Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Healthcare Breakdown: Deliberate Malice or Clueless Bungling?

Is the current administration deliberately destroying our healthcare system or are the folks in charge clueless bunglers? Considering the lead-shield transparency of the current administration, it stands to reason that the American public will turn to gossip for a bit of insight. And who better to whisper in our ears than The Prowler, writing for The American Spectator?

According to The Prowler, when the White House got wind that AT&T, Caterpillar, John Deere, Verizon and other corporations were charging their books hundreds of millions of dollars (a billion dollars in the case of AT&T) in expenses caused by passage of ObamaCare, Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett hit the phones "and attacked them for doing so." One Washington office head said that the White House calls were accusatory and "downright rude." A White House staffer gave this view: "These are Republican CEOs who are trying to embarrass the President and Democrats in general. . . . It's BS."
The companies are taking the charges because in 2013 they will lose a tax deduction on tax-free government subsidies they have had when they give retirees a Medicare Part D prescription-drug reimbursement. Many of these companies have more than 100,000 retirees each. AT&T may have more than three-quarters of a million retirees to cover. 
"Most of these people [in the Administration] have never had a real job in their lives. They don't understand a thing about business, and that includes the President," says a senior lobbyist for one of the companies that announced the charge. "My CEO sat with the President over lunch with two other CEOs, and each of them tried to explain to the President what this bill would do to our companies and the economy in general. First the President didn't understand what they were talking about. Then he basically told my boss he was lying. Frankly my boss was embarrassed for him; he clearly had not been briefed and didn't know what was in the bill." [emphasis mine]
Next, Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak decided to haul some of these "Republican CEOs" into Congressional hearings to investigate their "claims" that the new law "could adversely affect their company's ability to provide health insurance to their employees." Not "would affect," mind you, "could affect." As though the effect is some remote possibility.
Neither Waxman or Stupak -- who betrayed the pro-life community by negotiating for more than a week with the White House to ensure his vote on the health care bill -- had anything more than a cursory understanding of how the many sections of the bill would impact business or even individual citizens before they voted on the bill, says House Energy Democrat staff. "We had memos on these issues, but none of our people, we think, looked at them," says  a staffer. "When they saw the stories last week about the charges some of the companies were taking, they were genuinely surprised and assumed that the companies were just doing this to embarrass them.  They really believed this bill would immediately lower costs. They just didn't understand what they were voting on." [emphasis mine]
The American people have been trying to explain this bill to Congress for more than a year, and the Democrats still don't have any idea what kind of hell they've delivered to us. Of course, that's the generous view.

For this, most Americans bear shame. We have allowed Henry Waxman of California to exercise the power of Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. And we have allowed Bart Stupak of Michigan to be Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations panel.

We'd better pay a lot more attention to whom we give power over our laws lives, while we still have the chance.
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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This is nothing but a systematic and deliberate dismantling of US health care as we know it.
    1. Drug companies have been grossly over-regulated when it comes to drug testing/manufacturing.
    2. Medical malpractice has design.
    3. Government intrusion on the daily practices of doctor has become unbearable.
    4. Immigration of qualified doctors from abroad has been stifled.
    5. Insurance companies have been stifled from marketing and expanding.

    Government has done nothing to lower health care
    cost. On the contrary, they have done everything to increase costs and erode its design.

  3. Joaquin-

    The deliberately malicious maliciously disguised as clueless bunglers?

    Or maybe bunglers whose cluelessness unavoidably leads them to malice?

    Or, perhaps, the deliberately malicious using clueless bunglers as unwitting tools?

    I think all these possibilities--plus others--are in play simultaneously, muddying the waters so that, as you say, "the systematic and deliberate dismantling of U.S. healthcare as we know it" can proceed.

    God help us.