Note to Congress: Avoid passing bizarrely complicated, economy-transforming legislation that you have not read, especially in the face of overwhelming public opposition. In The Weekly Standard, Jeffrey H. Anderson describes the “steady stream of revelations of previously undiscovered horrors buried in the bowels of ObamaCare”:
Since passage, reports have revealed that ObamaCare would cost over $1 trillion by any standard, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), not “merely” $940 billion as previously reported (while its total costs in its real first decade, 2014 to 2023, would continue to be well over $2 trillion); that ObamaCare has prompted major corporations to discuss dropping their employer-provided health-care plans; that businesses would have to file 1099s not only for every person to whom they pay $600 in wages but for every vendor with whom they do $600 in business, thereby imposing a paperwork nightmare and incentivizing companies to avoid doing business with a myriad of small firms rather than a handful of big ones; that ObamaCare would create 159 new federal agencies, offices, or programs; that the Obama administration’s Medicare Chief Actuary says ObamaCare would raise U.S. health costs by $311 billion in relation to current law and would shift about 14 million people off of employer-provided insurance — and some of them onto Medicaid; that ObamaCare’s would discourage employment, as — for example — hiring a 25th worker would cost a business $5,600 in addition to wages and benefits; that ObamaCare would impose a severe marriage penalty, offering additional subsidies as high as $10,425 a year if couples merely avoid marriage; that a lone provision in ObamaCare, which would penalize employers if their employees spend more than 9.5 percent of their household income on insurance premiums, would cut the net income of businesses like White Castle by more than half; that even though ObamaCare was supposed to get people out of emergency rooms and into doctors’ offices, those who build emergency rooms say the effect will be just the opposite and that they are gearing up for increased business; that doctors shortages are looming and would be accentuated by ObamaCare, both because more people would seek care (otherwise, what would the $2 trillion be buying?) and because fewer people would likely enter a demanding profession that would now promise greater restrictions and lower pay; and that President Obama’s nominee to head Medicare and Medicaid under ObamaCare is an open advocate of the British National Health Services’ NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) and its methods of rationing care.
Opposition to ObamaCare has grown sharply with all of the revelations: “Americans now favor repeal by a margin of almost 2-to-1, with 63 percent favoring repeal and just 32 percent opposing it,” according to a Rasmussen poll cited in the same article.
But repeal is a tough row to hoe. There’s little doubt that a Democratic bloodbath in November will dramatically alter the balance of power in Washington — but Obama will still be president, and still have veto power. Even if the Republicans win every single Senate race throughout the country (not gonna happen), there will be enough Democratic Senators to sustain a veto. Although I expect Harry Reid’s successor as Democratic leader will have a harder time enforcing party loyalty.
True repeal will probably have to wait until after the 2012 presidential election, unless the Supreme Court steps in to rule Obamacare unconstitutional. (Hm… I wonder if my former colleague Elena Kagan would have to recuse herself?) In the meantime, look for the next Congress to find creative ways to deny funding and delay implementation of key provisions.