Why didn’t CNN report on this in 2010, when the vote happened? Oh well, better late than never.
Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out.
In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.
“The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of legislation as well,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said at the time.
“The administration’s own regulations prove this is not the case. Under the grandfathering regulation, according to the White House’s own economic impact analysis, as many as 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered status by 2013 and be forced to buy government-approved plans,” the Iowa Republican said.
On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year.
So those evil Republicans were actually trying to protect the American people from losing their health insurance, but the Democrats stopped them. This reminds me of when Bush was trying to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ahead of the housing crisis, and the Democrats blocked him because they claimed there was no mortgage lending crisis. Then later, they claimed that the mortgage lending crisis was caused by insufficient regulation.
Here is economist Larry Kudlow of CNBC to make sense of these policies at a higher level.
Charles Krauthammer and the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger noted in excellent recent columns that this whole Obamacare business represents the greatest-ever expansion of the liberal entitlement-state dream. But I don’t want that dream. And you shouldn’t either.
Here’s what else I don’t want: As a 60-something, relatively healthy person, I don’t want lactation and maternity services, abortion services, speech therapy, mammograms, fertility treatments or Viagra. I don’t want it. So why should I have to tear up my existing health-care plan, and then buy a plan with far more expensive premiums and deductibles, and with services I don’t need or want?
Why? Because Team Obama says I have to. And that’s not much of a reason. It’s not freedom.
It’s especially not freedom for thirty-something chaste single males like me. I don’t want it, I don’t need it, and if you force me to pay for it for other people, then don’t expect me to marry and have children, because I can’t afford to pay for the wards of the welfare state and a family. It has to be one or the other. Either I keep what I earn, or the government takes what I earn. Period.
So far I am exempt from this, but my turn is coming next year, as Kudlow notes:
Incidentally, equally punitive regulations will hit more than 90 million employer-sponsored health plans next year. It’s the same problem as the individual plan. Grandfathering won’t work. Moreover, replacing these plans with much more expensive products will constitute a major tax hike on the entire economy. This point shouldn’t be lost as Americans worry about being kicked from their plans. Obamacare is not only anti-freedom but anti-growth.
I had not read the Daniel Henninger column linked above before, but here’s a sobering snippet from that column:
What made ObamaCare an exemplar of progressive politics and policy is precisely what has been on view this week in news stories and the Sebelius hearing. It’s not that the health program was to be administered by the state or that it promised benefits to all. Liberalism did that for decades. What made it peculiarly progressive were themandates. And not just the law’s individual and business mandates to purchase their insurance. The essence of modern Democratic progressivism is: “You will participate in what we have created for you, and you will comply with the law’s demands.”
[...]American progressivism is politics by cramdown. Ask Jamie Dimon. Ask the coal miners the EPA is putting out of business. Ask the union workers waiting for jobs on the Keystone XL pipeline. Ask Boeing in South Carolina or the harmless tea party groups from towns no one has ever heard of that were shut down by the IRS, or the 20,000 inner-city parents and students who marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest obliteration of their charter schools by New York’s progressive mayoral candidate, Bill de Blasio.
I had blogged before about the Charles Krauthammer column that Kudlow mentioned. Check it out if you missed it.