Nothing to Brag About

Until today, this has been an Obamacare-free blog this week, but it’s important to keep in touch with what’s happening with the worst policy and worst website in American history, so let’s have a short update.

The website supposedly is better now. But that depends on one’s definition of the word. If by “better,” one means a site where you still cannot make a payment for the plan you think you’ve enrolled in, then this site qualifies. Or if you’re looking for a place to enter personal information that can be hacked and used by anyone who successfully navigates the virtually non-existent security, you have found a “home.”

The administration likes to tout the fact that people can now see what they might actually be paying. That’s a plus?

Sticker Shock

With premiums regularly higher than in their cancelled plans and deductibles through the roof, so that you wonder why you have insurance at all, this can hardly be something the Obama people would want to brag about. Of course, not everyone has to worry as much about those high prices because they won’t be pushed into the exchange:

Waivers

Yes, there are those who are more privileged than the rabble who are forced to choose one of the government’s options. But don’t despair; you may be able to get a subsidy:

Generous

After all, the government has a pile of money somewhere to help you out, right? Or maybe they have to get it from somewhere else?

Nothing is free. There is always a cost. With this Obamacare boondoggle, the cost will only keep rising. And you will pay for it.

Travails of Obamacare

Last week I provided a litany of political cartoons demonstrating the ongoing issues with the implementation of Obamacare. That was so well received that I’ve decided to offer another cartoon series today. The follies of this “landmark” piece of legislation are so legion that cartoons are the most appropriate way of highlighting them, in my opinion. We can begin with a reminder of how this bill became law in the first place:

Force Fed

It’s a given that it wouldn’t have passed the current Congress; Republicans in the House would have stood unified against it. That’s another reminder, if we need one, that midterm congressional elections are just as important as presidential elections.

As the new law lumbers into action, a few kinks have been discovered:

Flowchart

And when things don’t work out as the starry-eyed proponents expected, there’s only one thing to do—that’s right, throw it in the Republicans’ lap and blame them. Why? Because it’s standard operating procedure for this administration:

Fix It

 Made Me Do

Yet, despite this comedy of errors, Obama and his people put on a happy face and say nothing’s wrong. They seem incapable of seeing the train wreck approaching:

 Right Track

The latest news is that many of the unions that were solidly in Obama’s camp have suddenly awakened to the disaster that awaits them if it should ever be implemented. They are crying out for—shall I say it?—hope and change. But again, what do we hear from the administration?

Right on Time

Is this the cluelessness of the ideologically blind or just another example of dishonesty in the hope of fooling the masses one more time? Maybe both?

National Healthcare=National Trauma

Even as the more prominent scandals and investigations continue to unfold, there’s always Obamacare to capture our attention. What’s the latest on that? If you’ve been keeping up, you know that it seems to be on a collision course of sorts. Polls indicate it’s more unpopular than ever, and the reason is that people are now beginning to feel its effects. Bravado about its inevitability may be premature:

Unsinkable

On the issue of cost, we’re seeing projections that premiums may rise astronomically in the next few years:

Rate Shock

Those “exchanges” that are supposed to be set up aren’t going too well either. The whole thing is turning into a bureaucratic morass—but then is that so unusual? Don’t the words “bureaucratic” and “morass” go together normally?

And remember that big promise the president made a few years ago? What of that?

Reality

In the shady tradition of all snake-oil salesmen, that was another whopper. Just today, I heard that Aetna is dropping all personal health insurance policies in California. That’s the first snowball in the coming avalanche. If the administration has its way, everyone will eventually be forced onto the government plan. Interestingly, some of Obama’s biggest supporters in his campaigns are now shrinking back from this healthcare nightmare as they see its tentacles begin to reach out and touch them:

Your Medicine

When Sarah Palin referred to the coming government review of each person’s medical needs, the mainstream media laughed at her “death panels” rhetoric. Yet we’ve now seen a glimpse of what is coming. That ten-year-old girl who needed a lung transplant was denied by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who said the rules cannot be changed. She also said she didn’t have the authority to change them, which was not true. In fact, she simply became the ultimate bureaucrat, dictating who can live and who will die:

Rules Are Rules

Fortunately, in the case of this little girl, a court overruled Sebelius and the transplant occurred without her approval. We can’t always rely on a court doing that, however. If Obamacare is ever fully implemented, it won’t be only healthcare that will be nationalized; we will also suffer a national trauma.

Right to Work

Right-to-work laws are not difficult to understand. They mean an individual should not be forced to join a union in order to work. It used to be called liberty. An increasing number of states are catching on; the latest is Michigan, which last week joined the right-to-work states, thereby championing liberty while raising the prospects for greater prosperity within the state. The big unions, though, are violently opposed to these laws. I use the term “violently” on purpose, primarily because the violent nature of these unions was on display in Michigan as the legislature passed the law and the governor signed it.

They are referred to as union thugs for a reason. And they have a supporter in high places who said nary a word about the violence, but instead was quite vocal about limiting individual liberty. Of course, he doesn’t know the first thing about creating jobs anyway, so what’s the surprise?

I can only hope that the image of big unions threatening liberty will become burned into the public consciousness. It’s time to recognize what they really stand for:

Let freedom ring.

A Victory for Sanity & Common Sense

Scott Walker’s victory yesterday in the Wisconsin governor’s recall election was a triumph for common sense. Walker, a genuine Christian man who walked out his convictions—doing what he said he would do when he was first elected—had to endure a year and a half of death threats, massive rallies, an “occupy movement,” if you will, of the Wisconsin State House, and an attempt to oust him from office, not for any misdeeds or corruption, but simply for disagreement over policy.

Let’s review what the beef was, as well as how Walker’s reforms have played out in the state. One of the biggest problems Wisconsin faces is its own semi-radical history. It was the first state, in 1959, to allow collective bargaining for public employees. As Baby Boomers began retiring, the pensions owed to them via this bargaining brought the state to the edge of financial ruin. Walker merely sought to curb this out-of-control union power. The unions reacted vociferously, and with the aid of Democrat legislators who fled the state to try to forestall the changes [now there’s a model of good governance if ever there was one], they have dragged out this battle for what seems like forever.

Walker and the Republican majority in the legislature—put there by the people in 2010—fulfilled their promises to the electorate despite the threats and a nationwide effort to defeat a Wisconsin Supreme Court judge in another election. They failed. So then they turned their guns on Walker directly, along with his lieutenant governor. Again, a national juggernaut was created, led by the big unions in cooperation with the Democrat party. They have now failed again.

It’s a little hard to convince most state citizens to remove a man from office who has spearheaded reforms that appear to be working. Let me quote one commentator from Forbes who has summarized the results nicely:

The state budget has been balanced. The unemployment rate has been dropping and is now below the national average. Property taxes are down. Fraudulent sick leave policies—which allowed employees to call in sick and then work the next shift for overtime pay—have been ended. The government has stopped forcibly collecting union dues from workers’ paychecks. Best of all, the myth that union bosses represent their members’ interests has been exposed as a lie. Now that union dues are voluntary, tens of thousands of union members have stopped paying them. Membership in the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME) has dropped by half. Membership in the state’s American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is down by over a third.

In other words, fiscal health and sanity have returned. All this, and public employees still have benefits that are 22% above the private sector. That’s hardly draconian. No wonder voters turned down the recall.

Why would anyone of sound mind desire to return to the former state of affairs?

What does this election mean for the bigger picture? It could mean Wisconsin is in play for Republicans in the presidential election. A state that put Republicans in the majority in 2010, and which has reaffirmed that choice just now, may be ready to switch political columns. Did you notice that President Obama avoided going to Wisconsin during this time? His people knew it was a losing proposition; they didn’t want his image saddled with another loss. One can only hope this Wisconsin election is a portent of what we will see in November.

Do the Right Thing . . . For a Change

The Occupy Wall Street Movement is truly fascinating. They seem to show up everywhere now. I guess they got tired of Wall Street. Newt Gingrich had his speech interrupted by some of them yesterday. I guess they’re also tired of free speech. What exactly do they want?

Well, some of them apparently aren’t all in for the cause . . . unless, of course, the cause benefits them personally. I think they still have an ally in the White House.

The cartoon above is referring to a pipeline project that will not only create jobs but will help America become more self-reliant in energy production.

So why is Obama nixing this project? I thought he was trying to create jobs. Hasn’t he said that’s his number one priority? Could it be that he’s not really serious about that? In fact, he seems to be bowing to the environmental extremists on this one, putting himself at odds with unions, another one of his key constituencies. It must be hard juggling all those interest groups all the time.

I have a novel idea. Why not just do the right thing? I know that’s kind of radical, but he might want to give it a try for a change.

The Week in Review–Minus Presidential Politics

So what else has been happening this week besides presidential politics? Well, there were some other elections. In Ohio, Big Labor outspent the opposition and demagogued so successfully that the voters overturned the legislature’s law that attempted to control the collective bargaining power of government unions. They hail it as a victory. That’s because they think short-term and don’t stop to consider that this vote only worsens the financial situation. The result?

Those same Ohio voters, apparently confused by the concept of having a consistent philosophy of government, then rejected the individual mandate of Obamacare. Well, at least common sense prevailed on that one.

Back in Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder had to testify before a congressional committee about the Fast and Furious debacle. He refused to acknowledge that the plan to allow guns to migrate to the drug cartels led to the murder of a Border Patrol agent. He continues to act as if he’s not really responsible for those who operate under his authority. Does anyone see a pattern here?

Why bother?

Also hard at work was the so-called Super Committee trying to come up with a proposal for deficit reduction that both sides can agree on. Democrats walked out at one point. I can see the media spin on this one now:

 

Let’s not omit the president from this overview. In Europe for a G-20 summit, he and the French president found something to agree on—they both can’t stand Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The only problem is that the microphones picked up their comments; they didn’t know they could be overheard trashing the Israeli leader. Well, you know, he’s just such a pest!

Of course, he might have some legitimate concerns.