Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vulture Droppings: Obamacare begins

Vulture Droppings is a semi-regular feature of this blog. It's a kind of "Random Thoughts" post in which I try to quickly summarize a particularly large event or series of events. Think of it being sort of like what a vulture leaves behind after devouring a horse. You don't get the whole horse, just highly processed leftovers.

As modern politics dictates, bad news is always released just prior to the weekend.  This is done to assure that most of the sheeple aren't paying attention.  I mean, it's not like the sycophantic lickspittles of Big Media (the BM for short) are going to go out of their way to embarrass their lord and savior.  They'll report the bad news.  They just won't make much noise in the process of said reportage.

As one would expect, this was the treatment given to the sudden torrent of details regarding Obamacare that spewed out on Friday.  The Drudge Report was the source for these links.  What?  You expected maybe CBS news?  HAHAHAHAHA!

This edition of Vulture Droppings will address those details.

With one breath, with one flow
You will know Synchronicity

The first detail of note is a dramatic change of semantics regarding the requirement for every American to have health insurance.
When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.
It's not a tax...until it's challenged...and THEN it's a tax.  Give credit where credit is due.  This is shear genius.  They rammed through the legislation all the while claiming it wasn't a tax (which would have increased opposition to it) but will defend its patently unconstitutional dictates by claiming it IS a tax, which takes a major bite out of the States' challenges to its unconstitutionality.  Can you say "evil genius"?

Don't be surprised as more of these changes in semantics start to creep out, not just in response to challenges, but also as regards policy.  We won't appreciate fully the enslaving power of this POS until much, much later.

Many miles away something crawls from the slime at the bottom of a dark Scottish lake

The next item deals with physician choice, something we were assured that the Obamacare legislation would not change.
As the Obama administration begins to enact the new national health care law, the country’s biggest insurers are promoting affordable plans with reduced premiums that require participants to use a narrower selection of doctors or hospitals.

The plans, being tested in places like San Diego, New York and Chicago, are likely to appeal especially to small businesses that already provide insurance to their employees, but are concerned about the ever-spiraling cost of coverage.

But large employers, as well, are starting to show some interest, and insurers and consultants expect that, over time, businesses of all sizes will gravitate toward these plans in an effort to cut costs.

The tradeoff, they say, is that more Americans will be asked to pay higher prices for the privilege of choosing or keeping their own doctors if they are outside the new networks. That could come as a surprise to many who remember the repeated assurances from President Obama and other officials that consumers would retain a variety of health-care choices.
We're shocked -- SHOCKED -- to find out that our choice of providers would be impacted by Obamacare. SHOCKED! [/sarcasm]

Many miles away something crawls to the surface of a dark Scottish lake

Next comes news that Taxachusetts is finding that employers are *shock* looking out for their own interests and dumping the responsibility for health care on the state.
The relentlessly rising cost of health insurance is prompting some small Massachusetts companies to drop coverage for their workers and encourage them to sign up for state-subsidized care instead, a trend that, some analysts say, could eventually weigh heavily on the state’s already-stressed budget.
If this is a surprise to anyone, they're an idiot.  Because, as night follows day, employers are going to dump their health insurance responsibilities on the State as a matter of self-preservation.  This is, not surprisingly to those of us who truly understand what der Staat is, exactly what the administration wants to happen!  There'll be single-payer health care on the British/Canadian model before you know it, administration "promises" to the contrary notwithstanding.

Many miles away there's a shadow on the door of a cottage on the shore of a dark Scottish lake

Now for the money shot - the taxman cometh!
If it seems as if the tax code was conceived by graphic artist M.C. Escher, wait until you meet the new and not improved Internal Revenue Service created by ObamaCare. What, you're not already on a first-name basis with your local IRS agent?

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, who operates inside the IRS, highlighted the agency's new mission in her annual report to Congress last week. Look out below. She notes that the IRS is already "greatly taxed"—pun intended?—"by the additional role it is playing in delivering social benefits and programs to the American public," like tax credits for first-time homebuyers or purchasing electric cars. Yet with ObamaCare, the agency is now responsible for "the most extensive social benefit program the IRS has been asked to implement in recent history." And without "sufficient funding" it won't be able to discharge these new duties.

That wouldn't be tragic, given that those new duties include audits to determine who has the insurance "as required by law" and collecting penalties from Americans who don't. Companies that don't sponsor health plans will also be punished. This crackdown will "involve nearly every division and function of the IRS," Ms. Olson reports.

Well, well. Republicans argued during the health debate that the IRS would have to hire hundreds of new agents and staff to enforce ObamaCare. They were brushed off by Democrats and the press corps as if they believed the President was born on the moon. The IRS says it hasn't figured out how much extra money and manpower it will need but admits that both numbers are greater than zero.
Big Brother just got "bigger". "Do you haff the required insurance, Herr Vulture? Vee haff vays of finding out!"

If you think Das Überwachenden has its nose in your business now, just wait.  It'll only get worse.

So what does it all mean?  It means that we've barely scratched the surface of the real impact of Obamacare.  The enslaving nature of this POS has yet to be fully revealed.  When it is, don't come crying to me.  I fully understood what it was really about from day one.

* Section captions from Synchronicity I and Synchronicity II by The Police.  What it is that's crawling from the bottom of that lake, I'll leave to the imagination of the reader.