Monday, March 29, 2010

Another "What's in the Bill?" Post

As Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise, suprise, suprise." It turns out that, yet again, Barack Obama doesn't know what was in his own health care bill. This was reported Sunday in the NYT.

Here's what Obama's been saying about children, preexisting conditions, and the insurance companies as the issue relates to his own health care reform law: Mr. Obama, speaking at a health care rally in northern Virginia on March 19, said, “Starting this year, insurance companies will be banned forever from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.”

Sorry, but like a whole lot of this bill, that statement turns out to be pure BS and also just plain wrong.

Here's what the NYT is reporting: Insurers agree that if they provide insurance for a child, they must cover pre-existing conditions. But, they say, the law does not require them to write insurance for the child and it does not guarantee the “availability of coverage” for all until 2014.

It's evidently a matter of reading the "fine print," according to William G. Schiffbauer, a lawyer whose clients include employers and insurance companies. "The fine print differs from the larger political message." How many times are we going to hear that one in the coming weeks and months?

The article goes on to say that Congressional Democrats were furious when they learned that some insurers disagreed with their interpretation of the law.

Then maybe they should have taken the time to make sure the bill correctly said what they thought it did. Oh no, no, no--this was a crisis of the gravest proportions that had to be SHOVED down our throats. So good luck with that campaign soundbite in 2010, all you "furious" Democrats who voted for this crap bill.

Allahpundit at HotAir has a post about this screw-up and the shoddy drafting of the bill. Allah makes a pretty good argument that maybe this wasn't a screw-up but instead was intentional, baiting the "evil" insurance companies and heartless Republicans into a showdown over the issue of taking care of the children. Campaign against this and you instantly become a heartless hater of sick kids. Sweet.

Howevere, I disagree with Allah. I go back and forth with this all the time: is the Obama administration evil or stupid? Most of the time, as in this case, I come down on the side of stupid. I think this is a case of sheer incompetence. They were in a mad rush to pass the damned bill, any way, any how; there's no telling how many of these "drafting errors" are going to come to light in the weeks and months ahead.

Update. This is from today's Beacon Street Journal: "The fraudulent promises of Obamacare." Here's the first paragraph: Stripped bare of all its misleading minutiae, the promise of Obamacare in a nutshell is this: we’re going to insure an additional 30 million people who don’t have health insurance, yet provide everybody including those who already have health insurance with better coverage, at lower cost and to paraphrase the president, “not add one dime to the deficit.” Barack Obama spent the entire first year of his presidency communicating this childish fantasy to an unreceptive and disbelieving electorate. In the end, since nobody was buying what he was selling, Obama was forced to justify the bill’s passage by claiming it’s the “right thing to do.”

The article goes on to discuss how the Democrats had to game the system in order to create the illusion of O-Care's deficit reduction features.

What's in our future to pay for this monstrosity? A European-style value added tax, of course, known simply as "the VAT." How do the Democrats escape the quandary and fiscal recklessness of adding another massive new entitlement program on top of Social Security and Medicare’s insolvency? Look for the implementation of a Value Added Tax on the horizon.

So much for Obama's promises not to add "one dime" of taxes to people making under $250,000. How many times did we hear that during the 2008 campaign? I'm thinking he must have said that at least 10,000 times. This promise, like so many of his other promises to the American people, clearly comes with an expiration date.

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