In the late-1970s, after a Rolling Stone review skewered his band’s latest album, Paul Kantner of the rock band Jefferson Starship fired off a nastygram the magazine printed which read (profanity removed): “We do what we want. Bleeeeeep you.”
Although even then it was becoming obvious that a more generic version of Kantner’s attitude was systematically permeating the culture at an alarming rate, who could have guessed that 30 years later, his reaction would become the operating theme of a U.S. presidential administration?
No one can argue that even before his 2008 electoral victory, Barack Obama and his cadre of collectivists were bent on “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Obama said so himself. We now know that it was far more than a clever rhetorical flourish.
What remains unappreciated by far too many, particularly Republicans and conservatives in Washington who years ago should have recognized the need to more proactively and more aggressively resist, is that Obama, his White House, and his regulatory leviathan intend to impose that transformation by any means necessary: constitutional or unconstitutional, legal or illegal, civil or hostile — and now, as seen earlier this month in Nevada, nonviolent or violent. There are no rules, only constant tests of limits.
No aspect of this administration’s performance exemplifies its “bleep you” approach more than Obamacare.
Even in 2008, Team Obama instinctively knew that the American people would never accept the kind of state-dictated healthcare regime it wished to impose. Thus, the collection of guarantees they knew would not and could not be honored were born: “If you like your healthcare plan, doctor, medical provider, and prescription drug regimen, you can keep them, period.” False, false, false, and false — and delivered unilaterally with deductibles and out-of-pocket costs which would cause many workers in the public sector and at large private firms to begin planning their exit strategies. Too bad, so sad, suckers.
The administration took two important lessons away from the ferocious opposition which nearly derailed Obamacare’s passage in March 2010.
The first was that it would have to modify the law gradually and implement it invisibly. Thus, we have seen, as of earlier this month, 40 changes, almost all calibrated to minimize electoral damage while slowly strengthening the greedy hand’s grip on the nation’s medical delivery system. Collectively, these changes have fundamentally altered and even directly contradicted the law Congress passed, to the point where it is a deception to call today’s resulting contraption “the Affordable Care Act.” It’s Obamacare, meaning that it’s whatever Obama, the White House, the now-departed Kathleen Sebelius and her nominated successor Sylvia Burwell want it to be.
As to the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov, as I asserted in December, “nobody’s this stupid and incompetent.” Events in the subsequent four months have only confirmed that assessment. What has become clear in the interim is the botched execution’s immediate purpose: to make quantifiable accountability impossible (longer-term, it’s about foisting single-payer on a resistant populace). Thus, we’re forced to accept the absurd, made-up metric of 8 million Americans “enrolled.” But we can’t determine how many of those who signed up have actually paid their first premium (which buys them 90 days of coverage, even if they stiff the system after cutting just one check), or how many of them are newly insured. Now the Census Bureau tells us that, gosh, we really want to, but we won’t have reliable or consistent year-over-year comparisons of health insurance coverage until after this fall’s House and Senate elections. How obviously convenient.
Meanwhile, insurers are relying on government-estimated lump-sum subsidy payments because HealthCare.gov’s back end has not been built. In some states, doctors and other providers are treating many who they can only hope are covered. “Specialty treatment” hospitals which have been arbitrarily shoved out of Obamacare plan networks are providing untold amounts of unsustainable free care to child and adult patients.