Act. Republicans continue to make so many changes that at the end what will be left will not be worth having. Then Obama will be to blame and Obama care will be gone, which is fine with you like if you count for millions of people who need Health Care. So answer all your own question all you like, you have that freedom like you probably have great health care, so what do you care right!

    • defcon 4

      It wasn’t worth having from the get-go.

    • DuRight

      Who is being denied health care? Please, tell us.
      I can’t help if you swallowed the Obama crap and voted for him. It was apparent to those not inclined to believing in unicorns that Obama was- and is- a fraud.

  • Bruno

    Tell my people,
    Obamacare is a federal statute.Obama has changed what he has siged into law.He has made his own law null in void.

  • saboga

    The expression is “a tough row to hoe”.

  • Lorilu

    The expression is “a tough row to hoe,” but on every point you are correct. This is a bad law, applied unfairly. Some Americans are being compelled to purchase insurance they don’t want, or be fined. Other Americans have lost their jobs due to this law, or had their hours reduced. They’ll have to get insurance too, but those of us who still have jobs will be paying for their insurance.

    This is all a massive redistribution scheme. It also deprives every American of his right to privacy (a right which was cited by the Supreme Court as the basis for the right to abortion).

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “This is all a massive redistribution scheme.”

      Nothing more nor less. And when you get down to the details of who is on the receiving end, it’s more than just the supposed “poor” people.

      Cancer screening will be harder to get paid for, sex change operations easier. That’s a simple bottom line to think about. That’s what we’re forced to participate in in the name of “social justice.”

      Some animals are more equal than others.

  • culy

    let all government workers no exclusion of any kind and their families on try of obamacare for 5 years. If it’s good for them then we the people will accept it as our healthcare too. it’s that simple and no more discuss about obcare.

  • Gamal

    Here’s another question about Obamacare. Obamacare is full of subsidies to make insurance affordable. Where is the money coming from for those subsidies? We are trillions of dollars in debt. Is Obama borrowing or printing more money in order to pay for Obamacare? How are we going to pay for health care in the future if we are borrowing to pay for it now? How much health care will our subsidies pay for as the dollar loses value because of endless printing of money.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “Here’s another question about Obamacare. Obamacare is full of subsidies to make insurance affordable. Where is the money coming from for those subsidies?”

      The “free lunch” of central planning and forcing people to subscribe who are allegedly too stupid to know they need it.

      Basically it’s about coercion and we know how good government monopolies are at delivering competitive value relative to the free market. We used to talk about privatizing and now communist lies are fully accepted by some people. Too many people.

      • Gamal

        My favorite example of how bad government is at delivering a competitive value is comparing megabus to Amtrak. If you buy an Amtrak leaving at 5:30 AM from NY to Philadelphia it will cost you $53.00. If you buy a Megabus ticket leaving from NY to Philadelphia at 5:30 AM it will cost you $5.00 plus a 50 cents booking fee. If you buy multiple tickets that 50 cents doesn’t go up so if you buy 2 tickets it would be $10.50 on Megabus. Amtrak is more than 10 times the cost of Megabus. But wait a minute, Amtrak is subsidized by the U.S government. Your tax money is subsidizing Amtrak. That means Amtrak costs a lot more than 10 times the cost of Megabus. Now guess what’s going to happen to our medical care. It’s not just that prices will go up, service will go down. There will be longer waits to get medical help. Situations like this occur in countries that have socialized medicine and the result is people die who could have been saved if they had gotten treated in a reasonable amount of time.

  • Kosher Ham

    Great post, but can you explain this: “where healthcare policies for the political class and federal workers are exempt from the healthcare laws that apply to the rest of us. Even the IRS agents who are in charge of enforcing ObamaCare on the rest of us do not want to be subject to it.” In one sentence you say federal workers are exempt, in the next you say the IRS subject to. Aren’t the IRS employees, federal employees?

  • Gamal

    I made a mistake in my previous posts. One of the Obamacare rules is that colonoscopies will be free. (Of course free means we pay for it in insurance premiums but you don’t pay an additional charge when you have one.) On the other hand I was told that if the doctor finds something and takes biopsies and has pathology done on it, that costs extra.

  • Gamal

    I made a mistake in my previous posts. One of the Obamacare rules is that colonoscopies will be free. (Of course free means we pay for it in insurance premiums but you don’t pay an additional charge when you have one.) On the other hand I was told that if the doctor finds something and takes biopsies and has pathology done on it, that costs extra.