Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The truth is out

"Obamacare" is not really about health care. It is about giving political favors to the President's friends. The federal government has been handing out exemptions like candy to favorite corporations, and even to states like Nevada (home of Harry Reid, majority leader of the U.S. Senate).

Karoun Demirjian reports for the Las Vegas Sun:
Nevada’s Insurance Division had appealed to the feds to reduce the federal requirement that health plans serving people who buy insurance on their own must spend at least 80 percent of the money they collect on medical expenses. Under the national rule, companies that don’t spend that percentage of revenue on medical costs have to cut policyholders rebate checks starting this year.

Nevada asked that requirement be reduced to 72 percent for one year, arguing that top insurance providers would be so strapped to make the payments that they’d exit the state market.

Health and Human Services didn’t fully buy that argument, but did agree to reduce the requirement to 75 percent for a year, expressing concern about what might happen to people with policies from insurers Golden Rule and Aetna if they didn’t.

Warren Meyer, writing last November for the blog at Forbes magazine, summarizes the net effect of Obamacare waivers:

The list of beneficiaries is a mix of corporations and labor unions who have somehow wrangled special attention in Washington — in effect allowing just 111 lucky organizations out of 15-20 million US business to be allowed lower cost labor than their peers.  Does your restaurant compete with McDonald’s or Ruby Tuesdays?  Sorry, but through their political muscle, your competitors have received special exemptions from costly regulation, and you likely will not.

In founding this country, Americans explicitly rejected the institutionalized class divisions and hereditary aristocracy of most European states that handed out special privileges and exemptions to elite groups.  It is amazing to me to see children of the 1960’s, who fought against the second class status of blacks through the civil rights movement, take such positive steps to return the country to a system of tiered citizenship where different groups are subject to different laws. [Emphasis added]

This is how the corporate state works — while casting all its actions under an egalitarian veneer, the results are anything but egalitarian.  The politically powerful and connected now operate under different laws than everyone else.

Today, Michelle Malkin lists some 1,300 waiver recipients, and lists some of the more egregious examples of political favoritism in her post.

Those who believe that electing a new Congress and a new President next year will change this might as well believe in the tooth fairy. The kleptocracy killed the U.S. Constitution. It is (and it grieves me to write this) a dead letter. As a practical matter, it will be impossible to resurrect it; because the people are constrained by the late Constitution, but the federal government is not. The only way to regain sanity is reduce the national government to a scale that the people can control. The Republic of Ohio.

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