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The Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party, Gangland, the Chief Justice and the Patient Deflection and Unaffordable Care Act

Even gangsters knew better Even gangsters knew better.

As my gangster, Owney Madden, says in my novel, And All the Saints (soon to be out on Kindle and all other e-book platforms):

By now, even the Feds had pretty much given up enforcing Prohibition, and Hoover trumped up a typical Goo-goo commission, this one named after some clown called Wickersham, to prove that what they thought had been such a swell notion just ten years earlier that they went and amended the Constitution was now a rotten idea and what they needed to do was, of course, amend the Constitution again. This, I thought, was the true genius of Goo-goos and reformers everywhere; that they never had to admit Reform was a mistake, and if it was, then all it took was more Reform to set it right.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose... now it's the Patient Deflection and Unaffordable Care Act the Congresscads want to amend or delay, in order to save their own wretched skins --

New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen is leading a coalition asking for an unspecified extension of ObamaCare's March 15 enrollment deadline. Mr. Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Arkansas) and Mark Udall (Colorado) are among those on this bus, though Ms. Shaheen has special cause for alarm given that New Hampshire's joint state-federal exchange enlisted only a single insurer, whose narrow network excludes 10 of the state's 26 acute-care hospitals.

But her idea would merely draw out the technical agony, and the exchange premiums are based on assumptions of a full year of coverage. Premiums may not cover claims if people delay or forgo signing up in 2014, and then rates will spike the next year. All of this would also give the exchanges a stigma as untrustworthy, more so than even Health and Human Services incompetence.

It's true that not a single Republican voted for Obamacare upon its forced passage. But neither has the appetite for repeal been very strong since. The House can pass all the repeal bills it wants, secure in the knowledge that the Senate will never go along with them, and that the president would veto any such legislation. Moral preening is, after all, one of the attractions of the racket, and "safe" votes are strictly for domestic consumption. Speaker John Boehner's sandbagging of Senator Ted Cruz said all that needs be said on that subject.

So I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it. If you think Obamacare is bad now -- and it's very, very bad, a direct assault on the most fundamental freedom Americans used to enjoy, which was the freedom to be left alone by the federal government -- wait until the "employer mandate" kicks in. Already illegally "postponed" by Obama, it will destroy, by design, the insurance market in the U.S., send the economy into an even worse tailspin than it's in now, and disrupt the lives and budgets of untold millions of Americans.