Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Not-so-pleasant 'surprises' in Senate's Obamacare bill

* In case you missed my interview last night with Erick Erickson of, here is his column detailing the very scary provision in the health bill that prevents future Senates and Houses of Representatives from changing, amending or repealing regulations imposed by the unelected, bureaucratic "Independent Medicare Advisory Boards" - the new government agency people were calling a 'death panel.'

You must read the post and the transcript of the Senate discussion in order to understand just how dramatic this is. Not only is the Senate violating its own rules to put this 'forever' provision in place, they're imposing upon the House and their ability to make changes in the future.

* Another little gem reported by The Wall Street Journal This Morning radio show, deals with construction companies with fewer than 50 employees.

Most of the mandates on businesses to provide health insurance to employees or face penalties apply to companies with 50 or more employees. But Sen. Jeff Merkley (D - OR) thinks small construction firms - with more than five employees and payrolls of more than $250,000 - should be included. So he inserted an amendment that places the mandate on these particular businesses as well.

And this is the only industry that will have the mandate on companies with five or more employees.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a spokesman for Sen. Merkley said this was to address the problem of fairness in bidding:

Ms. Edwards said the goal was to level the playing field for companies that have to bid against others who might not be providing health-care coverage. She said 90% of construction firms employ fewer than 20 employees, so with the 50-employee threshold, most of the construction industry would have been exempt, she said.

Think about the logic here - beyond the difference between large and small companies. The government is creating a new law that puts some companies at a disadvantage in the marketplace. So their solution to the interference in a free market is to apply to the mandate to almost everyone in a single industry.

If this needs to be 'fair' in the construction industry, then why not in the plastics industry, or the janitorial industry, or any industry???? Why not everyone, since the logic of competitive disadvantage applies to all?

Can you say 'stuck on stupid'?

I believe these little hidden 'bombs' are part of the reason they want this rushed through - so we don't know about them and don't object. In fact, CNSNews reported on a recent Zogby poll that showed:

More than 80 percent of Americans agree that Congress drafts lengthy, complex bills to hide spending on special interests and to prevent constituents from understanding what's in them before a vote is taken, according to a new survey.

According to a Zogby poll conducted last week, 83.5 percent of respondents agreed at least “somewhat” with the lengthy-bill premise, and 61.2 percent of Americans agreed strongly. Only 14.4 percent disagreed, and just 5.8 percent did so strongly.

I've not read the manager's report that contained all the agreed-upon amendments, but am glad some are doing so - and actually reporting on them. Unfortunately, the outrage of the American public over the health care bill doesn't seem to have any impact whatsoever on the politicians in Washington. They don't care what we think or want them to do, so our objection to certain items in the amendments won't stop them from passing this abomination.

Even after so many of them couldn't cite where in the Constitution they get the authority to mandate the purchase of product with imprisonment as the consequence of not doing so, they are going to vote on the Constitutionality of the health care bill. I doubt they'll take testimony from 'constitutional scholars' before doing so...and that the vote will run along party lines with a 60-40 outcome.

If they don't care about this basic, core question, what makes us think they'll care if we object to a minor provision trying to 'level the playing field' in the construction industry, especially knowing that they're the ones who made it unlevel in the first place?


Mad Jack said...

I believe these little hidden 'bombs' are part of the reason they want this rushed through...

These are not 'little hidden bombs'. These are IEDs capable of obliterating an Abrams M1A1 battle tank. You're quite right about the careful concealment.

Even after so many of them couldn't cite where in the Constitution they get the authority to mandate the purchase of product with imprisonment as the consequence of not doing so,

They get the authority from themselves. Look at how many unconstitutional laws we have already - what's one or two more unconstitutional... I don't know. Mandates? Directives?

Straight money now, Maggie. Sunday school truth here. Do you think the elected officials voting for this bill actually understand it, and if they do, do they really and truly think it's a good idea? For my part, I believe that there may be a few (less than ten) who actually understand the bill and its ramifications. The rest don't know and truly do not care about the welfare of the rest of us.

Yes, I'm a bit bitter.

Cynical Counsel said...

A new government study has found that GM cars are the safest, most efficient cars available in America, surpassing Mercedes, Volvo, Ford, and even some privately built armored cars.

Therefore, because driving of less-safe cars may lead to expensive medical bills (some of which will not be paid by the drivers and might be absorbed by the tax payer) the government is now passing new automobile reform legislation. All Americans will be required to purchase GM cars (pay no attention to the fact that the Govt. owns GM). Those refusing will be fined an jailed.

Those who cannot afford a GM will have on issued to them by the US Govt. paid for by tax dollars.

This is health care "reform" as being pushed through Congress today.

See more at


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