While Democrats try to keep ObamaCare out of the electoral spotlight, the Obama administration is preparing a rude awakening for Americans in 2014.
A few weeks ago, our humorless President tried to make campaign hay out of a play on words, telling his audience that "I have no problem with people saying Obama cares. I do care. If the other side wants to be the folks who don't care, that's fine with me." Since that went over like a lead balloon, there has been radio silence from the White House on the Obama health law.
A recent American Spectator piece by Grace-Marie Turner suggests that the president's reelection team know that ObamaCare led to the 2010 Republican landslide -- and they're desperate to avoid a repeat in 2012:
After two years of nonstop focus on health care, the president has stopped talking about the law's far-reaching effects...
Bringing Obama around to this new course wasn't easy for his advisors. The day after last November's elections, the president belligerently refused to acknowledge that the results were a referendum on his unpopular policies[.] ...
Now the White House's strategy has the president talking as little as possible about ObamaCare.
Behind the scenes, however, our big-brother bureaucrats are furtively writing new rules to tie our health care system up in Gordian knots as quickly as possible.
The Washington Examiner has an op-ed by Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, reporting that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a proposed rule that would require health insurers to turn over all patient records and business data to the federal government.
The ostensible purpose of the rule is to allow HHS to micromanage insurance risk for every company in the so-called exchanges that begin operating in 2014 under ObamaCare.
It is impossible for non-bureaucrats to read more than one paragraph of the 26-page proposal without getting a headache, but the general flavor can be found in the rule's introduction:
Under this program, generally, funds are transferred from issuers with lower risk enrollees to issuers with higher risk enrollees.
Naturally, this rule revolves around yet another Washington redistribution scheme, with all-knowing apparatchiks moving funds around so no insurer takes too big a bath or, heaven forbid, makes too much money under the new regime.
Rep. Huelskamp notes that for citizens, personal medical data would be subject under the rule to the "breach of patient confidentiality," and for insurers, proprietary business records would be turned over to the government "for purposes that will undermine their competitiveness."
Lest anyone labor under the delusion that state exchanges would resemble a free market, this latest HHS ruling should douse that idea with cold water. The government will be monitoring every penny of premium and expense, profit and loss, not to mention patient records, effectively resulting in a government-run health care system.
Rep. Huelskamp further notes:
With its extensive rule-making decrees, ObamaCare has been an exercise in creating authority out of thin air at the expense of individuals' rights, freedoms, and liberties.
The ability of the federal government to spy on, review, and approve individuals' private patient-doctor interactions is an excessive power-grab.
Like other discoveries that have occurred since the law's passage, this one leaves us scratching our heads as to the necessity not just of this provision, but the entire law.
With the unchecked expansion of government now underway at HHS, it behooves Republican candidates to keep the spotlight squarely on ObamaCare. It is now or never.