A.J. DiCintio
(Let's hope) we're not gonna take it anymore
By A.J. DiCintio
October 14, 2009

There's no arguing that congressional Democrats are smart not to put their healthcare bills online — After all, more than anyone else, they know that if people learn about everything in those abominations, they might get so riled up as to make last summer's town halls look like a meeting hosted by the salad nibblers who populate the Nobel Prize Committee.

And abominations the bills truly are, as Democrats insist upon empowering not individuals but the Federal Government (explaining why the Wyden (D-OR)-Bennett (R-Utah) bill had not a snowball's chance).

Not only that but there is this additional perversity:

Democrats plan to pay for their twisted handiwork by enacting cowardly, shamelessly regressive taxes that are certain to be multiplied; for if talk of wringing money out of folks burdened by high medical bills and those who dare enjoy a soda or Twinkie is already here, can whispers about a tax on milk and bread (as part of a war on obesity and diabetes) be far behind?

Sound frightful? Well, the bad news is that things are sure to get worse because of this immutable reality:

Given the worship of power, money, hypocrisy, and every other kind of rottenness that modern lovers of centralized government have inherited from their aristocratic forebears, the current healthcare bills will be further corrupted as politicians continue to foul them with additional "legislative language."

Then — if one of these bills becomes law — it will everlastingly be perverted by the "legal/bureaucratic language" that oozes from the judicial/bureaucratic complex.

As a matter of fact, the second level of corruption is well underway, as evidenced by the astonishing information uncovered and reported by Kimberley Strassel ("States of Personal Privilege," WSJ).

Here are the pertinent facts from the article:

The Baucus bill proposes to cover many of the nation's uninsured by requiring the expansion of state Medicaid programs, with the Federal Government picking up only part of the cost, thus sticking already strapped states with a $37 billion tab.

What has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid done about this "problem"? According to Strassel, he "worked out a deal by which the federal government will pay all of his home state's additional Medicaid expenses for the next five years."

Furthermore, under Reid's "very special formula," Oregon, Rhode Island, and Michigan will receive this benefit because they (in Reid's words) "are suffering more than most."

Now, nothing that has ever existed or currently exists could be more self-evident in its unfairness, hypocrisy, and stink.

Therefore, without another word, on to the next rot Ms. Strassel has uncovered.

It has been widely reported that to pay for Obamacare, Democrats propose levying a 40% tax on "luxury" health plans. And that is the case in the Baucus bill.

Ah, but in Liberaldom, "piggish" health plans are not created equal.

That explains why "Sen. Chuck Schumer [whose union base has negotiated many 'Cadillac' plans] . . . and other similarly situated Democrats carved out a deal by which the threshold for this tax will be higher in their states."

Therefore, as Strassel reports, "If you live in Kentucky, you get taxed at $21,000. If you live in Massachusetts you don't get taxed until $25,000.

She then observes that although "this carve-out" applies "to 17 (largely blue) states . . . that's cold comfort if you live in Louisville."

Cold comfort, indeed, when you think that "Party of the People" Democrats who never miss an opportunity to plume themselves as champions of fairness in all things have no problem mustering up the chutzpah required to force less affluent folks of 33 states to pick up part of the healthcare tab for their rich state neighbors.

Next, Strassel takes a look at how the Baucus bill echoes the Obama administration's boast that it has forced drug companies to pay their fair share toward healthcare reform.

She begins by pointing out that New Jersey's website makes the claim that Jersey is the "global epicenter" of the drug industry because 15 of the world's 20 largest pharmaceutical companies maintain major facilities there.

Having done that, she informs us that Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has cut a "quiet deal for a $1 billion tax credit for companies investing in drug R&D."

Again, no further words are necessary to demonstrate that there is something rotten in the state of the Democratic Party and its healthcare bills.

Finally, Strassel exposes yet another act of reeking hypocrisy when she reminds us that in line with the precepts of Obamacare, the Baucus bill promises to "bend down the health-care cost curve."

Then, she points out that Senators Stabenow (D-MI) and Kerry (D-MA) "included $5 billion in the bill for a reinsurance program designed to defray the medical costs of union members."

Stabenow's explanation for this special welfare program? "This will help our employers, whether it's the auto industry or whether it's other industries, be able to lower their costs for early retirees."

But as Ms. Strassel excellently observes, "[The Senator] is apparently unaware that this is what the broader bill is supposed to do, even without $5 billion in union slush money."

To conclude, Kimberley Strassel deserves the thanks of every citizen who believes in keeping alive the dreams bequeathed to us by the Founders.

However, her work must serve not just to inform but to move us to action — in our discussions with friends and family, in our communications with our elected officials, in our willingness to support the causes we believe in with our presence, time, money, and votes.

Indeed, if the contemptible insults that Ms. Strassel has brought to light do not motivate us to commit ourselves to the notion that "we're not gonna take it anymore," we will merit the worst of the negative consequences that flow from the following truth:

"In a democracy, people get the kind of government [and healthcare] they deserve."

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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