by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Hoover Institution senior fellow Scott Atlas shares with Forbes readers his concerns about the relationship between the current IRS scandal and the implementation of the federal health care reform law.
Even if we discount the law’s tremendous administrative hurdles, the potential abuse of power by the IRS with its massive authority as ObamaCare’s governing agency is already causing anxiety, and rightfully so. Expanding the apparently unmonitored IRS by hiring thousands of new agents to implement dozens of the law’s provisions is enough to cause alarm. Meanwhile, the Affordable Care Act, a law whose very name is a grand deception, is struggling to be implemented. As Sen. Max Baucus, a key architect of the law, and the notably centrist Sen. Olympia Snowe recently observed, those problems will assuredly grow. In particular, ObamaCare’s Health Insurance Exchanges represent a huge execution challenge, in part because more than half of states are refusing them. Worse, despite being suddenly renamed “Marketplaces,” the exchanges do not leverage competition, but instead are bloated with misguided hyper-regulation detrimental to generating the affordable health insurance they were said to ensure.
As many had predicted about the ACA, a series of important deleterious effects are beginning to unfold before our eyes. The loss of jobs and shift to part-time work, the substantial increase in health insurance premiums, the shift of millions of vulnerable Americans to the façade of insurance called Medicaid with its poor access to care – all are caused directly by the ACA. Even some of the most fervent Obama supporters, labor unions, are recognizing the truth and finally voicing opposition to the health reforms. According to Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, “It makes an untruth out of what the president said — that if you like your insurance, you could keep it.”
When this law fully unravels over the next few years, what will the Obama administration and its supporters claim? Will they insist that all of the harm to individual hard-working Americans, to their families, and to their employers was simply not foreseeable? Will they assert that no one in this administration – not President Obama, not HHS Secretary Sebelius, and none of the Democrats who crafted and then passed this law – could have possibly known the true cost, the extent of the damage, that was about to hit our citizenry? Will they once again maintain that they simply did not know?
And once the excuses of ignorance are put forth, beware if the Democrats control Congress and the White House. The unspoken truth is that Congressional Democrats fully anticipate the failure of ObamaCare and want to re-introduce a single payer, government-controlled health care system.