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WOLF: Obamacare waiver corruption must stop
If some Americans deserve exemption from a bad law, then all Americans do
Question of the Day
Selective enforcement of the law is the first sign of tyranny. A government empowered to determine arbitrarily who may operate outside the rule of law invariably embraces favoritism as friends, allies and those with the best-funded lobbyists are rewarded. Favoritism inevitably leads to corruption, and corruption invites extortion. Ultimately, the rule of law ceases to exist in any recognizable form, and what is left is tyranny.
America's founders rejected that road to tyranny when they boldly declared that all men are created equal. They wrote a Constitution meant to secure the promise of equal protection under the law.
President Obama, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrats all, in their rush to take over America's health care system, made all sorts of outlandish, unkeepable promises. Among the most egregious: Obamacare would allow you to keep your current health insurance and your doctor. Mr. Obama's own Medicare chief actuary now acknowledges that Obamacare may cause up to 20 million Americans to lose their current health insurance policies, and doctors are increasingly leaving Medicare, Medicaid and the practice of medicine altogether. Good luck keeping them. Another unkeepable promise: Obamacare "will create 4 million jobs, 400,000 jobs almost immediately." The Congressional Budget Office's budget director estimates the law actually will destroy 800,000 jobs.
Obamacare's chickens, to borrow a phrase our president may have heard somewhere before, are coming home to roost. The law, as currently adjudicated, has been ruled unconstitutional. The president's own secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius, has admitted a major section of the Obamacare law is "totally unsustainable." Before casting his vote in favor of Obamacare, Sen. Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat, described it as "a Ponzi scheme of the first order, the kind of thing that Bernie Madoff would have been proud of." Well, Mr. Conrad, Mr. Madoff certainly would be proud of you and your colleagues.
The now-familiar monthly trickling down of new waivers is, at best, a tacit admission that Obamacare is a failure. So far, seven entire states and 1,372 businesses, unions and other institutions have received waivers from the law. The list includes the administration's friends and allies and, of course, those who have the bestlobbyists.
More than 50 percent of the Obamacare waiver beneficiaries are union members, which is striking because union members account for less than 12 percent of the American work force. The same unions that provided more than $120 million to Democrats in the last two elections and, in many cases, openly campaigned in favor of the government takeover of your health care, now celebrate that Obamacare is not their problem.
But the political payoffs don't stop there. The Obama administration didn't forget its closest friends in the latest round of waivers. Although there are 435 congressional districts across America, nearly 20 percent of the new waivers, amazingly, found their way to a single district - Mrs. Pelosi's. As for Mr. Reid, well, the entire state of Nevada found an early waiver in its Christmas stocking. After all, what kind of a friend would the president be if he couldn't pull a few strings?
The priorities of the Obama administration and its Democratic allies are on display with every waiver granted. The list of beneficiaries in Mrs. Pelosi's district, for example, belongs in an episode of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." Mrs. Pelosi, champion of the unions and no stranger to hypocrisy, has amassed a fortune as part owner of Napa Valley Auberge du Soleil resort - a luxurious nonunion shop. Now her luxury boutique colleagues also can benefit from her "do as I say" politics. The "four-diamond luxury" hotel Campton Place; Tru Spa, Allure magazine's "best day spa in San Fransisco"; Boboquivari's and its $59 porterhouse steaks; and Cafe des Amis, "a timeless Parisian style brasserie," are among her beneficiaries.
As American families are being squeezed by increasing health insurance premiums as well as rising gasoline and grocery prices, I'm sure they'll be relieved to know that San Francisco's down-and-out millionaires will be protected from paying Obamacare's bills. Mercifully, Mrs. Pelosi's limousine liberals will no longer be forced to beg for Grey Poupon from every Rolls-Royce passing by.
Why did these particular businesses receive waivers? The administration that calls itself the most transparent in history won't say. Nor will it explain why it has denied at least 79 requests from others. Worse still, Health and Human Services has decreed that it will not even accept waiver requests from individuals, so if you choose to purchase your insurance directly, you have no recourse.
Americans deserve and, in fact, are guaranteed by our Constitution a level playing field. We were never promised equality in results, but we do deserve to play by the same rules and to be judged by the same standards. When a new law like Obamacare is so deeply flawed that its supporters openly violate these American bedrock principles to sustain it, it's time to repeal that law.
I will repeat the same question I've been asking since the first health care waiver was granted: If Obamacare is such a great law, why does the White House keep exempting its best friends from it?
Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist and President Obama's cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.
About the Author
Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.
By Michael P. Orsi
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