It's officially been one week since the ObamaCare exchanges went into effect. Dare I say that the administration did not prepare for such a disaster and has taken a lot of well-deserved heat as this train wreck unfolds. But that is Barack Obama and the Democrats' problem. They own ObamaCare and refuse to relent even one inch, despite Republicans' best efforts and the will of the American people.
Republicans remain committed to defunding or delaying ObamaCare and I hope they continue to resist the Democrat bullying. Even if they don't like it, Obama and the Democrats need to recognize that there are constitutional limits, checks and balances, put in place for a reason in this country. Republicans in the House are using a form of this check in order to make sure that the balance of power isn't entirely skewed toward one branch or one person. Just remember that if the tables were turned and it was the Democrats in the minority, they would be doing the same thing.
Now about this train wreck. Every day we see more news reports and hear more anecdotal stories of the horrors of these exchanges and the impact ObamaCare is having on costs and jobs. Here are a few examples:
Exchanges Will Raise U.S. Health-Care Costs (Bloomberg): [ObamaCare] creates “incentives for insurers not to compete, for customers not to care about price, and for insurers to drive up the cost of care.”
The administration remains unwilling or incapable of giving us tangible numbers on how many people have signed up for ObamaCare (Fox News). Either way, they've demonstrated a complete lack of competence when it comes to implementation of the exchanges.
Obama’s hometown government (Cook County, Illinois) proposes dumping 400 part-timers from health plan (The Daily Caller). It joins the list of over 300 businesses and municipalities that have changed hours, cut jobs or cut coverage due to ObamaCare.
ObamaCare goes offline for repairs … again (Breitbart). These “glitches” are laughable. ObamaCare was clearly not ready for primetime, yet that wasn't really the driving force behind its launch, was it? But don't worry, the administration is now touting its online waiting rooms for ObamaCare as a way to mitigate these glitches (Weasel Zippers). Welcome to the DMV for your healthcare!
An outrageous story from California found that a family of four will pay $10,000 more for health insurance in order to meet ObamaCare requirements (San Jose Mercury News). But my favorite part of the story is a quote from one of the people impacted by ObamaCare: "Of course, I want people to have health care, I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally." Seriously? I fear that this is how most of America operates, or at least those who supported Barack Obama and ObamaCare: They have no concept of the fact that it actually has to be paid for! The government doesn't just happen upon this money. It comes from you and me and other taxpayers. Unbelievable.
Residents in North Carolina are equally as outraged by premium cost increases by as much as $1000 per month in order to obtain a plan that satisfies ObamaCare's requirements (Charlotte Observer).
According to Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago, [ObamaCare] will drive marginal tax rates above 50% for “non-elderly household heads and spouses with median earnings potential” (The Tax Foundation). Don't you think that is going to have a negative impact on people's incentive to work?
Kathleen Sebelius thought herself quite clever when she came up with the following line during her interview last night with Jon Stewart. He asked her about the delay of the employer mandate compared to the administration's resistance to a delay in the individual mandate. Sebelius says, “Well, they can” get a delay. “They'd pay a fine.” Oh, isn't that just great? That's the administration's line: You, too, can get a delay … but it's going to cost you! Just outrageous.
The Heritage Foundation has kept an incredibly thorough log of all the embarrassing glitches ObamaCare has experienced over the last week. The bottom line is that Barack Obama and the Democrats simply lied to you when they promised that this law would cut costs. But then again, it didn't take a rocket scientist to see that coming.
Government Shutdown: Day 8
The government remains in a partial shutdown, thanks to Barack Obama and Harry Reid's insistence that there will be no negotiations. None. Zero. The American people want solutions and answers, but apparently the Democrats will only have their way or the highway and nothing else.
This shutdown has highlighted a few things: Our ability to survive without parts of the federal government (some agencies have zero employees right now) and also our skewed priorities when it comes to spending. Now for a few examples:
NIH Stops Therapy Dogs From Visiting Sick Children (CNSNews)
State Dept. Awards $5M Contract for Crystal Stem and Barware For Embassies (Weekly Standard)
Government Buys $47,174 Mechanical Bull (CNSNews)
Park Service OKs immigration reform rally on 'closed' National Mall, including 100 porta potties (Washington Examiner)
IG That Watchdogs IRS--And Uncovered Targeting of Tea Party--'Shut Down' (CNSNews)
The National Park Service won’t allow family members to visit old grave sites (Todd Starnes)
The most connected man in Washington Jamie Dupree has a list of government contracts that were awarded just yesterday, one week after the government shutdown. This includes the Justice Department awarding a $35,165 contract to a company in Summerville, South Carolina to buy "Vaccine Refrigerators." You can read more outrageous examples here.
Meanwhile the House continues to pass bills funding all other parts of the government. For example, the House passed over the weekend a bill that would allow for chaplains to hold services during the shutdown. The Senate hasn't bothered to even consider bills such as this.
This government shutdown reflects the unwillingness of Democrats in Washington to compromise. They would rather win the PR argument by watching Americans suffer than come to the table and negotiate with Republicans. It's sad, really.