As the Department of Health and Human Services starts the process of drafting the 30,000 to 50,000 pages of regulations to implement the 2,800-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, you have to wonder how the regulations drafted by unseen regulators are going to enhance anyone's health care [i].
ObamaCare will be the largest transfer of legislative power from the Congress to the Executive Branch regulators in our history. And everyone who gets, or doesn't get, health care in the case of rationing will be most personally affected by this vast sea of regulations.
Now we will inspect some of the ramifications of the 2,700-page text of the Health Care bill itself.
Almost 2,000 employers and unions will be eligible to submit retirees' medical bills for reimbursement by a $5 billion federal fund, the Obama administration will disclose Tuesday. ...
Under the program, approved employers can tap into a federal fund that will reimburse up to 80% of certain health costs for retirees between the ages of 55 and 64, or those who don't yet qualify for Medicare [ii].
A $5-billion fund for two thousand entities would be an average of $2,500,000 per entity for the program. If divided evenly over the period of 2010-2014, it would be an average annual payout of $625,000 per entity per year.
So for years 2010 to 2014, each entity should on average get about $625,000 per year to pay "retiree medical benefits." Are there any rules that govern who gets what? And who is applying for the money? There is no way to make a more detailed analysis because Mr. Angoff [Director of Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight in the Department of Health and Human Services] wouldn't say how many employers were turned down for the program although he said the department is still taking applications [iii]. The two thousand employers and unions include notable names such as General Motors, General Electric, Proctor & Gamble, PepsiCo, Alcoa, Intel, Pfizer, and Dow Jones. As Janet Adamy pointed out in her recent article in the Wall Street Journal, "[t]he retiree-health money was one of the sweeteners for corporations and unions in the health care bill"[iv].
In other words, for a measly bribe of an average of $625,000 per year for four years, these entities gave their consent and/or support for the draconian shift of control over health care from private citizens to the Executive Branch.
Let's put this bribe into perspective by looking at the cumulative profits for the last four years for some of these companies:
And where is the government getting the money to pay for the bribe? On September 30, 2008, the U.S. public debt totaled $5.808 trillion. It took over 232 years for the U.S. to accumulate that much public debt. By August 27, 2010, the public debt had ballooned to $8.849 trillion. The Obama administration has increased our public debt by over 52% in just under two years. This is where the administration gets the "money" to pay these "bribes" to entities which will cooperate with the Administration's insatiable desire for regulatory control over "we the people."
And who will pay off this debt? Using 2007 data, there are about 137 million income-taxpayers and a workforce of about 150 million people. But since all workers pay payroll taxes, there is a rough correlation between all the working people and the taxpayers. All these working people are going to have their taxes raised to pay off this debt. And the real burden of this debt will first manifest itself in increasing interest payments when interest rates start to rise.
The working people are probably all customers of these companies. Will the Big Business Class ever stand up to the voracious Obama administration? Have they no courage? Can't they just say no?
Fred N. Sauer is an American patriot, St. Louis resident, and businessman whose blog can be found at www.americasculturalstudies.com.
[i] Stafford, Diane. "Kathleen Sebelius has a full plate with implementing health-care reform." 7 August 2010: n. pag. Web. 2 September 2010. <http://www.kansascity.com/2010/08/07/2135851/kathleen-sebelius-has-a-full-plate.html>. [ii] Adamy, Janet. "About 2,000 Employers to Draw Health Funds." The Wall Street Journal 31 August, 2010: n. pag. Web. 2 September 2010. <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703369704575462052927979026.html>.