Is anyone actually surprised by this news?:
Late last week saw the first leaks of the administration’s draft regulations for implementing the ObamaCare law — and everything is playing out just as the critics warned.
The 3,000-odd pages of legislation left most of the really important (and controversial) policy decisions to the regulations that government agencies were told to issue once the bill passed. Now that those regs are starting to take shape, it’s clear that the Obama team is using its new power to exert tight control over the payment and delivery of all formerly “private” health insurance.
Remember Pelosi’s famous statement about passing HCR first and then finding out what was in it? Well, we’re still only starting to find out. But those who made educated guesses that it would expand the role of government in health care insurance mightily—and that, despite all of Obama’s promises about keeping the health care insurance you have if you like it, vast numbers of people would be forced to change—appear to have been correct.
The mechanism for this is the discretion given to the Health and Human Services agency, and the 160—count ‘em, 160—new agencies created under it by the HCR bill tasked with setting new rules on medical care.
Give a federal agency power and it will take the ball and run with it. According to a leaked report, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is doing just that:
…[T]he draft regs envision more than half of all policies having to change within three years — an unmistakable break with President’s Obama’s oft-repeated promise, “If people like their insurance, they will be able to keep it.”
…Ultimately, these rules force consumers to buy one of just four health policies — which vary mostly only by trading off higher co-payments for lower premiums, while offering essentially the same actual benefits. In arguing for passage of the law, ObamaCare’s defenders claimed the rules were aimed at health plans sold in the “exchanges.” Oops: Now Sebelius is applying them to employer plans. Eventually, this would force all but the very wealthiest Americans into a single government-designed insurance scheme.
…In recent weeks, [Sebelius] has said that the new law gives her authority to review and even set the rates on health policies sold in private markets, a role previously left to state insurance regulators.
I repeat: none of this should come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention. From the start, bait and switch has been the name of the game. I would say that the Democratic legislators and the Obama administration (and their legions of co-conspirators in the MSM) were counting on the gullibility of the American public in order to pass this law, but that’s not strictly true. A majority of the public had caught on to the ruse even before the bill was passed.
Unfortunately, our Democratic members of Congress didn’t care. Their contempt for the wishes of the American people was palpable, and their lust for power profound. And so they passed this bill anyway, knowing that it would be difficult to undo once it became the law of the land.