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Posts Tagged ‘IPAB’

It is always amusing when a Socialist objects to central control — a rare thing indeed.

And yet here is Bernie on the proposed Puerto Rico debt bailout bill currently up for a vote in Congress:

In a letter to Senate colleagues released Monday, Sanders rips the agreement to restructure the island’s $70 billion in debt…

In particular, Sanders takes issue with a new oversight board created under the legislation to oversee Puerto Rico’s finances because the majority of the seven-member panel…The board will have expansive power over Puerto Rico’s economy. <Politico.com, link>

And now for Bernie’s strong statement against central control:

In my view, we must never give an unelected control board the power to make life and death decisions for the people of Puerto Rico without any meaningful input from them at all.

That’s right, Bernie! Welcome to the side of liberty, where have you been?

It is refreshing to see a candidate for president vigorously opposing a powerful, unelected Board whose members are appointed by Washington officials (Democrats and Republicans each get Board seats that would control Puerto Rico).

But, Bernie, I ask you: did you oppose the IPAB inside of Obamacare?

Do you remember Barack Obama’s IPAB?

As I wrote in 2012, the Affordable Care Act includes something called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, a 15-member board that is appointed by the president. Its stated goal is to control Medicare spending. How will it do that? From Cato.org, my emphasis added:

When the unelected government officials on this board submit a legislative proposal to Congress, it automatically becomes law: PPACA requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement it. Blocking an IPAB “proposal” requires at a minimum that the Houseand the Senate and the president agree on a substitute. The Board’s edicts therefore can become law without congressional action, congressional approval, meaningful congressional oversight, or being subject to a presidential veto. Citizens will have no power to challenge IPAB’s edicts in court<Cato.org, link >

This is fascism (or socialism, if you prefer): a 15-member panel, unelected, makes decisions that automatically become law and control the amount of care Americans will receive.

IPAB’s unelected members will have effectively unfettered power to impose taxes and ration care for all Americans, whether the government pays their medical bills or not. In some circumstances, just one political party or even one individual would have full command of IPAB’s lawmaking powers. IPAB truly is independent, but in the worst sense of the word. It wields power independent of Congress, independent of the president, independent of the judiciary, and independent of the will of the people.

As of this writing, the IPAB remains a part of Obamacare. It’s still in there, though some Democrats have since come to their senses and urged for repeal of it (link).

So I ask you, Bern baby Bern, where do you stand on the draconian, Barack Obama IPAB?

IPAB-obamacare

 

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I have not posted an essay on Obamacare in awhile, but not because things have smoothed over with the program, leaving me short on ammunition.

Oh, not at all.

The (Un)Affordable Care Act continues to be a complete and total disaster of a shell game in which mr. Obama moves money around in fraudulent ways while making ordinary citizens chase unaffordable, ineffective coverage that ends up being canceled anyway.

And that’s before the law’s major provisions kick in, like the employer mandate, the Cadillac Tax and the IPAB (just wait until then, people).

But here is today’s headline that grabbed my attention:

Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to nine barely two years after their launch with $2 billion in start-up capital from the taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act. <Daily Caller, link>

These latest revelations of failure of Obamacare all have the hallmarks of a statist, disastrous central government program:

#1: Throwing away Tax Payer money on poorly conceived, fraudulent ‘businesses’ in the healthcare ‘market’

What happened to that $2 billion in “start-up” capital from the taxpayers? Did it buy us a more competitive health care marketplace through “Obamacare co-ops”? Of course not:

More than $900 million of the original $2 billion in loans has been lost.

#2: Brutalize millions of American citizens by forcing them to buy health insurance and then canceling that insurance and forcing them to do it all over again

Among the co-ops to announce closings were those in Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Vermont, New York and Colorado. Nearly half a million failing co-op customers will have to find new coverage in 2016.

#3 Stonewall the Congressional branch of government to cover up misuse of funds and bureaucratic failures

Shouldn’t we the taxpayers enjoy holding the federal government accountable when it is spending BILLIONS on a program? We have our elected representatives in Congress, who are empowered to perform this function. Except they are dealing with a president who is openly contemptuous of our Constitution and its separation of powers, and sharing of powers.

CMS officials have stonewalled multiple congressional inquiries into the co-op financial problems. The latest congressional inquiry came in a September 30 letter to CMS acting administrator Andy Slavitt demanding transparency over the troubled program.

If you are Barack Hussein Obama, and you have lied repeatedly about your “signature policy achievement”, your only option is to stonewall, delay, and obscure the truth of what your law is doing.

Obamacare Hindenburg - Co-Ops Failing

But the tragedy known as Obamacare has always been out in the open for anyone with a rational mind to see. Those who found fault with the previous health care system in this country had plenty of evidence to suggest that fixes were needed and desired, but then when Obamacare got going in 2009, such people had to evaluate whether it offered real solutions to the then-current challenges.

—> This fork in the road was important for them: would they reject an obviously flawed central government charade that would destroy the middle class’s access to quality care, or would they embrace it blindly?

Liberal Fork in the Road on Obamacare

Nearly all the Liberals I know who faced this choice made the wrong choice, and now find themselves defending the indefensible, and it will get much worse in the coming years. Will they keep doubling down, or choose to jump off such a reckless ride and recover their rational minds?

Speaking of the Cadillac Tax, none other than Hillary Clinton has come out against it, a centerpiece of Obamacare, and Bernie Sanders has spoken forcefully about the need to repeal the Cadillac Tax while campaigning as a “Democratic Socialist”.

Oh, and Bernie did not just “wake up” to the nightmare known as the Cadillac Tax — he has been against it from the very beginning:

The Vermont senator has been a long-time foe of the Cadillac tax, which is also strongly opposed by union groups. He first introduced legislation to repeal the provision in 2009, when he said the plans affected by the tax “are more like Chevrolets” than Cadillacs. <TheHill.com, link>

That’s right, Bernie on the Left was able to use his common sense and see that the “Cadillac Tax” was going to destroy the middle class‘s access to quality health care and not just the health care of wealthy citizens whom Progressives love to hate and harm.

Democrats in Congress are waking up all over the place, in fact.

A few weeks ago, nine Democrat party Senators co-sponsored a bill to repeal the Cadillac Tax:

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and nine of his Senate colleagues introduced legislation today to improve the health law by repealing the so-called “Cadillac tax.” U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Bob Casey (D-PA) are cosponsors. <Hawaii Free Press, link>

If you are a Liberal and supported Obamacare, and even now still support it, you need to ask yourself if you are going to cling to a colossal mistake all the way to the bitter end.

Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and a host of other legendary Liberals are abandoning you…what is it that keeps you in your bizarre and irrational mind-state?

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Barack Obama is celebratory once again in the wake of another Supreme Court vote in favor of his monstrosity known as Obamacare. In the wake of this victory for him and his socialist wrecking ball of a law, he uttered a now-familiar phrase: the Affordable Care Act is “here to stay“.

I find the phrase to be Orwellian not because it is more a wish of his than an actual fact, but because Barack Obama has unilaterally (and unconstitutionally) thwarted the full implementation of the law almost since its first passage; that is, Obamacare has yet to fully be here, in all its ugliness, and so it cannot be said to be here to stay.

Employer Mandate Delays

Principal among these delaying actions was Obama’s suspension of the so-called Employer Mandate, which he has done multiple times. Why has he done this again and again? Because the Employer Mandate forces American businesses with greater than 50 employees to offer government-approved health insurance or else pay substantial fines.

There are so many problems with this (and unintended consequences, including that companies with 49 or 50 employees plan to stop hiring) that I won’t mention them all here. Suffice it to say, federal bureaucrats expect the fines to generate $10 billion for Leviathan, all at the expense of private companies who employ the nation.

Will Americans agree that “Obamacare is working” once this mandate hits businesses and their employees?

Cadillac Tax: 2017 implementation

The real destruction to our nation’s health insurance system will come when the so-called Cadillac Tax kicks in in 2017. This provision in my opinion is one of the most sadistic and cruel legislative acts in our nation’s history, particularly considering the spiteful motivation behind it and its lack of any redeeming qualities.

The Cadillac Tax, designed by Jonathan Gruber and John Kerry on behalf of Barack Obama, will levy a 40% tax on the most lucrative, wonderful health insurance plans offered to workers by private employers. That’s right, Obamacare stands for the destruction of above-average health plans that have been available to tens of millions of Americans for years and years, and it is easy to see why mr. Obama elected to launch it in 2017, a year after he will have left office.

Will Americans agree that “Obamacare is working” once this cruel tax hits businesses and their employees?

Independent Payment Advisory Board: Obama has yet to nominate anyone…

The IPAB is to be a 15-member star chamber of central government bureaucrats who will have sole authority to beat down the Medicare system, taking decisions out of the hands of doctors and patients, and even elected representatives in Congress, all in the name of “controlling health care costs”.

The IPAB is so draconian and smacks so much of fascism that even Democrats want it removed from the Affordable Care Act (see Even Barney Frank Knows It’s Wrong and Hates it).

The ACA called for this group of high priests to start wielding power over our senior citizens beginning in 2011, and yet it has never been convened, and its members never named by Barack Obama.

…even after the Senate changed its rules to require only 51 votes to confirm presidential appointees, the President never nominated any IPAB members. <Commonwealthfund.org, link)

Why?

Because it is the same as all the other deadly provisions of Obamacare: so bad that if Americans actually experienced it, they would vote to have even more Republicans in Congress and perhaps one in the White House in order to take back control over their bodies and their lives. Barack Obama knows this, and so pursues a slow suffocation of all of us, claiming that “Obamacare is here to stay” and that “…it is working…”.

It is not working, and when it finally achieves full implementation, the extraordinary pain and suffering inherent in the law will descend upon nearly all 270 million Americans who were happy with their health care in the years prior to 2010.

But by then, Obama’s thinking goes, it will be too late to reverse it, and the forces of central power will be fully ensconced in their ivory tower, lording over our health and well-being like so many kings in the year 1150 AD, before the Magna Carta and long before representative government.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that the federal government exempted itself from Obamacare?

Of course it did — this is how tyranny works.

Obama the archer

Here is a long list of Obama’s intentional, unilateral, slowing-down of the law’s provisions, excerpted from a helpful article at Galen Institute (link). If you have the patience to read through this long list, you will experience the full reality of how Barack Obama has deliberately prevented the truth of Obamacare’s consequences from being known.

Changes By Administrative Action

1.) Employee reporting: The IRS announced that, contrary to statutory language, it was delaying the ACA requirement that employers must report to their employees on their W-2 forms the full cost of their employer-provided health insurance. (March 29, 2011)

2.) Medicare Advantage patch: The administration ordered an advance draw on funds from a Medicare bonus program to provide payments to Medicare Advantage plans to temporarily forestall payment cuts called for in the ACA that could have led to cuts in benefits and an early exodus of MA plans from Medicare. (April 19, 2011)

3.)Tax credit subsidies for some people under 100% FPL and for unlawful immigrants: The ACA provides refundable tax credits to U.S. citizens with incomes between 100 and 400% of poverty, but IRS regulations give credits to citizens below 100% FPL in some cases. Also, Section 36B of the ACA grants credits to some non-citizens with low-incomes only if they are themselves lawfully present in the U.S. and cannot obtain Medicaid coverage. IRS regulations contradict the statute and allow subsidies if “the taxpayer or a member of the taxpayer’s family is lawfully present in the United States,” and “the lawfully present taxpayer or family member is not eligible for the Medicaid program.”  (August 17, 2011)

4.) Subsidies may flow through federal exchanges: The IRS issued a rule that allows premium assistance tax credits to be available in federal exchanges although the law specified that they only would be available through an “Exchange established by the State.” (May 23, 2012)

5.) Extension of credits to people receiving employer-sponsored coverage. Section 1511 of the ACA instructs the Labor Department to issue regulations requiring businesses with more than 200 employees to automatically enroll their employees in any health benefits plan offered by the employer. Section 36B correspondingly denies credits to employees covered by an employer plan. IRS regulations contradict the statutory language and allow credits to taxpayers when they are automatically enrolled in employer minimum essential coverage. Treasury implicitly acknowledges there is no statutory authority for its regulatory change. (May 23, 2012)

6.) Delaying a low-income plan: The administration delayed implementation of the Basic Health Program until 2015. It would have provided more-affordable health coverage for certain low-income individuals not eligible for Medicaid. (February 7, 2013)

7.) Closing the high-risk pool: The administration decided to prematurely halt enrollment in transitional federal high-risk pools created by the law, blocking coverage for an estimated 40,000 new applicants, citing a lack of funds. The administration had money from a fund under HHS Secretary Sebelius’s control to extend the pools, but instead used the money to pay for advertising for Obamacare enrollment and other purposes. (February 15, 2013)

8.) Doubling allowed deductibles: Because some group health plans use more than one benefits administrator, plans were allowed to apply separate patient cost-sharing limits to different services, such as doctor/hospital and prescription drugs, allowing maximum out-of-pocket costs to be twice as high as the law intended. (February 20, 2013)

9.) Small businesses on hold: The administration said federal exchanges for small businesses will not be ready by the 2014 statutory deadline, and instead delayed until 2015 the provision of SHOP (Small-Employer Health Option Program) that requires exchanges to offer a choice of qualified health plans. (March 11, 2013)

10.) Employer-mandate delay: By an administrative action that is contrary to language of the ACA, enforcement and reporting requirements for the employer mandate were delayed by one year until 2015. (July 2, 2013)

11.) Self-attestation: Because of the difficulty of verifying income after the employer-reporting requirement was delayed, the administration it would allow “self-attestation” of income and eligibility by applicants for health insurance in the exchanges. (July 15, 2013)

12.) Congressional opt-out: The administration decided to offer employer contributions to Members of Congress and their staffs when they purchase insurance on the exchanges created by the ACA, a subsidy the law doesn’t provide. (September 30, 2013)

13.) Delaying the individual mandate: The administration changed the deadline for the individual mandate by declaring that customers who purchased health insurance by March 31, 2014, would avoid the tax penalty. The law says they would have had to purchase a plan by mid-February to avoid penalties. (October 23, 2013)

14.) Insurance companies may offer canceled plans: The administration announced that insurance companies may reoffer plans that previous regulations had forced them to cancel. (November 14, 2013)

15.) Delaying the online SHOP exchange: The administration first delayed for a month and later for a year until November 2014 the launch of the online insurance marketplace for small businesses that originally was scheduled to launch on October 1, 2013. (September 26, 2013) (November 27, 2013)

16.) Exempting unions from reinsurance fee: The administration gave unions an exemption from the reinsurance fee. To make up for this exemption, non-exempt plans will have to pay a higher fee, which will likely be passed onto consumers in the form of higher premiums and deductibles. (December 2, 2013)

17.) Extending Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan: The administration extended the federal high risk pool until January 31, 2014 and again until March 15, 2014 to prevent a coverage gap for the most vulnerable. The plans were scheduled to expire on December 31, but were extended because it has been impossible for some to sign up for new coverage on healthcare.gov. (December 12, 2013) (January 14, 2014)

18.) Expanding hardship waiver to those with canceled plans: The administration expanded the hardship waiver – which exempts people from the individual mandate and allows some to purchase catastrophic health insurance – to people who have had their plans canceled because of ObamaCare regulations. The administration later extendedthis waiver until October 1, 2016. (December 19, 2013) (March 5, 2014)

19.) Bay State bailout: More than 300,000 people in Massachusetts gained temporary Medicaid coverage in 2014 without verification of eligibility, with the Obama and Patrick administrations using a taxpayer-funded bailout to mask the failure of the commonwealth’s disastrously malfunctioning website. (January 2014)

20.) Equal employer coverage delayed: Tax officials will not be enforcing in 2014 the mandate requiring employers to offer equal coverage to all their employees. This provision of the law was supposed to go into effect in 2010, but IRS officials have “yet to issue regulations for employers to follow.” (January 18, 2013)

21.) Employer-mandate delayed again: The administration delayed for an additional year provisions of the employer mandate, postponing enforcement of the requirement for medium-size employers until 2016 and relaxing some requirements for larger employers. Businesses with 100 or more employees must offer coverage to 70% of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95% in 2016 and beyond. (February 10, 2014)

22.) Extending subsidies to non-exchange plans: The administration released a bulletin through CMS extending subsidies to individuals who purchased health insurance plans outside of the federal or state exchanges. The bulletin also requires retroactive coverage and subsidies for individuals from the date they applied on the marketplace rather than the date they actually enrolled in a plan. (February 27, 2014)

23.) Non-compliant health plans get two year extension: The administration pushedforward by two years the deadline requiring health insurers to cancel plans that are not compliant with ACA mandates. These “illegal” plans can be offered until 2017. This extension prevented a wave of cancellation notices from going out before the 2014 midterm elections. (March 5, 2014)

24.) Reducing cost sharing reductions. The ACA calls for out-of-pocket maximums to be lowered for enrollees with incomes between 100-400% FPL (Sec. 1402), but the provision proved unworkable for those 250-400% of FPL in combination with prescribed actuarial value requirements. The law was changed through regulation to apply to only those 100-250% of poverty. (March 11, 2014)

25.) Delaying the sign–up deadline: The administration delayed until mid-April the March 31 deadline to sign up for insurance without penalty. Applicants simply need to check a box on their application to qualify for this extended sign-up period. (March 26, 2014)

26.) Canceling Medicare Advantage cuts: The administration canceled further scheduled cuts to Medicare Advantage. The ACA calls for $200 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage over 10 years. (April 7, 2014)

27.) More Funds for Insurer Bailout: The administration said it will supplement risk corridor payments to health insurance plans with “other sources of funding” if the higher risk profile of enrollees means the plans would lose money. (May 16, 2014)

28.) Exempting U.S. territories: Despite earlier administration claims that “HHS is not authorized to choose which provisions [of the ACA] might apply to the territories,” HHS waived six major requirements – such as guaranteed issue, community rating, and essential benefit mandates – that were causing serious disruption to health insurance markets covering 4.5 million residents of U.S. territories. (July 18, 2014)

29.) Failure to enforce abortion restrictions. A GAO report found that many exchange insurance plans don’t separate charges for abortion services as required by the ACA, showing the administration is not enforcing the law. In 2014, abortions were being financed with taxpayer funds in more than 1,000 exchange plans. (Sept. 16, 2014)

30.) Risk Corridor coverage: The Obama administration plans to illegally distribute risk corridor payments to insurers, despite studies by both the Congressional Research Service and the GAO saying a congressional appropriation is required before federal agencies can make the payments. (Sept. 30, 2014)

31.) Transparency of coverage: CMS delays statutory requirements on insurance companies to disclose data on the number of people enrolled, disenrollment, number of claims denied, costs to consumers of certain services, etc. (Oct. 20, 2014)

32.) Tax penalty pass: Taxpayers who filed returns based upon inaccurate subsidy data they received from the federal government will not have to repay the government if they received too large of a subsidy, the IRS ruled. (February 24, 2015)

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I got up close and personal with the Liberal mind last weekend — lunch with a talented and bright family member (let’s call him “Dan”) who is an Obama supporter and a proponent and defender of Obamacare (“talented / bright” in the same sentence as “defender of Obamacare”? I know, it doesn’t seem to add up, but that’s why the country is in the mess it’s in).

The conversation turned to Obamacare, which I had hoped to avoid, but there it was, and away we went. Things stayed cordial, which was a relief, although I suffered a great deal because I had to hold back a great flood of rhetorical intensity so as to protect relationships all around.

In the end I was left with even more respect for how Barack Hussein Obama hijacked a Great Nation. This is because he saw so clearly that Democrats / Liberals who sought payback for the Bush years were astoundingly ripe to be recruited (read: used) into supporting just about any alternative to the existing health care system, even a terrible one, or a diabolical one based on lies and smoke and mirrors. And not only did he see this advantage, he hung onto it, through the Wall Street disaster, which he ignored, and through the Scott Brown Senate victory (the Ted Kennedy seat went Republican for fear of Obamacare).

Respect.

I now see that such a gamble was no gamble at all, and well worth it to him: central government control over peoples’ bodies and health was the ultimate Great Leap Forward for a young Marxist wanting to stifle freedom in the most free nation ever to grace the face of the earth.

And so I heard the following arguments from Dan:

  • Many other countries have “better health outcomes” than we do here in the USA, and that therefore our pre-Obama health care system had to be fixed with the ACA;
  • The unconstitutional, unilateral delays in ACA implementation are merely “the way politicians always phase things in, particularly legislation with uncomfortable changes”;
  • The notion that Barack Obama is a Marxist, or a man whose policies are influenced by his many Marxist mentors, professors, and family members, is a laughably nutty notion and not worthy of serious consideration;
  • Some people’s health insurance costs are going down because of the ACA;
  • Because I drive on roads and highways, that were paved by the government for my and everyone’s benefit, I must therefore submit to the idea that everything government does is right and good and effective for all the citizens;
  • The Affordable Care Act, while imperfect, is a good solution that can work

Each one of these is easily dismissed (see below), but the overriding point is that no matter how bad the employer-based health insurance model was, the ACA is and will be increasingly far worse. 

The cure is worse than the disease, plain and simple, and this makes Obamacare a moral crime.

This is already readily apparent not only from news reports, but from individual experiences all around us and including ourselves (my wife and I lost our insurance and then were told we could “keep it” for double the price). All arguments against the previous system are literally irrelevant, because to say that the antecedent was terrible is to say and prove nothing about the Frankenstein’s monster that is its replacement.

But one by one we go:

>”Better health outcomes” in other countries?

Is the ACA modeled on health care in any of those other countries?

No, not even one little bit.

Next.

>Delays in the ACA implementation are “business as usual among politicians in Washington”? No they are not. Barack Obama has audaciously blazed a new frontier: the selective enforcement of laws, a power that he does not have unless given expressly by statute. He is violating his oath of office. As Charles Krauthammer recently observed, imagine how Democrats will feel if a future Republican president decided that the IRS should not collect capital gains taxes any more because, in his or her opinion, such taxes were “anti-growth and killing jobs”…

This is called lawlessness, a state in which a country can disintegrate rather quickly. The Founding Fathers created a system of checks and balances to censure and curb the recklessness of petty dictators such as the one we have occupying the White House in these sad times, and so Congress must hold the executive accountable for such vicious abrogation of the Constitution. But a Harry Reid Senate will not convict, and a population of voters that is increasingly on the dole is also unlikely to stand up and demand accountability (against their source of the Free Lunch? As if).

>mr. Obama’s Marxist influences and the Marxist ideology inherent in his policy prescriptions are not relevant to discuss? Yes they are relevant, as are the influences and beliefs of every presidential candidate past present and future.

Does Dan think that mr. Obama’s professors and family friends were not Marxists? He is wrong — they were openly Marxist in their political ideology (check out Frank Marshall Davis, to name just one strong influence on the young man), and mr. Obama himself casually admitted in The Audacity of Hope to his association with the “Marxists” in college (a set of connections so strong and undeniable he had no choice but to cop to it as he planned his bid for the presidency).

Does Dan think that Marxism is a Tea Party fantasy and not a real thing in the world? That would be a gravely mistaken fantasy indeed, as the 45 million souls who were starved to death by Mao’s Great Leap Forward (collectivization of agriculture) could attest from the other side of the veil. From the New York Times:

The worst catastrophe in China’s history, and one of the worst anywhere, was the Great Famine of 1958 to 1962, and to this day the ruling Communist Party has not fully acknowledged the degree to which it was a direct result of the forcible herding of villagers into communes under the “Great Leap Forward” that Mao Zedong launched in 1958. <source>

Sounds pretty real to me.

Marx and Mao

One of these men starved 45 million people to death in pursuit of the other man’s political philosophy. Do you know which is which? Does it matter?

Marxism is a real political philosophy and one that has tortured and murdered hundreds of millions of people.

The look on Dan’s face when I mentioned Marxism in the context of mr. Obama was priceless: he shook his head and even put a hand on my shoulder (!!), as if to say my medications would be coming soon, so crazy am I.

But Dan’s reaction is very familiar to me in this late-stage of the American experiment because who among us has experienced the likes of Nazi Germany, or Stalin’s purges, or Mao’s mass-starvation of tens of millions? None of us has. Our entire lives have been essentially sheltered in the bosom of American global hegemony, and  inside the average American mind the history of human atrocity somehow seems to reside not just in the past but permanently in the past — it can’t happen again, and it cant happen here, so there’s no need to be on guard.

If history is any guide (and it should be), this mind-state is ludicrous, and the one that is truly deserving of a friendly hand on the shoulder: it has happened before and can happen again, so perhaps we ought to try to keep eyes and ears open for the slow encroachment of central power.

>Some people are getting cheaper health care?

Maybe from the Easter bunny?

Easter Bunny cheap health care

>Government paved the roads and didn’t screw it up, and so therefore I must submit to the idea that government can manage health care? When you read that sentence you almost don’t need to make arguments to dismiss it, so laughable it is.

The funny thing is, I am seeing this argument more and more in Liberal circles: THE ROADS.

He uses the roads.

He uses the roads.

Garrison Keillor, the host of A Prairie Home Companion, lately has been saying that he is a “tax and spend Liberal and proud of it”, and one of his favorite explanations is that he “uses the roads“.

This line of reasoning — that coordinating the provision of health care for 310 million people is no more complex than paving roads — is so wrong in so many ways that I am going to dedicate an entire essay to it, and by the end of those words, it will lay in ruin forever.

>The ACA is a good solution to the ills of the previous system? My first response to this was to ask “How do you know?”. The imperial president has gutted the implementation of his own law in order to prevent its full damage from being done until after the next series of elections, and so its full effect is impossible to assess. Before you say that therefore I cannot condemn the law on the same grounds, I say: sure I can, because the ill effects are real and being felt RIGHT NOW, and because if the law were going to be helpful mr. Obama would not be scrambling to delay its implementation at every turn.

My second response was to list all the smoke and mirrors that define the ACA: so-called “sign-ups” are unverified and many have never been consummated through actual payment; the back end of the website is non-existent, meaning that insurance companies have no idea who is covered and who has claims to what; more people have lost insurance than have signed up under Obamacare, creating a net loss for Americans, and this will accelerate dramatically as the law grinds down on us in the next few years.

The Worst of All: Liberals Invite and Coddle the Totalitarianism that they Claim To Despise and that Grows Under Their Very Noses

Finally, the most disappointing thing of all when it comes to American Liberals is that they fail to join me on situations where we should be natural allies. I am for freedom and against central government oppression of citizens; for free choices and against Control. Liberals claim to hold these same views and often decry the plutocracy and the immoral and corrupt power of Wall Street firms and the military industrial complex.

And yet, they will stare you right in the eye and defend the Affordable Care Act, which has given (a) insurance companies a license to steal from and wage war against the middle class, fully backed the awesome and fearsome power of the IRS, and (b) waves of government bureaucrats direct control over our health care decisions, starting with the requirement that people buy insurance even though they don’t want it, and including Obamacare star chambers like the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a government body so fascistic that Barney Frank is now against its creation (since he left Congress) (“Barney Frank backs IPAB Repeal“).

How can this be?

They seem to forget that central government control and its inherent abuses led to the American Revolution, and that a cabal of government bureaucrats is one of the scariest things on earth, particularly when led by a megalomaniac leader. They get all agitated when a Republican inhabits the White House, but turn deaf and dumb and blind when a Democrat steps in.

Again the Chinese experience with centrally planned agricultural production:

As the catastrophe unfolded, people were forced to resort to previously unthinkable acts to survive. As the moral fabric of society unraveled, they abused one another, stole from one another and poisoned one another. Sometimes they resorted to cannibalism. <source>

And the megalomaniac leader’s reaction to the scale of human suffering he himself caused was….

At a secret meeting in Shanghai on March 25, 1959, he ordered the party to procure up to one-third of all the available grain — much more than ever before. The minutes of the meeting reveal a chairman insensitive to human loss:

When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill. 

Note the logic of the Marxist’s zero-sum-game: forget any notion that “everyone can eat”, and instead sign onto the notion that half must starve so the other half can barely subsist….a Marxist redistribution lesson of tragic proportion.

So how can American Liberals argue in favor of powerful corporate interests and government control of our lives?

How can they support the growing Leviathan in Washington DC, which is now getting involved in our choices of doctors, health insurance plans, hospitals, and more?

Why are such people so willing to so easily and naively throw away the freedom our forefathers won for us through bloody conflicts?

And when the next Reich is firmly in control of our lives, invited into power by such well-intentioned people, the result and the path chosen will be a Great Shame that will echo through eternity: people who lived free chose the yoke, again, but this time from the loftiest heights humanity ever reached.

 

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All of life on earth ebbs and flows. This is the rhythm of the place, and human history can be explained as a series of movements back and forth between various extremes. Sometimes these swings take decades and sometimes centuries, and although we may feel as though we are living in a stable time, the good fortune of any era can never be taken for granted. The urgent truth is that the glorious American experiment is in trouble. How did we get here?

As Americans, our particular good fortune is that the Founding Fathers created a system of government that fostered a kind of golden mean of human societal organization and management: not too loose (the Articles of Confederation decentralized power to a fault) and not too autocratic (no sense replacing the deposed King with another one).

They realized that the pendulum usually swings too far in both directions, and that more often than not, it swings to the autocratic and dictatorial side (even in the great historical republics, which inevitably sunk into fascism).

But even they were not counting on the rise of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan and their attendant two world wars, all of which caused the United States central government to grow, and grow, and grow.

The Pendulum Swings

And so in answer to the question, how did we get here? I offer a recent history of the United States in a few simple pictures.

Pendulum of Government Regulation

As you can see, party affiliation is of little consequence: Republican presidents are in a few surprising places, and so are Democratic presidents.

Beginning in the late 1960s, the pendulum stands at one end with stifling, sclerotic government regulation of industry and its attendant economic contraction — Lyndon Johnson (Great Society) / Richard Nixon (wage and price controls) / Jimmy Carter (triumph of bureaucratic indecision). Beginning with Jimmy Carter’s deregulation of the airline industry in 1978 (one of Jimmy’s rare achievements) and continuing in earnest with the election of Ronald Reagan, it begins to swing back towards the middle, creating an era of economic liberation and growth yet still within the bounds of reasonable regulatory oversight. After Reagan, the pendulum begins to swing too far the other way, particularly during the two terms of the Bill Clinton presidency. Mr. Clinton, along with his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, abolished the Glass-Steagall banking law that had protected the American financial system from crises for 60 straight years.

Let me repeat this last fact, as it is occasionally forgotten (blocked out?) in Liberal circles: Bill Clinton (D) and Robert Rubin (D) repealed the Glass-Steagall banking law and allowed investment banks to once again co-mingle investment banking, commercial banking, and proprietary trading all under one too-big-to-fail umbrella.

Likewise, Barney Frank (D) and his fellow Democrats in Congress chose to ease the regulatory burdens on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the 1990s and 2000s despite innumerable calls for greater oversight, leaving these institutions to ultimately hang themselves and all the nations of the earth in the 2008 economic catastrophe from which we are still trying to recover.

If you are a Democrat, or a Liberal, you may be feeling a kind of cognitive dissonance when faced with these facts, but this is a good sign: it shows that enough of the truth is getting through to you to cause you some discomfort, and how can you not be upset? I am upset with my own party and have been on many occasions: Richard Nixon (R) imposed wage and price controls, a fact that gives me quite a bit of cognitive dissonance, as such controls are the ultimate expression of anti-American central planning. Likewise, George W. Bush (R) is on one of the extreme ends of the pendulum swing above, and he must share the blame for not doing more to stop the momentum bequeathed to him by Clinton. So let us not be blinded by the Democrat and Republican schism in American politics and focus more instead on each leader and what he actually did and did not do.

To return to the narrative: as the world economy entered free-fall in 2008, the American electorate wanted the pendulum to swing back the other way and was ripe for a Manchurian candidate who would usher in a “change” in America.

But the pendulum always swings too far.

Enter Barack Hussein Obama, a man who was raised in Indonesia by parents and friends who espoused an anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist, and anti-American set of philosophies and principles that in fact are wholly outside of the normal ebb and flow of American political and economic principles.

He has used the failures of capitalism as an excuse to plunge us into socialism and fascism, just as Karl Marx and Nikita Khrushchev foretold.

The Pendulum Breaks

Pendulum of Govt Regulation swings to Obama fascism

A short but potent list of his actions while in office is sobering, and alarming: He has effectively nationalized health care through the imposition of a punitive tax regime on businesses and citizens to be (selectively…) enforced by the IRS, particularly against those who are young and healthy; He has, through Obamacare, created a new star chamber of federal bureaucrats (the IPAB) who will become the unelected politburo for decision making around health care for the elderly (for those who think the term “fascism” is over-reaching, I urge you to read about the IPAB, and about selective enforcement of byzantine laws, as starting points);  He imposed drilling bans on federal lands and in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill, damaging further an already devastated region of the country; He has initiated selective, unilateral changes to existing laws in direct violation of the Constitution, including those involving health care, immigration, and energy regulations; and he seeks to dramatically weaken the second amendment to the Constitution, again using crisis events as an excuse to expand state power.

The cherry on top of this sundae du merde is that Barack Obama chose NOT to re-regulate Wall Street after the crisis; he chose NOT to prevent Wall Street firms from paying bonuses with tax-payer money (they didn’t miss even one year of bonuses); he chose NOT to push for prosecution of financial crimes.

At first this seems hard to understand, until you remember that Barack Obama does not want to save capitalism, he wants to destroy it utterly and completely (break the pendulum, once and for all) for the purpose of creating a permanent state control of the economy.

Leaving banks as Too-Big-To-Fail, which, to this day, they very much are, constitutes a doubling down by Barack Obama on the reckless endangerment Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times has written about ad nauseum.

Failure of whole industries allows central government fascists the opportunity to walk in and take over. For example, here is what just happened in Venezuela, where a decade of fascism and socialism have destroyed private businesses and led to shortages:

(CNN) — When you’re running low on toilet paper and getting desperate, what do you do?

If you’re the Venezuelan government, you take over a toilet paper factory. On Saturday, Vice President Jorge Arreaza announced the “temporary occupation” of the Paper Manufacturing Company’s plant in the state of Aragua. The aim, he explained, is to review the “production, marketing and distribution (of) toilet paper.”

“The … People’s Defense from the Economy will not allow hoarding or failures in the production and distribution of essential commodities,” the vice president said. By the “People’s Defense,” Arreaza was referring to a government agency created on September 13 by President Nicolas Maduro to “defeat the economic war that has been declared in the country,” according to a report from state-run ATV. This group is charged with looking at inefficiencies across various industries in the nation, including foods and other products, and taking action presumably in the South American nation’s best interests. <source>

This example is almost too perfect: a government fascist, Hugo Chavez, nationalizes whole industries in his country (in the name of the “people”), which of course plunges the economy into economic ruin. Then, when shortages occur, as they always do and as they soon will in American health care, the central government “temporarily” takes over a private company in order to “ensure supply” against a paranoid fantasy of plots to under-supply the market, further demonizing private industry and glorifying the government bureaucrats…

So what did Barack Obama do to repair the financial industry, and our country, and insulate it against another financial crisis?

Nothing.

And what do you think Barack Obama will do when another major bank is on the brink of failure?

Conduct a “Temporary occupation.”

This is fascism, brought to America via a man who expertly and cruelly used the sentiments of so many citizens who wanted nothing more than the pendulum to be made to swing back the other way.

If you voted for Barack Obama, you must now confront the truth, which is that a world-class demagogue used you in order to do something quite different, and something he is accelerating on in every possible way.

Soon he will ask you for your vote in the mid-term elections so that he can remove the final obstacle (Republican control of the House) to the achievement of the full extent of his vile ambition. Will you be sympathetic to his siren song, now that you know the truth?

In Summary

The pendulum is always swinging between too much, and too little, government regulation.

We cannot afford the sclerotic and stifling central planning of LBJ/Nixon/Carter.

Neither can we afford the anarchy of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

And we most definitely cannot afford the fascism and central planning of Barack Hussein Obama, a man whose formative years had nothing whatsoever to do with the American experience.

We must elect leaders who will set a course toward the golden mean, as Reagan did, and as Teddy Roosevelt did when he broke the trusts in the early twentieth century to curb the abuses of capitalism so that he could save capitalism.

And we must survive the malignant reign of this man, Barack Obama, who operates not in any way to preserve capitalism, but instead to destroy it and all that we hold dear in the American civilization.

May God save the Unites States of America these next three years, and may a plurality of voters make the right choice in 2016.

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Let me congratulate Democrats and Liberals again on their Obama victory in 2012, which is truly a watershed moment in American history and one that they are no doubt still celebrating (especially because they don’t realize what this actual watershed moment is).

But let me also ask my Liberal friends to start waking up to the reality of what the yoke of government means and how Obama’s policies will bring them and us immeasurable pain, as similar policies have done to people throughout human history. This is urgent, because your man has already gotten some laws passed (in his first term) that will have very serious negative consequences for all of our daily lives, and the Affordable Care Act in particular is a ticking time bomb that is now free to explode in 2014, as it was designed to do.

If you don’t know what I am referring to, then you just need to be reminded that much of the horror of the Obamacare changes was scheduled to burst through our chests (like the Alien predator) beginning in 2014 instead of in 2010, when the law was passed.

alient chest burster

This was by design: mr. Obama knew full well that his draconian law was going to cause massive pain to the average American and he could not afford to have this happen before his re-election bid in 2012.

So there he is, still riding Air Force One, and here comes the destruction, and all you Obama lovers should at least do your patriotic duty and open your eyes to what you have wrought by sealing all our fates with the extension of the Obama regime. You won, and he won, and now you owe it to your fellow citizens to own his policies and the destruction they are and will be doing.

Exhibit A: The Independent Payment Advisory Board

The Affordable Care Act includes something called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, which will burst forth on the American landscape in 2014. What is the IPAB? It is a 15-member board that is appointed by, you guessed it, the president. Its stated goal is to control Medicare spending. How will it do that?

When the unelected government officials on this board submit a legislative proposal to Congress, it automatically becomes law: PPACA requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement it. Blocking an IPAB “proposal” requires at a minimum that the Houseand the Senate and the president agree on a substitute. The Board’s edicts therefore can become law without congressional action, congressional approval, meaningful congressional oversight, or being subject to a presidential veto. Citizens will have no power to challenge IPAB’s edicts in court. <source>

This is fascism, plain and simple: a 15-member panel, unelected, makes decisions that automatically become law and control the amount of care Americans will receive.

IPAB’s unelected members will have effectively unfettered power to impose taxes and ration care for all Americans, whether the government pays their medical bills or not. In some circumstances, just one political party or even one individual would have full command of IPAB’s lawmaking powers. IPAB truly is independent, but in the worst sense of the word. It wields power independent of Congress, independent of the president, independent of the judiciary, and independent of the will of the people.

Did you see the election results in the over-60 year old demographic? 54% voted for Mitt Romney and 43% voted for Barack Hussein Obama. It seems that older Americans know what is good for them, and what will result in their premature deaths.

Perhaps older Americans also know that Liberal intentions, combined with fantasies of utopia, always result in death and destruction in ways that Liberals are never prepared for and always surprised by.

In fact an American Liberal was recently photographed while taking her cuddly Obamacare pet for a walk, and it certainly appears as if the beast is ready to break free of its leash…

IPAB killer unleashed

“But we thought we could control it…” she seems to be saying.

Sure, sure.

Just how bad is the Obama IPAB? Liberal Democrat legend Barney Frank is now (AFTER THE FACT) against it:

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank announced on Tuesday his support for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a significant portion of President Obama’s health care overhaul.

Frank, who announced Monday that he would retire at the end of his current term in office, became the 12th Democrat, and the 212th member of the House, to co-sponsor Tennessee Republican Rep. Phil Roe’s bill aimed at repealing the IPAB.

Frank is the most prominent Democrat to join Roe’s bipartisan repeal effort. <source>

You got that? Barney Frank wants it repealed (maybe he knows he’s getting older and might suffer at the hands of the fascist Obamonster).

And Barack Hussein Ebola won re-election.

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What a welcome news day today: certain Democrats are rushing to join Republicans on the right side of history. This may bother some of the purists, but I say Welcome Aboard the good ship Righteous! First, we have none other than the new Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, former CIA Director for Obama and former White House Chief of Staff under Clinton, coming around to some realizations and voicing them:

BAGHDAD — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday appeared to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq as part of the war against al-Qaeda, an argument controversially made by the Bush administration but refuted by President Obama and many Democrats. “The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked,” Panetta told the troops. His statement echoed previous comments made by President George W. Bush and members of his administration. <source>

Such lucidity is impressive. What brought it on? Perhaps Leon’s time at the CIA taught him a few things about who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. In any event, what a breath of fresh air, and we can also rejoice in the effect Panetta’s comments must be having on the Manchurian who appointed him. Panetta’s spokesman had the unenviable task of turning plain truth back into language that destroys meaning and foments confusion and moral degradation:

Douglas Wilson, a spokesman for Panetta, said the defense secretary wasn’t trying to re-open the contentious debate about the cause or justification for the Iraq war. “I don’t think he’s going down that rabbit hole,” Wilson said.

Really Doug, what rabbit hole? Alice in Wonderland’s distorted reality never applied here in the first place, and your boss finally realized it and made a direct statement more akin to the world above ground. But I guess you had to say something. Next we have the announcement of the eighth Democrat to join a Republican bill to abolish the Obama fascism at the heart of Obamacare.

Another House Democrat has signed onto legislation aimed at scrapping the board Obamacare sets up to control Medicare costs. Virgin Islands non-voting Del. Donna Christian-Christensen became the eighth congressional Democrat to oppose President Obama on the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) on Monday. <source>

For those who don’t remember, the IPAB is one of Obama’s fascist star chambers, which will arrive in 2014.

IPAB is a 15-member board, appointed by the president, slated to go into effect in 2014. It will recommend how much money Medicare recipients, including seniors, can get for health care.

The IPAB, one of the central pieces of the Obamacare law, is so revolting an example of centralized fascist authority, complete with its gift to the President of a gold-plated position of patronage (you think the people appointed by him for the panel won’t be in his pocket?), that a growing number of Democrats are signing on to its abolition. Perhaps they are looking ahead to their own golden years, when they too will face the “Board” and be told by 15 government bureaucrats whether they are allowed to have certain procedures or not — oh wait, does Obamacare apply to members of Congress? The plain truth is that, upon seizing the office of the presidency, mr. Obama spent precious political capital on forcing a fascist takeover of 1/8th of the American economy through a reluctant Democrat-controlled Congress when he should have been saving the country from the global financial crisis. The IPAB is highly indicative of what the man stands for, and even enlightened Democrats know that fascism, even when cloaked in Democratic party clothes, is fascism nonetheless.

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