- - Friday, June 6, 2014

Normally, the Bully of the Week Award is reserved for an individual person or a distinct group of people. I guess you could say Obamacare is a group of people, if you count the hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats and Internal Revenue Service agents involved in enforcing it.

Obamacare “customers” certainly do seem to feel bullied. A new poll from Enroll America, a group created specifically to support the Affordable Care Act, asked people who bought Obamacare policies to choose from a list of 15 reasons they made their purchase. The most common response was “Because it’s the law,” with 36 percent. “Because I didn’t want to pay the fine” came in third, with 34 percent.

An even higher percentage of young people — who get the worst deal out of Obamacare, paying sky-high premiums for benefits they’ll probably never use — said they enrolled because they were afraid of the individual mandate. Overall, 40 percent of respondents to the poll said they might not have signed up for Obamacare, if not for the mandate.

On April Fools’ Day, President Obama bounced into the White House Rose Garden to celebrate his success at using fines and legal penalties to force millions of people to buy a health care policy.

Knowing how much of a bully Obamacare is makes it even stranger that the enrollment numbers have been so low. You would think even more people would have bought in to the system to escape the fines and comply with the law. Maybe we should conduct a poll of the people who thought it was better to pay the individual fine and escape from Obamacare, to find out how many of them there are and what they were thinking. It would also be interesting to know how many people changed their minds and dropped out of Obamacare after the enrollment period was over. Did you know the Obama administration refuses to disclose that number? Also, we just discovered this week that up to 2 million of the plans purchased under Obamacare contained glitches from its crazy website and might result in incorrect payment demands, or even canceled coverage. It’s always been thought that a million or two of those Obamacare enrollments were invalid to begin with. We don’t really know how many people are actually signed up right now.

However, if 40 percent of the claimed 7 million to 9 million enrollees would rather not have been part of Obamacare, that’s good enough to earn it Bully of the Week. Not even Godzilla can frighten that many people at once.

The Obamacare monster is just getting warmed up. It’s grown so huge that the Congressional Budget Office announced this week that it would no longer attempt to estimate the cost of Obamacare in the future. A new analysis by research firm S&P IQ estimates that 80 percent to 90 percent of employer-provided health insurance plans will be destroyed by Obamacare during the next 10 years. That will make Obamacare a strong contender for the all-time Bully Hall of Fame.

Rusty Humphries, a nationally syndicated talk-radio host, is a contributor to The Washington Times.