August 5, 2013

"To adapt H.L. Mencken, nobody ever went broke underestimating the cynicism and self-dealing of the American political class."

"Witness their ad-libbed decision, at the 11th hour and on the basis of no legal authority, to create a special exemption for themselves from the ObamaCare health coverage that everybody else is mandated to buy."
... The lesson for Americans is that Democrats who passed ObamaCare didn't even understand what they were doing to themselves, much less to everyone else.

22 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Every single person running against an incumbent should be hammering this issue home. Every single time they speak to an audience or to the press.

Scott M said...

I usually managed to avoid getting pissed off by the dealings of those in D.C. By this, I mean that, sure, I get annoyed and get the ol' furled brow at the often daily parade of ridiculousness, but this...this is the sort of thing that boils the blood, making ire at teh stoopid cross over into fuel for the rage.

I haven't been this angry with our federal leadership since Ted Kennedy's loop-d'-loop on who should pick the replacement senator for MA as he proceeded to shuffle off his mortal coil.

Scott M said...

I usually managed to avoid getting pissed off by the dealings of those in D.C. By this, I mean that, sure, I get annoyed and get the ol' furled brow at the often daily parade of ridiculousness, but this...this is the sort of thing that boils the blood, making ire at teh stoopid cross over into fuel for the rage.

I haven't been this angry with our federal leadership since Ted Kennedy's loop-d'-loop on who should pick the replacement senator for MA as he proceeded to shuffle off his mortal coil.

CWJ said...

An excellent, if depressing, article.

Of course, no one knows the implications of 1000+ page legislation even if they read it.

The difference is that while we little people scramble to understand what our public servants have done to us, not for us, those self same public servants somehow find the authority out of thin air to remake law to their own benefit when they discover negative consequences for themselves.

cubanbob said...

As Lilly Tomlin said "I try to be cynical but I can't keep up!" At the rate these clowns are going tax evasion will become an act of patriotism.

Bob Boyd said...

Shouldn't it be overestimating the cynicism and self dealing...?

PatHMV said...

I'm somewhat disturbed at the controversy over this. As I understand it, the Obamacare bill required that Congressional staffers have Obamacare coverage, but did not provide a corresponding authorization for their employer, the Congress, to pay the normal employer's share of the premiums. Thus, unlike many, many employees in the private sector, their employer would be forbidden by law from paying the lion's share of their health insurance premium. The only recent development is finding a pathway for Congress to do what it was doing before, and what most large companies do for most of their employees, pay an employer's share of health insurance premiums.

Did I miss something that makes this controversy anything more than that?

I speak as one who really dislikes Obamacare and wants it defunded, repealed, done away with. But I don't think we should use Congressional staffers as pawns in that political battle.

n.n said...

Perhaps Americans are just looking for a "friend with benefits". They are not interested in a long-term relationship, but a quick fix to relieve their anxiety.

I wonder what the politicians think of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma. This physician-owned facility claims to perform procedures at the residual cost of insurance subsidized operations. It appears that ACA (aka "Obamacare"), and other government mandated medical insurance programs, are the principal cause and not the resolution of unaffordable health care.

Unknown said...

Think that should be, nobody went broke *over*estimating the cynicism etc.

Big Mike said...

@MadMan, I'd like to offer a friendly amendment:

"Every single person running against an incumbent who voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) should be hammering this issue home."

Let's face it, this isn't going to be much of an issue against people who voted against Obamacare.

bpm4532 said...

The count of illegal actions under this administration seems to be increasing.

SteveR said...

The precedent is Congress exempts itself from its own laws, so it was always clear this would get worked out, in spite of the Christmas Eve theatrics. This is working out as planned for the Single Payer folks. ACA failure.

O2bnaz said...

This was always what a "nationalized" healthcare "system" was supposed to look like. Government will now use your health and limited access to care to manipulate your behavior. Political friends will be rewarded, political enemies will be punished. This was never and will never be about helping the sick or the injured. This is about power. This is about control. It is already an unimaginable evil.

Matthew Sablan said...

It's almost like we had to pass it to find out what was in it.

doustoi said...

That's a "furrowed" brow, not a "furled" one

Kirk Parker said...

PatHMV,

Sorry. The idiot Congress (and the obligatory apologies to idiots everywhere) passed this ridiculous law in an unwarranted hurry and without the requisite amount of care and attention to the details. OF COURSE they shouldn't be allowed to use extra-legal means to get themselves out of a painful situation they inadvertantly forced themselves into!

The Godfather said...

Pace Kirk Parker, but I think PatHMV raises a legitimate question. It's one thing if Congress is making special beneficial rules for itself and its staff (comparable to some of the waivers that the Obama administration has granted to favored interests), and it's another thing if it's doing something reasonable and rational that other employers would be permitted to do.

Even so, there may still be a procedural issue, about whether such an adjustment has been legally effected.

But I would really like to know the answer to the question PatHMV raised, if any commentator, or Prof. Althouse, has an answer. I don't.

wildswan said...

The main thing is that Congress is still in Obamacare and so they won't get treatments paid for unless IPAD approves. This is crucial because IPAD approval is going to massively slowdown the introduction of new treatments. In Obamacare there are trials going which will approve treatments. They take five years to test out treatments that have already been tested so these trials add five years to what was probably a ten year process anyhow. So in Obamacare, treatments will be a minimum five years out of date compared to the private sector. And Congress WILL be affected by this out-of-date medicine. They do still have to use Obamacare. They tried to get out of using it but that didn't work - the taxpayers are paying but Congress is going to be using Obamacare and be as victimised by IPAD as everyone else. It's the best chance we have to get the beast repealed.

Bob Ellison said...

PatHMV, it is not a legal or regulatory question. It's a moral one.

Pat Caddell on FNC said today that the American people are the enemy of the ruling class in Washington.

Victor Erimita said...

The lesson for Americans is that Democrats who passed ObamaCare didn't even understand what they were doing to themselves, much less to everyone else.

The lesson for Americans is that the politicians of both parties are corrupt, out of control and don't give a rat's ass about them or the country. But they are too lazy, stupid and passive to learn that lesson or do squat about. They will vote for whomever the political media complex tells them to and go back to watching Dancing With the Stars.

Danno said...

The health care cost calculator for Minnesota for a silver plan (which is the 3rd-level plan behind platinum and gold) says a plan for a family of four would be $1,850 per month or $22,200 unsubsidized in 2014 if I make over about $94,000 per year next year. If I work fewer projects in my contracting role and report only $50,000 (spending some already taxed cash on hand) then my subsidized premium would be about $280 per month or $3,360 per year. Does the federal govt. think I am that oblivious that I would work the extra time just to have most of it go to pay their "heavy" on coverage mandates health care plan?

I don't think so. And the more time off will allow me to catch more Althouse posts on a timely manner, rather than five hours after the previous post.

Robert Cook said...

I oppose Obamneycare inasmuch as it provides the gift of a captive market to the private health insurers rather than than what we need, taxpayer subsidized healthcare for all. However, Obamneycare applies only to those who do not presently have health insurance, whether privately purchased or through their employers. So, given that members of Congress already enjoy blue chip taxpayer funded healthcare from their employer, why should they be required to switch to Obamneycare?

I wonder if the Wall Street Journal fulminates so passionately against Congress for providing aid (and comfort...and cover) to the big banks and Wall Street firms in their ongoing massive theft from and fraud perpetrated on the American people, and of their refusal to bring criminal investigations and charges against the hypertrophied welfare cheats who occupy the big corner offices all over the financial and corporate world.