Thursday, April 25, 2013

Co-Author and Supporters of Obama-WaxmanCare: "It's a Train Wreck!"

Might Not Be Smiling for Much Longer
Despite Congressman Henry Waxman's insistent drumbeat for his signature legislation, the "Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, or which I "affectionately" refer to as "Obama-WaxmanCare" (OWC) is enduring reports roaring across the mainstream media which indict the law as a taxing logjam of confusion and crushing obligations which are damaging this country's economy and diminishing access to health care.

US Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) recently commented that OWC is a "train wreck." Small businesses have no idea what to expect from the legislation, aside from the massive tax increases, which the Obama administration had promised would never happen, that there were no taxes in the bill. The nation's largest movie chain, Regal Entertainment Groups, is cutting back hours for workers because of the potential health care costs of OWC. Red Lobster and Olive Garden backed off of cutting hours because of political activism and costumer dissatisfaction with the businesses' concerns about the law. However, the law's prolix and progressively more ponderous regulations are preventing businesses from balance budgets, defraying costs, or paying the higher medical bills and health insurance mandates which OWC is forcing on businesses. Just to survive, businesses are pushing employees out of full-time status.

Democratic activist and frequent "This Week" guest commentator Donna Brazile shared the following on Twitter about her health insurance premiums:

What's on your menu? Just got off the phone with my health care provider asking them to explain why my premium jumped up. No good answer!

Of course there is no good answer, certainly for her, because the President whom she loves and adores, along with the party which she cheer-leads on a weekly (now "weakly") basis, forced this legislative monstrosity on the country. No matter what hopes and dreams and change that President Obama offered to the American people in 2009, the law which carries his name is carrying down the health care industry, quality access, and may very well carry down his party in 2014.

The LA Times has indicated that an unprecedented doctor shortage is hitting California. Of course, the diminished access to professional care is hitting everyone in the United States. OWC was supposed to expand access to affordable health care. The law has made it harder to access healthcare, or has made it unaffordable for a rising number of Americans. The LA Times reported on its front page that premiums rates are jumping, and states which backed the law and established Medicare exchanges are worrying about the higher costs, a key component trotted out at length for OWC, which claimed that costs would decline. More recent reports suggest that some insured will see a 30% increase in their premiums.

Along with a prolonged movement for states to reject implementing the confusing medicare exchanges, now organized labor is openly criticizing OWC. The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers have called for an outright repeal of OWC because the programs will force up fees and force workers off their health insurance. The AFL-CIO is petitioning for employee subsidies because following the passage of the law, their premiums have increased. The Washington Times has also reported on labor unions' massive exemptions from the "Unaffordable Care Act." The same editorial urges full repeal, or at least delay of enactment for one more year.

Not just unions, but now members of Congress have been seeking exemptions from OWC, yet Democratic leaders have attempted to backpedal from the move since the media exposed this brazen backroom deal. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell snuffed complete disapproval with the underhanded attempt by Beltway elites to push this ill-conceived law. McConnell affirmed Baucus's concern about the OWC "train wreck" bill. The Senate minority leader continued: "I agree with him. This is not some grand revelation to Republicans. We have been saying this from day one."

OWC remains unpopular with voters, likely due to the fact that the law and its consequences remain unclear to voters three years after its passage. Unions do not like it. Congressional leaders hate it. Republican leaders have rightly warned the country about it, and President Obama must fess up and repeal it. Obama-WaxmanCare is a "train wreck" which must be stopped.

OWC has been dead on arrival, from the moment the bill was (ill)-conceived, to the hundreds of speeches which diminished voter appreciation for the bill, to the backroom deals and empty legislative shenanigans which passed this terrible law. Chief Justice John Roberts concurred with critics that the law imposed a "tax", one which looms ever larger over cash-strapped Americans. OWC must be repealed.

Once Congress puts this law down for good, they can go back to the drawing board with informed health care reforms which will institute market mechanisms, like rescinding cluttered license requirements for doctors, expanding health savings accounts, permitting insurance clients to purchase health plans across state lines, allowing doctors to form their own private co-ops with colleagues, and removing unworkable union-bureaucratic regulations from hospitals and medical clinics. Until then, the "train wreck" of Obama-WaxmanCare is heading straight for us, and President Obama's trailing job approval and dismal progress may sink his party for a generation.

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