Red October Looms for Obamacare

PatriotPost.US Americans can breathe a sigh of relief, however briefly, because Congress will not pass health care legislation before lawmakers depart for recess on August 7. "This bill, even in the best-case scenario, will not be signed -- we won't even vote on it probably until the end of September or the middle of October," said President Barack Obama.

In a sense, Obama is admitting the unpopularity of the major proposals being bantered about in Congress. "This has been the most difficult test for me so far in public life," he complained, "trying to describe in clear, simple terms how important it is that we reform this system. The case is so clear to me." And the case is equally clear to us that Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress are acting unconstitutionally. Look it up -- health care ain't there. Economist Walter E. Williams points to the Founders' own words on the lack of constitutional authority for such actions, adding, "What we're witnessing today is nothing less than a massive escalation in White House and congressional thuggery." That said, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) asked rhetorically, "Is health care a constitutional right?" He answered, "Well, we believe that people do and we're introducing a constitutional amendment just to make it real clear so that you don't have to infer or assume that that's a given and all that."

What Conyers and other Democrats don't understand is that, as columnist Rich Hrebic explains, "A right is not a guarantee that the government (i.e., other people) will provide you something for free. We have the right to engage in religious expression, but that doesn't mean that the government pays for the construction of the church. We have the right to peacefully assemble, but the government doesn't promise to supply your transportation. You have the right to keep and bear arms, but don't expect the government to provide you with a free firearm and bullets. You have the right to free speech, but the government won't grant you free radio or TV air time. What makes something a right is not whether the government can force somebody else to pay for it."

But back to the proposal. House and Senate negotiators are working to cut the cost of the bill by $100 billion -- cuts that have suddenly allayed the concerns of so-called fiscally conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats. The compromise still includes major tax increases and a public option health entitlement, which were supposed to be deal killers for these "principled" Blue Dogs.

The Senate Finance Committee claims that its package now comes with a price tag of $900 billion over 10 years. Such projections are laughable for several reasons: The unpredictability of how many will switch to the "public option," how that plan will affect other plans on the market, and the cost of actual medical care in general. Beyond that, the Congressional Budget Office said that Obama's plan to cut medical costs by shortchanging providers in order to offset the cost of the bill is a hoax. "In CBO's judgment, the probability is high that no savings would be realized." No savings. So what's the point, Mr. President?

Democrats have proposed one way to raise money for the bill -- tax payroll. The Wall Street Journal writes that the tax could reach 10 percent. So much for "no tax increases for those making less than $250,000 a year."

Democrats have also proposed yet another creative way to raise money for the bill -- tax soda (known simply as Coke down here in the South). The CBO estimates that a three-cent tax on soda, including Gatorade and other sugary or energy drinks, would generate $24 billion in the next four years, all while fighting obesity. We have been through this before. If Congress taxes something expecting people to stop using that something for their health, the revenue source dries up. Brilliant. We say, "No taxation on carbonation!"

All in all, if the public option is so good, why don't Democrats in Congress want it to be their health plan? Amendments requiring them to be covered by the plan have been defeated in both the House and Senate. One reason for the defeat might be the example of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who, if his case went before a review board, could be denied his current level of cancer treatment. One might say he'd be left to sink or swim.

The BIG Lie

"We spend about $6,000 per person more than any other industrialized nation on earth -- $6,000 more than the people do in Denmark, or France, or Germany, or -- every one of these other countries spend at least 50 percent less than we do, and you know what, they're just as healthy." --Barack Obama

The American Spectator's Philip Klein explains why this is a lie: "Obama is correct that all of those countries spend less per person on health care, but it isn't anywhere near $6,000 less. The widest gap among the countries mentioned, between the U.S. and Denmark, is $3,778 per person. Of course, other systems don't keep costs down with magic wands, but with rationing care to the sick -- something Obama denies he wants to do in the U.S." Indeed, there's no question that our system needs some treatment, but ObamaCare is not the right prescription.