- - Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Obamacare is the gift that just keeps on giving — to its growing chorus of critics. President Obama blames the Republicans for trying to “gum up the works,” but the “gum in the works” is the Juicy Fruit peeled on the morning after from his own bedpost.

The president understands just how dreadfully complicated his health care plan is; he always has. He thought his golden tongue would carry the day. The White House is adding another layer of bureaucracy to make the impossible work. The latest are the “navigators,” government agents to help everyone through the maze of paperwork before an aspirin is dispensed.

Now 13 state attorneys general have written to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Health and Human Services, who will be in charge of the navigators, asking her to pay more attention to privacy issues. (Why give the NSA more snooping duties?)

Pam Bondi, the attorney general of Florida, notes that Mrs. Sebelius is so hard up for navigators that she’s taking people off the streets, dispensing with background checks and even fingerprints, and turning them loose to poke through the intimate details of a taxpayer’s life.

“And it’s more than navigators,” Ms. Bondi says. “It’s people to assist the navigators. These navigators will have the consumers’ most personal and private information — tax-return information, Social Security information. And our biggest fear, of course, is identity theft. What if [navigators] have been convicted of committing identity theft or grand theft? [Such a recruit] could potentially still become a navigator.”

These are legitimate concerns, and you don’t have to be a Republican, a conservative, a churl or a racist — the usual suspects in Obamaland — to ask questions about the botch that the bunglers and bumblers at the White House are making of everything they touch. Mr. Obama spent his first four years in the White House blaming George W. Bush for his mistakes; lately, his villains have become just “the Republicans.”

“There are a group of Republicans in Congress working hard to confuse people,” the president said in his Saturday radio address. “They’re making empty promises that they’ll either shut down the health care law, or if they don’t get their way, they’ll shut down the government. Think about that. They’re actually having a debate between hurting Americans who will no longer be denied affordable care just because they’ve been sick — and harming the economy and millions of Americans in the process.” The president’s teleprompter was having a bad day, but we can figure out what he’s trying to say with his tortured syntax.

Republicans aren’t responsible for the health care scheme. They had nothing to do with it. The president himself sees the runaway train coming down the tracks and looks for someone to blame. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, the since-retired moderate Republican senator on whom Mr. Obama lavished undivided attention during the health care debate in the Senate, told an interviewer for Sirius XM radio that the president assured her that the opposition to Obamacare would go away after the 2010 congressional elections.

But it didn’t. “It’s just beginning,” she told him. “It’s going to grow, because I can tell you it’s not going to go away, and it’s going to get worse.” The president invited her to the White House and followed it with telephone calls, but in the end she voted against the legislation.

Nancy Pelosi said Congress would have to enact Obamacare to see what was actually in it. Congress did, and she still hasn’t figured it out. Neither has anyone else. But everyone, including the president, can see it’s a bucket of worms.

The Washington Times