President Barack Obama's pride-and-joy health care reform law (aka the Affordable Care Act of 2010) suffered a super setback last Friday, when an appeals court ruled that it is unconstitutional to penalize Americans who do not purchase medical insurance.
Reuters reported, "The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, ruled 2 to 1 that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but it unanimously reversed a lower court decision that threw out the entire law."
Do you hear angels singing, too?
Of course, it ain't over until the Supreme Court sings a similar judgment. It is upon the high court's voice that the legality of the individual mandate ultimately hinges, and the court will decide whether it will be placed upon the already burdened backs of Americans in 2014. And the Supreme Court's ruling could be handed down a few months before the November 2012 presidential election.
The White House wasted no time in denouncing Friday's federal court ruling: "We strongly disagree with this decision and we are confident it will not stand."
The White House loves to cite how a few other courts have upheld Obama's health care law. But last week's ruling was the first time a Democratic-appointed judge ruled against a critical aspect of Obamacare.
The president knows everything rides on the perpetuity of Obamacare's individual mandate. Without it, the entire law collapses. So Obama adviser Stephanie Cutter reiterated in the White House response the administration's same weak defense and rhetoric in hopes of sparing what the president calls the "individual responsibility provision."
First, she wrote, "The Congressional Budget Office estimated that only 1 percent of all Americans would pay a penalty for not having health insurance in 2016."
But how can the government-instituted CBO project the number of Americans who in some way will renege on Obamacare in 2016? If citizens can't afford to buy medical insurance in 2016, what makes the feds think they can afford to pay a penalty for not having it? What are the feds going to do then, throw the economically downtrodden in jail? Who is going to pay for the incarceration of 1 percent of society, or roughly 3.5 million potential new inmates?
Though the CBO says only 1 percent will pay penalties, you can bet that 100 percent will pay for this mammoth health care reform law one way or another via taxes and trickledown costs for employer mandates, Medicaid expansions, tax credits for uninsured, funding grants for states, additional government personnel, etc.
In June, the nonprofit Employment Policies Institute released new research from economists at Cornell University and Indiana University that not only exposes the bias of the CBO but also posits that Obamacare has been grossly underestimated and will result in "much higher costs for taxpayers" than the CBO has estimated.
Friday's White House blog rebutting the appellate court's decision also alleged: "Without the individual responsibility provision, people could wait until they're sick or injured to apply for coverage since insurance companies could no longer say no or charge more. That would lead to double digit premiums increases -- up to 20 percent -- for everyone in the individual insurance market."
Just this past week, Forbes reported on the annual projections from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Forbes' article is titled "Medicare Actuary: Obamacare Will Triple the Growth Rate of Net Insurance Costs." It says that in 2014, "the actuaries find that growth in the net cost of health insurance will increase by nearly 14 percent, compared to 3.5 percent if (Obamacare) had never passed. The growth rate of private insurance costs will rise to 9.4 percent, from 5.0 percent under prior law: an 88 percent increase."
Why is it that anytime the feds talk dollars and financial projections, they are in diametric opposition to the experts?
I don't care how the Obama administration bends the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution; Obamacare is unconstitutional and going to run U.S. commerce further into the ground. Any junior certified public accountant knows the last thing our flailing government and economy need is another entitlement! (There's a reason the majority of the states in our union -- 26, to be exact -- have defied Obamacare's legality and are fighting its enforcement right now.)
One conclusion the White House did get right in its rebuttal to the appellate court's ruling is this: "Today's ruling is one of many decisions on the Affordable Care Act that we will see in the weeks and months ahead."
The feds' constant botching of facts, figures and our future leaves me thinking that too many kids are running our country. And just for them, I'm wrapping up this column with a poem that a friend sent me from the Internet. I don't know the exact source, but I know I'd like its author. It is titled "Dr. Seuss 2011":
I do not like this Uncle Sam, I do not like his health care scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks, or how they lie and cook the books.
I do not like when Congress steals, I do not like White House backdoor deals.
I do not like when they kick the financial can, I do not like this 'YES, WE CAN!'
I do not like their spending sprees. Why can't they get it -- nothing's free.
I do not like their smug replies, broken promises and corruption ties.
I do not like this kind of hope. I do not like it -- Nope nope nope!