There wasn’t much we could do about the Recovery Act. Taxpayers were stuck with the waste, the pork, and the tricky math about jobs saved or created. It was hard to prove that some of it didn’t help a little and we don’t hear much about the bill these days because there is a better target crashing and burning while you read this. Is Obamacare a veiled gift to taxpayers? Will the early failure of our president’s namesake bill make this the last big government juggernaut?
Is Uncle Sam in the insurance business, or is this about social change?
The problem with partisan bills that speak to agenda instead of need should be obvious. They try to do everything. They fail.
The Affordable Care Act fact sheets from Health and Human Services confirm that Democrats were hawking a new social movement, not health insurance, when they passed the ACA. There is information for African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, rural Americans, and middle class families, Obamaspeak for the underprivileged.1 That’s the problem with a big government juggernaut. Instead of fixing a problem, it crams a vision into one big, unworkable bill with all manner of creative ways to confuse us while hiding the flow of tax dollars. What is Obamacare meant to do?
Is government health care about transforming communities?
The African American fact sheet gives us the answer:
Targeted interventions, such as Community Transformation Grants, will promote healthy lifestyles, lower health care costs, and reduce health disparities.2
Or is diversity the goal?
The fact sheet for Latinos suggests it is:
The health care workforce will be more diverse due to a near tripling of the National Health Service Corps. Latino physicians make up about 16 percent of the Corps, a percentage that greatly exceeds their 5 percent share of the national physician workforce.3
How about grant money for schools?
HHS has a School-Based Health Center Capital Program fact sheet to tell you that:
Typically, a SBHC [school-based health center] provides a combination of primary care, mental health care, substance abuse counseling, case management, dental health, nutrition education, health education and health promotion. An overall emphasis is placed on the services being age appropriate, with a particular focus on prevention and early intervention.4
Diversity and grants aside, this was supposed to be about signing Americans up for health insurance. When that failed, the propaganda train got rolling.
Anecdotes and personal stories are propaganda.
The health care needs of women and more important, their votes were good reasons to get First Lady Michelle Obama involved. She stood with her husband while he made excuses and tossed anecdotes and big numbers around in support of his failing health care legacy:
And obviously, over the last couple of months, we had a rocky start with the website and all this. Despite that, we’ve seen hundreds of thousands of people signing up, more and more every single day, in part because we’ve got these wonderful folks like the people we met with today who are out there telling their personal stories . . .5
The same warnings about bad times ahead were delivered with the Recovery Act’s job creation claims and we would have heard them with the American Jobs Act, too, if lawmakers had not had the sense to shoot that boondoggle down. Now they are being issued for our new health care system:
And we anticipate that there’s still going to be challenges over the coming months and we’re going to continue to find ways to smooth out this transition and make sure that people know what the Affordable Care Act is actually about.6
If we had not been promised so much before Obamacare passed, what is happening now might be forgivable. Propaganda aside, taxpayers know when they’ve been had and the ACA rollout will go down in the history books as a classic failure of big government.
Did Obama kill the big government juggernaut?
The Affordable Care Act is the best excuse we’ve ever had to make sure another overblown, over-hyped juggernaut never gets passed again. We need to remember that goal every time we hear lawmakers talk about running background checks and charging back taxes to eleven million illegal immigrants with all manner of false and stolen identities. Before we even talk about another sure-to-fail piece of legislation, let’s see how much luck the government has getting Americans back the health insurance they lost.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.