Nanny Knows Best
November 18, 2013 by Bob Livingston
There is little more damaging than government when it sets out to solve a problem.
The grossly misnamed Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is one example. But just one… and just a very expensive one.
Recall that the Obamacare law was touted as a way to make it possible for the uninsured (and uninsurable) to get health insurance. At the time, the elected class, statist bureaucrats, nannies, progressives, crony capitalists, the mainstream media propaganda machine and President Barack Obama himself claimed that about 30 million Americans could not get health insurance coverage.
But what they didn’t say was that of those 30 million, 10 million were illegal aliens and supposedly not eligible for coverage and another 10 million were either young and healthy and chose to forgo health insurance or were eligible for public programs like Medicaid and S-CHIP and had not enrolled for one reason or another. That left about 10 million people who were truly unable to acquire health insurance.
For that, the elected class conspired with the medical-industrial establishment and the health insurance industry to blow up health insurance and create a massive redistributive system that guaranteed more customers for the medical establishment with guaranteed payments from the Federal Treasury.
The result is a predictable — and predicted — failure of historic proportions. It created a bureaucratic deathcare trap of death panels, rising premiums, rising deductibles and disappearing options. If Obamacare is every fully implemented – a big if considering the failure of the $600 million-plus Healthcare.gov and the sticker shock being felt by the few people able to successfully log in — at least 31 million will remain uninsured.
Obamacare is currently wreaking havoc in myriad ways. Its regulations are causing insurance companies to send cancellation notices to millions of customers who were perfectly content with the coverage they had. It’s forcing those customers, more times than not, to buy insurance policies with higher premiums and higher deductibles and that cover things they don’t need.
Insurance companies are learning they’ve made a pact with the devil. More and more stories are making the news of patients in the middle of long-term treatment for diseases or debilitating injuries getting policy cancellation notices. And with Healthcare.gov failing, they are unable to determine whether they will have access to a new health insurance policy without gaps in coverage.
It’s creating a part-time workforce as companies seek to avoid the fines and mandates required to comply with the law. It’s stifling economic growth, as small businesses delay hiring and expansion until they fully understand the law’s costs.
It’s creating a Constitutional crisis, as Obama seeks to change the rules on his whim — something the Constitution does not permit him to do. Of course, the undocumented White House usurper has never held the Constitution in high regard.
Government and the elected class love to remind the common folk of just how compassionate they are. Every decision they make, they’ll say, is driven by an innate desire to protect people from themselves or to provide their welfare.
Of course, history has shown that the elected class is populated by a psychopathic mix of destroyers and seekers of wealth and power. The consequences of their actions are irrelevant to them. What is relevant is their glorification, gratification and security at the seat of power.
If that were not so, we would not have seen legislation like the Agricultural Adjustment Act, a New Deal-era law that restricted agricultural production by paying farmers to kill their livestock and not plant on part of their land.
It was signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933, during the midst of the Great Depression. At the time, unemployment was at 25 percent and people across the country were starving. Yet farmers were forced by the government to burn their crops and slaughter livestock in order to prop up farm prices to a rate that collectivist nanny-staters thought were appropriate.
Ever since the New Deal, the government has manipulated prices and production of farm products. This has created artificially inflated food prices and cost consumers trillions of dollars by forcing them to pay higher-than-market prices for food and surrender ever increasing sums of their wealth to taxes and inflation.
Similarly, the push for green energy through government mandates is driving up the cost of food and destroying America’s heartland and America’s wildlife.
Oil companies are required to blend billions of gallons of corn ethanol into their gasolines. Ethanol is inefficient in that it requires more energy to produce than it returns. It has created malinvestment in corn and other crop production (just as money printing and easy credit create malinvestment economically). Farmers are now producing more corn for fuel than for food, which has driven up the cost of all corn food products. But it has also driven farmers to neglect other crops in favor of corn which has, in turn, created shortages and driven up the price of other foods.
It has also led to the destruction of more than 1.2 million acres of grassland. According to an Associated Press report, plots that were grassland and pasture seven years ago are now corn and soybean fields. This is natural grassland that in all likelihood would have remained natural if not for ethanol subsidies.
The government push — as opposed to a free market demand — for green energy has resulted in wind turbines that are killing birds and bats in alarming numbers. According to a study by the Wildlife Society Bulletin, wind turbines slaughter 888,000 bats and 573,000 birds (including 83,000 raptors) every year. But wind turbines account for only 3 percent of U.S. electrical output.
California’s solar farms — many of which are located along four major north-to-south trajectories for birds called the Pacific flyway — are killing birds in a couple of ways. Some mistake the panels for water and dive into them. Others are being burned by the solar radiation reflecting off the panels. Many of these birds are species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
In Philadelphia, new water regulations imposed by the unConstitutional Environmental Protection Agency are putting homes and homeowners at risk by preventing the city from installing new and replacing old fire hydrants. The hydrants, which sit in a warehouse awaiting installation, have run afoul of new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on lead in drinking water.
But it’s not just happening on the Federal level. In New Mexico, it seems the Attorney General’s Animal Cruelty Task Force is aptly named, though not in a way intended. Gary King’s task force, in a purported effort to stamp out cockfighting, has slaughtered thousands of chickens and even more eggs. The former director of cruelty campaigns for Animal Protection of New Mexico, King is being sued by ranchers for needlessly killing their birds.
Although the psychopathic elected class and their bureaucratic enablers love to hold themselves up as paragons who serve the public interest, history has shown that when governments act “to protect the people,” as often as not death, destruction and economic turmoil results.