President Obama must believe he’s politically untouchable at this point, given his seeming indifference to the multitude of scandals, failures and other outrages for which he is directly responsible.
I intended to write this column solely on the devastating Congressional Budget Office report putting the final nail in the Obamacare coffin – or at least it would be the final nail in a sane world – but everywhere I turn in the news, I’m bombarded with evidence of equally troubling nightmares. So, in fairness to balance and diversity, I decided not to dwell on CBO-gate alone but to share with you the smorgasbord of disasters.
Let’s begin with CBO-gate, which does deserve its own column but will now have to accept but a few paragraphs here. I’m not so sure what’s more outrageous, the egregious news itself or the administration’s and the Democratic Party’s disgracefully deceitful spinning in denying it.
There are just no two ways about it. On Tuesday, the CBO released a report forecasting that the laughably titled Affordable Care Act will cause the equivalent of more than 2 million full-time employees leaving the U.S. workforce in the next decade. Note that the nonpartisan CBO didn’t say the law will initially cause unemployment and then later a recovery.
An administration that cared about the American people wouldn’t have spent the next 48 hours trying to distort this information into a pretzelized news nugget that is less damaging to the administration. The White House and Democrats came out of the woodwork trying to turn this spoiled, rancid, inedible lemon into lemon meringue pie with dollops of whipped cream. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spun this as a positive development because it lets Americans be “free agents.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi brags that people “are no longer job-blocked.”
The CBO’s projections aren’t hard to believe, because they are consistent with what we are already observing. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said, “By providing heavily subsidized health insurance to people with very low income and then withdrawing those subsidies as income rises, the act creates a disincentive for people to work.”
Consider another major news item that screamed its way onto my computer screen. Tim Armstrong, CEO for AOL, said Obamacare will cost his company an additional $7.1 million, so it has to decide whether to pass that cost onto employees or cut other benefits (which, I might note, also would come out of the employees’ pockets – you know, those little guys Obama professes to care about). A less anecdotal report, from the Washington Examiner, reveals that a Duke University survey of top companies found that 44 percent are considering reducing health benefits to current employees because of Obamacare.
Also staring out at me from my desktop was the Washington Post report that according to an analysis from Avalere Health, fewer than 2 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid in 2013 because of the Affordable Care Act. The analysis concludes that there were between 1.1 million and 1.8 million ACA sign-ups but says that many Medicaid enrollees would have signed up even without the law. So the administration is not only grossly exaggerating the number of sign-ups – at some 6.3 million – but also taking credit for them when many would have happened anyway. Even CNN described this report as a blow to the Obama administration, saying, “Just a fraction of the more than 6 million people the Obama administration has touted as being determined eligible for Medicaid under Obamacare are new enrollees.”
Next, I saw the Daily Caller’s report that the administration has unilaterally changed the law to allow immigrants with “limited” terror contact into the United States. These new exemptions are to a law that bars certain asylum seekers and refugees who provided “limited material support” to terrorists who are believed to pose no threat to the U.S. Doesn’t that make you feel giddy?
My cyberspace monitor then directed my attention to a disturbing Fox News report that the infernal Obamacare website doesn’t provide a way for customers to appeal errors when enrolling online for insurance. Now here’s a concrete example of how much this administration cares about the “little guy.” Fox, incidentally, did not break this story. The Washington Post did and said that the problem has already impacted some 22,000 Americans who believe they got stiffed by the website by being overcharged, by being steered into the wrong policies or otherwise. A House committee is investigating.
The Wall Street Journal also elbowed its way onto my screen, describing President Obama’s claim that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” or political motivation in the Internal Revenue Service’s handling of groups applying for tax-exempt status as a “fairy tale.” In a separate story, the Journal reported that insurers are facing pressure from regulators and lawmakers about plans that offer limited choices of doctors and hospitals, which insurers say is vital to keep down coverage prices because of Obamacare.
In other news, there’s the ongoing Obama cover-up on Benghazi and the recent confirmation from experts that our budgetary outlook is headed straight to Hades because of unconscionable spending and Obama’s singular refusal even to consider entitlement reform.
There’s plenty of good news, but I’ll save my column on the Gospel for Easter.