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A Day of Infamy

Bill Neinast

neins1@aol.com

One politician’s statement went viral many years before introduction of the internet.  At 12:30 p.m., December 8, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt led the nation into war with his characterization of December 7 as “a day
which will live in infamy.”


That statement was heard over every radio in the nation and read in newspapers on every street corner.  It was something of a rallying cry for every American for the next four years.


Seventy years later another politician’s words went viral on the internet within moments of their utterance.  On March 9, 2010, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stunned the nation with her statement that, “We have to pass the Health Care bill so you find out what’s in it.”


Well, the mentioned bill passed and became known derisively as Obamacare.


As the nation is beginning to find out what’s in the bill, the effect is just the opposite of Roosevelt’s “live in infamy” speech.  The law itself is now beginning to live in infamy.


That infamy was in full array last week.  Early in the week, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, admitted that she did not realize how complicated getting Obamacare off the ground would be or how confusing it would be with the public.


Then President Barack Obama sent his budget to Congress.  That spending plan indicates that the $1.3 trillion health care system overhaul is getting more expensive and will accomplish less than intended. 


Among other factors, the costs for the network of health-insurance exchanges has more than doubled from the initial estimate.


Saturday evening, the medical care costs that are already rising were discussed by a panel of three medical and political experts on Mike Huckabee’s TV show.


Dr. Marc Siegel discussed the impact of Obamacare on the medical profession. He foresees doctors’ offices and small clinics being flooded with patients seeking “free” medical care under their new Medicaid or insurance coverage.  The charges for services allowed by the government under those programs will make it difficult for some physicians to maintain their practice.


Siegel is also concerned about the requirements to digitize all medical records and make them available for federal review to determine “appropriate” treatments and charges.


Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, a member of the House Subcommittee on Health, discussed the escalating costs of health insurance resulting from the new federal mandates.  She noted rate increases of between 40 and 100+ per cent since last year.  More bad news is that additional rate increases are anticipated for next year.


Betsy McCaughey, PhD, a former Lieutenant Governor of New York and author of the book Beating Obamacare, has studied the 2000 page law in detail.  She identified more than 20 hidden taxes, fees, and fines in the monster.


Huckabee then interviewed Gina Martin, owner of Little Rock Tours in Arkansas, and Greg Abbot, Texas Attorney General.


Martin noted that her personal medical insurance premium had increased 49% this year.  Her bigger concern, however, was trying to determine whether she would be required to provide medical insurance for her employees.


Nearly all of her employees are bus drivers.  They do not work full time.  When they are called in for a tour, however, they are on duty 24/7.  They maintain the buses at days’ end and remain available overnight in the tour hotel.


Sometimes, the drivers have back-to-back tours.  Other times they may have several weeks or even months between tours. 


Martin’s question, thus, is whether she has 50 or more employees working more than 30 hours a week would require her to provide health care insurance.  This is obviously one of many types of specialized businesses never considered by the brains without business experience who drafted the Obamacare legislation.


Finally, Attorney General Abbot discussed the obvious but rarely heard reason for Texas and 25 other states not rushing to the federal trough for that 100% funding of Medicaid expansion.  He noted that full funding by the federal government was guaranteed for only three years.  Then it would fall to 90%, but for how long? 


He points to the almost $17 trillion hole in which the country is now wallowing and believes that 90% would quickly fall to 0%.  That would leave the states with all the Medicaid costs at the expense of education, infrastructure, and other essential functions.


So here’s the perspective.


There have been two days of infamy in American history.  Both resulted in dramatic changes in the country.


The first, December 7, 1941, in addition to costing untold thousands of deaths, essentially changed the country from an agricultural society to the most advanced industrial nation in the world.


The second is March 23, 2010, when President Obama signed Obamacare into law.  That day, an efficcient medical care apparatus began changing into an overburdened, underfunded medical system with long lines waiting for their “free” services.


Nancy Pelosi, are you beginning now “to find out what’s in it,” or is it still too much for you to read?



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