June 21, 2011

Another Obamacare ‘Twist,’ and Another AP Failure to Admit That Almost No One Read or Understood the Bill

ObamacareIn the run-up to the passage of Obamacare in March 2010, Nancy Pelosi infamously told a friendly audience: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

Fifteen months later, we still haven’t learned everything about a bill which no honest congressperson or senator can claim to have read and fully understood.

Today’s “discovery” is that some couples in their early 60s earning up to $64,000 a year can qualify for Medicaid. As has become establishment press custom since Obamacare’s passage, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar at the Associated Press reports on the “anomaly,” without getting to its root cause, namely that nobody who voted for the 2000-page legislation knew it was there:

President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.

The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.

Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility. It might be compared to allowing middle-class people to qualify for food stamps.

Readers will be displeased to know that some leftists and Democrats predictably consider this a feature, not a bug, as Alonso-Zaldivar later explains:

Indeed, administration officials and senior Democratic lawmakers say it’s not a loophole but the result of a well-meaning effort to simplify rules for deciding who will get help with insurance costs under the new health care law. Instead of a hodgepodge of rules, there will be one national policy.

“This simplification will stop people from falling into coverage gaps and may cause some to be newly eligible for Medicaid and others to no longer qualify,” said Brian Cook, spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

… Some early retirees who worked all their lives may not want to be associated with a health care program for the poor, but others might see it as a relatively painless way to satisfy the new law’s requirement that all Americans carry medical insurance starting in 2014. It would help tide them over until they turn 65 and qualify for Medicare.

… A spokeswoman for the Senate Finance Committee, which wrote much of the health care law, said if the situation does become a problem there’s plenty of time to fix it later.

“These changes don’t take effect until 2014, so we have time to review all possible cases to ensure Medicaid meets its mission of serving only the neediest Americans,” said Erin Shields.

Sure, Erin. I’m certain that we won’t hear a peep from any of the three million “inadvertently” eligible people who are about to board the gravy train. I’m sure AARP and other alleged representatives of seniors will let a repair bill pass without any objection whatsoever. Oh, and those “senior Democratic lawmakers” who in the story essentially said “Oops, but that’s good news for us, because it creates more dependents” will be the first on the repair bill bandwagon. (/sarc).

Everyone who voted for Obamacare should be asked by their constituents why they didn’t see this coming. The only honest answer is: “I didn’t know it was in there because I didn’t read it” — or, in rare instances, “I didn’t know it was in there because I didn’t understand it.” If you didn’t read it or understand what you read, you either shouldn’t have voted, or should have voted “no.”

The fact is that most Americans would agree with the idea that anyone who is willing to vote for pivotal legislation they have failed to read or understand should not be serving in public office, up to and including the aforementioned Ms. Pelosi. This explains why the AP and the rest of the establishment press will never, ever acknowledge how and why Obamacare passed.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


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