June 14th, 2010

That old HCR bait and switch

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.

Fancy that.

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.

10 Responses to “That old HCR bait and switch”

  1. Baklava Says:

    And… they changed the topic to racism instead of health care with the walk past protesters shouting, “kill the bill”.

  2. gcotharn Says:

    I remember, during the town halls of last summer, when left blogs complained about the volume and vociferousness of the opponents of Obamacare who refused to quietly listen to Congresspersons lie to them. The left impugned the motives of townhall attendees (saying: they have partisan motivation, only) who were legitimately concerned about Obamacare, who believed Obama and their Congressional reps were lying to them, who believed the fix was in at the townhall meetings in order to prevent their voices being heard and in order to prevent their questions being addressed. The 2009 town hall attendees saw action which looked, walked, and quacked like bait and switch. For protesting the looming bait and switch in the best ways available to them, the town hall attendees were excoriated as hypocrites, racists, partisans, ignorant buffoons.

    Example of leftist accusing town hall attendees of various ignorance and hypocrisy: http://dissentingjustice.blogspot.com/2009/08/ok-kids-protests-good-disrupting.html#comments

    I don’t recommend reading that blogpost. I just wanted to back up my assertion that left bloggers were superciliously writing such things.

  3. Stark Says:

    In less than five months many of those who voted for this bill will be punished. The important question is when will there be enough votes to repeal HCR, FR, Energy Reform. and all the other reforms and stimuli that merely give more unwarranted control to government.

  4. Curtis Says:

    It was a bait and switch except for the fact that we never actually bought the higher priced item.

    It’s kind of more like the bait and switch on “The Princess Bride,” where Vizzini switches the goblet on Westley by diverting his attention with “oh look!”

    And that’s about how subtle the schtick from Pelosi Obama and Reid was. Just as in the movie, so, I believe, the ruse will fail.

  5. Curtis Says:

    What is kind of noticeable is that the blog that SHOULD be getting the most attention is this one, not the other one. Is that a sign that many have forgotten the monstrosity, the unconstitutional poke in the eye, the “are you kidding” hypocrisy, the deals, the perfidy of it all?

  6. Mr. Frank Says:

    Opposition to the health care bill remains as strong as the week it was passed, close to 60%. If the House goes to Republican control, funding for the implementation of the bill can be denied. Repeal will take a new Senate and President.

  7. gcotharn Says:

    re Princess Bride and the switch of the goblets: all promises were poisoned; I have spent years becoming immune to the promises of politicians.

  8. Tom Says:

    Sibelius was governor of freakin’ Kansas. Gramsci must be smiling up at us.

  9. camojack Says:

    “I repeat: none of this should come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention.”

    Indeed; and as you pointed out, a majority of Americans were opposed to it, but of course Congrefs knows best. R-i-g-h-t…

  10. Curtis Says:

    gcothorn: Very nice. I tried to work something like that in as I thought it was a very appropos part of the metaphor, but I couldn’t quite come up with something good. Your’s is perfect.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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