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EDITORIAL: Navigating Obamacare

The convoluted health care scheme frightens everyone

- The Washington Times - Monday, May 13, 2013

President Obama's takeover of health care is so complicated that the government is about to hire a fleet of bureaucrats to explain what it's all about. The Department of Health and Human Services is looking to hire "navigators" to help Americans figure out how to avoid the perils of Obamacare's rudderless insurance exchange system.

This will be no minor task. The department announced it would spend $54 million subsidizing organizations whose job it will be to steer insurance-seekers through the labyrinthine health law's programs, rules and regulations. Applications for navigator grants are due by June 7.

We can expect the usual clutch of cronies to navigate straight to this pot of money, since the health care law stipulates that one of the two "navigators" in each state must be a nonprofit entity. Community organizers and other deadbeats are jostling now to get to the head of the line to the goodies. The law grants a special preference to unions, ensuring them a piece of the action, too. Rewarding cronies with taxpayer loot is the Chicago way.

Under department rules adopted in March, navigators will have to "maintain expertise in eligibility, enrollment and program specifications, and conduct public education activities to raise awareness about the Exchange." Applicants can pick up a copy of Nick Tate's new book, "The ObamaCare Survival Guide," which boils the 2,700-page legislation down to 229 pages. It's a Cliffs Notes to prevent minds from being entirely boggled.

Even with this training, the navigators will have their work cut out for them. Americans are blissfully unaware of the storm brewing just over the blue horizon. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that 42 percent of respondents "are unaware that [Obamacare] is still the law of the land." Many think it was repealed by Congress or thrown out by the Supreme Court. The poll finds that just 35 percent of adults regard Obamacare favorably, and 40 percent regard it unfavorably. Not even Matthew Fontaine Maury, "the Pathfinder of the Seas," could navigate around that.

Capitalizing on Obamacare's unpopularity, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has scheduled a symbolic vote to repeal the law this week. Though such bills can readily pass the House, they won't even get a hearing in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Even if the bill were to arrive on his desk, President Obama is hardly willing to erase his signature accomplishment. Mr. Cantor just wants to give members who joined the House in January an opportunity to show constituents they tried. Unpopular as it may be, Obamacare may never again be as "popular" as it is now, before the public begins to suffer under its lash.

The Washington Times

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