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IS OBAMACARE “AFFORDABLE?”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 14, 2013) — Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia has introduced a measure to continue funding the federal government but withholding funds for Obamacare, as Obama’s unpopular health care law passed in 2010 is called.
The official name of the legislation is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Graves conceived of the proposal in early August and encouraged citizens to confront their congressmen during the five-week recess from which Congress returned to Washington on September 9. Graves has been working with Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, who want Obamacare completely defunded. However, the “Continuing Rule” plan exposed by several news outlets last week which would have allowed the House to send a bill with a detachable Obamacare-defunding measure was not ultimately invoked.
Congress has until September 30 to pass a spending bill authorizing the federal government to continue to function. The House of Representatives has the responsibility to approve spending bills.
Over the summer, members of labor unions became aware that the law could affect their health care coverage and other benefits adversely. A meeting among Joe Biden, Obama and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Friday did not result in a “special deal” to assuage union members’ growing frustration over the bill.
The Obama regime has been attempting to silence unions’ objections to Obamacare after the AFL-CIO passed a resolution demanding changes to Obamacare. It has also attempted to silence opposition of any kind over the last four years as evidenced by various programs labeling Tea Party members, constitutional supporters, home-schoolers and anti-illegal-immigration activists as “domestic terrorists.”
Constitutionally, the White House cannot change any law on its own, but Obama or the Health and Human Services Department has declared several delays in implementation of parts of the bill without any vote from Congress. However, on Friday The Heritage Foundation reported via The Washington Times that the regime has issued “14 laws that amend, rescind or otherwise change parts of his health care law.”
On August 28, The Post & Email reported that the signing of contracts between the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with insurance companies was delayed, but it was unclear how long the delay would be.
Graves is quoted as having said of the law:
I am committed to ripping out Obamacare by its roots, and will continue to be a leader in the fight to end this costly, burdensome and invasive law,” said Rep. Graves. “The damage that Obamacare does to our economy and job creation is clear and irrefutable. It imposes a $1 trillion tax hike and 127 million hours of regulatory compliance—a real gut punch to those trying to recover from the last several years of economic hardship.
ABC News, which has been known to be friendly to the Obama regime, described Graves’s proposal as “disruptive to the president’s signature law.” Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that anyone opposing Obamacare is “an anti-government ideologue.”
If the Graves measure passes, it will fund nine areas of interest for a full fiscal year but not provide funding for any aspects of Obamacare. On Friday Graves said that various members of Congress “are hearing grief from their constituents about the new health care law and are coalescing around his bill to defund the law.”
Lee approved of Graves’s proposal in a statement on Thursday, saying that “Congressman Tom Graves has introduced a bill today that would continue to fund all the functions of government and protect the American people from ObamaCare for at least one year. The House should pass this legislation immediately and send it to the Senate. The president has delayed the implementation of ObamaCare for big business, unions, and his special interest supporters. Congress should act to delay it for the rest of the country, as well.”
Obamacare contains a provision for unelected government appointees to make life-and-death decisions for those requiring extraordinary health care measures. In 2010, Sarah Palin and others had warned about “death panels” which now, some Democrats oppose without admitting that the panels are part of the bill on which they voted in the affirmative at that time. At present, HR 351, which seeks to eliminate the Independent Policy Advisory Board (IPAB), remains in committee.
The regime has reportedly hired “thousands” of new employees termed “navigator” which Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stated in an op-ed are actually “marketers.” He and at least 12 other governors and attorneys general are concerned about the navigators’ access to the personal information of their constituents. “Amazingly, HHS is not planning on requiring background checks on these individuals before putting them to work. Besides the obvious identity theft concerns, this is a frightening development in light of the political activities and invasion of privacy, which the IRS and others have engaged in during the Obama presidency,” Jindal wrote.
A British company based in Washington, DC was hired in July to “help sort Obamacare applications” at an initial cost of $114.3 million. Last year, the regime spent $20 million for a “PR” effort to tout the bill to the public.
Former Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod stated last month that “there will be changes and there should be changes along the way” in regard to the rollout of Obamacare.
Many employers have reduced employees’ hours or excluded employees’ spouses and dependents from coverage to save on the “law’s added costs.”
As of this writing, there appears to be no update on the delay in signing of contracts between HHS and insurance carriers even though HHS reported that the contracts would be completed by “mid-September.”
Former congressman and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence claimed on August 24 that “the Affordable Care Act will raise the average cost of health insurance in the individual market by an unaffordable 72%.” Pence said that “Washington, DC needs to come to its senses” and that “30 Republican governors” across the country are introducing state-run health care plans which are less expensive and “reduce the need for government.”
Pence said that “tough times” call for smaller government and less regulation to promote jobs and “a health economy.”