The Affordable Care Act Disaster Is Not Obama’s ‘Katrina’

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The New York Times went there yesterday, drawing a facile comparison between President Barack Obama’s handling of the Obamacare rollout with the way his predecessor, George W. Bush, dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

How is Obama’s egg-on-face bungling of his own pet law anything like Bush’s response to an act of God? Did George W. Bush badger Congress, from the very beginning of his first term in office, to legislate a Category 5 hurricane into existence on a partisan vote and aim it at one of the Nation’s critical industrial corridors?

Did he promise the Nation for two years that everyone just needed to stop worrying and bend over and take whatever nature — at the behest of his political supporters — throws our way? That we’d all end up grateful, in the end, for his foresight?

Did Bush lie without equivocation about who would benefit from his hurricane — and continue to lie about how beneficial the hurricane was, even as it made landfall and marched into the interior of the Gulf States? Did he gloat when the hurricane was allowed to proceed after a Supreme Court challenge and tell his detractors to get over it, that Katrina was the established law of the land?

Did he then try to bypass Congress by authorizing NOAA, or HAARP, or whatever weather-manipulating powers the Commander in Chief may have at his disposal, to unilaterally modify the hurricane after Congress had already devoted thousands of pages of legislation to fine-tuning its every devastating feature? Did he double down on the disaster-in progress by offering an “administrative fix” — a Presidential decree to roll back the storm surge for a year so that people and businesses who’d already battened down the hatches would have time to undo their original escape plan and waste more time and money coming up with a better one?

In the run-up to landfall, did Bush blame Democrats for driving a wedge between the American people? Did he accuse them of Chicken-Little doomsday political tricks, of sermonizing the approaching hurricane’s deleterious effects, of attempting to make the Katrina issue an all-or-nothing bid to hold the rest of the Federal government hostage?

Did Bush then set about devising a scheme to bail out all his political supporters in Congress as Americans, beginning to realize that the hurricane was indeed devastating and was all the Republicans’ fault, started targeting their Republican Congress members as scapegoats?

George W. Bush may be guilty of a lot of terrible things. Some Americans believe he was guilty of truly unconscionable horrors on a scale that no amount of declassification of public documents will ever fully reveal. But however he coordinated the Federal response to Hurricane Katrina, or failed to assuage the pain of Ray Nagin and other political opportunists who knew how to milk a good emergency, Bush bears no culpability for creating the circumstances that led to the devastation of the Gulf Coast in August of 2005.

Barack Obama owns Obamacare. Depending on the mood of his party brethren, he’s even warmed to the “Obamacare” moniker (though not so much over the past seven days). He started the snowball rolling on Feb. 24, 2009, when he stood before Congress and said, “So let there be no doubt: Health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.”

He told the American Medical Association on June 15, 2009:

And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. … If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. … No one will take it away, no matter what.

And he kept saying it for four more years, all the while making damn sure everybody knew whose great idea it was — and calling out all of his nefarious opponents, who only saw gloom and doom in store.

Obama stumped at a Maryland business right at the start of the October government “shutdown,” telling people all about how settled and established his Obamacare law was, after years of challenges from Republican luddites:

So I would think that if, in fact, this was going to be such a disaster that the Republicans say it’s going to be, that it was going to be so unpopular, they wouldn’t have to shut down the government.  They could wait, nobody would show any interest, there would be, like, two people on the website – (laughter) – and everybody would then vote for candidates who want to repeal it.

It’s not as if Republicans haven’t had a chance to debate the health care law.  It passed the House of Representatives.  It passed the Senate.  The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional –you remember all this.  Last November, voters rejected the presidential candidate that ran on a platform to repeal it.  (Applause.)  So the Affordable Care Act has gone through every single democratic process, all three branches of government.  It’s the law of the land.  It’s here to stay.

“There would be, like, two people on the website.” Prophetic.

If you’ve read a better indictment of Obama’s hypocritical “administrative fix” speech than that offered by RedState contributor John Hayward, drop a link in the comments section. Here’s Hayward on Obama’s power play for royalty:

Not only does President Obama lack the legal authority to impose the “fix” for insurance cancellations he described on Thursday, but his entire proposal boils down to inviting insurance companies to violate federal law, and promising not to prosecute them for it.

That’s not an oversimplification – it’s literally true.  The Affordable Care Act – which Obama has previously been fond of describing as “the settled law of the land,” evidently confident that his dimmer constituents will believe settled laws have never been changed or repealed before – includes legal requirements for the content of insurance policies.  Obama’s “fix” invites insurance companies to violate those laws for a year, while he instructs the relevant regulatory agencies to look the other way.

This isn’t the rule of law.  It’s Chicago corruption – no different, at heart, from the inspector who takes a cash payoff to look the other way while seedy nightclubs violate city ordinances.  It’s one of the most shameful utterances a high government official has ever made, to say nothing of being rather hard to square with those photos of Obama’s signature on the ACA, with the caption “IT’S. THE. LAW.” that his political operation likes to spread across social media. The key element of the Obamacare defense, throughout the last-ditch Republican effort to defund or delay the law before it failed in precisely the ways they predicted, was the belligerent shriek that no one can dare oppose this almighty law, which is more powerful and permanent than the very Constitution itself.  But at the same time, they’re telling us the whole thing is written in pencil, and Barack Obama can erase anything he finds politically inconvenient.

Back to The New York Times:

The disastrous rollout of his [Obama’s] health care law not only threatens the rest of his agenda but also raises questions about his competence in the same way that the Bush administration’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina undermined any semblance of Republican efficiency.

But unlike Mr. Bush, who faced confrontational but occasionally cooperative Democrats, Mr. Obama is battling a Republican opposition that has refused to open the door to any legislative fixes to the health care law and has blocked him at virtually every turn.

That makes sense: Blame Republicans as you help the President put down the talking points and step gingerly away from the Obamacare. As The Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher wrote Friday, “Their fingerprints aren’t on the murder weapon, which only proves they made ‘im do it.”

Obama took ownership of this thing and used it as a political status symbol until it started betraying him by functioning exactly as it was designed to function. Now he’s being stoned by fellow Democrats and is seeking a solution that doesn’t leave his Administration, or his party, politically destitute.

Obamacare isn’t to Obama as Katrina was to Bush. To borrow the Times’ silly simile, though, it would be equally appropriate to say that Obama’s second-act “fix” for his own self-made mess looks like it could do a Rita on the Constitution.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Warrior

    Do you people not understand the fraud being perpetrated on working Americans as we speak? The “progressives” are colluding with the insurance companies to fleece every single working American right now. They get away with this crap in ill-annoy because they “rule” over its citizens where unions rule the roost. The whole country now is being subjected to this same cronyism. It is absolutely unbelievable to watch the gall of these criminals. Well, we’ll let you keep your policy for another year and the insurance company execs have to meet with the fraud n’ chief so he can tell them how much the gubmint needs to make in this “deal”. People, right now, we are ONLY looking at self employed and individual policy holders being affected. Wait until the MAJORITY of WORKING AMERICANS get thrown into the disaster. Good Lord, this is CRIMINAL!

    • Vis Fac

      And our wimpy spineless congress doesn’t seem to care. They have the power of impeachment the people don’t. I’d be willing to wager there are more people ready for impeachment and an old fashion lynching too.

      If you want a vision of a liberal future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever

      A liberal is a power worshiper without power. Liberal one dimensional
      Idiot-ology is playing with fire by people who don’t know that fire is
      hot!!

      To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

      You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi

      • Warrior

        Keep up the fight Force, I’m with ya!

        • Vis Fac

          I would only hope that many others are as well!!!

          If you want a vision of a liberal future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever

          A liberal is a power worshiper without power. Liberal one dimensional Idiot-ology is playing with fire by people who don’t know that fire is hot!!

          To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

          You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

          Libertas inaestimabilis res est
          Semper-Fi

      • Oldmonkey

        What did he know and when did he know it? If before re-election, that by itself meets the bar for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” This is where we are missing an easy target. After terminating his lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, we can find a warm cozy jail cell for his other crimes

    • Oldmonkey

      This is actually “Liber Fascism” and at times it is deadly! Though much better that Communism, it has a dark underside of misery, torture, and murder. Taiwan 10-10 Chang Kai-Sheik, Mussolini are the best examples where “Group Rights” are the rule of the day. Through their thugs they usually buy, sell, threaten, and destroy, people, their businesses, and damage a country’s tenacity. Taiwan is the only exception I am aware where without revolution a people’s liberty prevailed. There were many bloody riots, tortures, and assassinations, and individuals risking not only their life, and their family’s, but Taiwan stands as a 1st world country that elects it’s government.

  • Warrior

    Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Joe the Plumber to come and fix it.

    Joe drives to Obama’s house, which is located in a very nice neighborhood and where it’s clear that all the residents make more than $250,000 per year.

    Joe arrives and takes his tools into the house. Joe is led to the room that contains the leaky pipe under a sink. Joe assesses the problem and tells Obama, who is standing near the door, that it’s an easy repair that will take less than 10 minutes.

    Obama asks Joe how much it will cost. Joe immediately says, “$9,500.”

    “$9,500?” Obama asks, stunned, “But you said it’s an easy repair!”

    “Yes, but what I do is charge a lot more to my clients who make more than $250,000 per year so I can fix the plumbing of everybody who makes less than that for free,” explains Joe. “It’s always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied government to pass this philosophy as law,

    and it did pass earlier this year, so now all plumbers have to do business this way. It’s known as ‘Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act of 2009.’ Surprised you haven’t heard of it.”

    In spite of that, Obama tells Joe there’s no way he’s paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Joe leaves. Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book looking for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses listed have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Joe’s price, Obama does nothing. The leak under Obama’s sink goes unrepaired for the next several days.

    A week later the leak is so bad that Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there’s a risk that the room will flood, so Obama calls Joe and pleads with him to return. Joe goes back to Obama’s house, looks at the
    leaky pipe, and says, “ Let’s see – this will cost you about $21,000.”

    “A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!” Obama quickly fires back.

    Joe explains the reason for the dramatic increase. “Well, because of the ‘Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act,’ a lot of rich people are learning how to fix their own plumbing, so there are fewer of you paying for all the free plumbing I’m doing for the people who make less than $250,000. As a result, the rate I have to charge my wealthy paying customers rises every day.

    “Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work from the group of people who get it for free has skyrocketed, and there’s a long waiting list of those who need repairs. This has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, and they’re not being replaced – nobody is going
    into the plumbing business because they know they won’t make any money. I’m hurting now too – all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won’t pay their fair share.”

    Obama tries to straighten out the plumber: “Of course you’re hurting, Joe! Don’t you get it? If all the rich people learn how to fix their own plumbing and you refuse to charge the poorer people for your services, you’ll be broke, and then what will you do?”

    Joe immediately replies, “Run for president, apparently.”

  • Meg

    Trying to impeach would most probably not work as long as the dems have the senate. Reid would never bring it up and if he did we would not get enough votes. It would be better to make him resign and then everything he did could be undone. And I get tired of hearing how bad Bush did during Katrina. If I remember right, the Governor and or Mayor would not let FEMA into New O until they determined it was okay.

    • Warrior

      Meg, the “media” is grasping at ANY comparison and REACH to compare the FRAUD to his predecessor. It is nothing short of DISGUSTING! The “DUDE” perpetrated this FRAUD. The other was presented with the OPPORTUNITY to show us how dependence on GUBMINT is FOLLY! Help your neighbor when you are able.

  • Richard Borchers

    the people who are stupid are liberals THERE THE ONES WHO ELECTED OBAMA CAUSE AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE ONLY 14% OF AMERICANS WHILE 90% OF THEM ARE IN PRISON AS A FELON YOU LOSE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE BUSH WAS A GOOD PRESIDENT I’M PROUD TO SAY HE A GOOD PRES OBAMA’S BIG THING IS OBAMACARE WHICH LOOKS LIKE IT’S A BUMMER AND DEMOCRATE ARE STARTING TO GET AWAY FROM IT AS THE DAYS GO BY YOU WILL SEE MORE DEMS’ BACKTRACKING ON OBAMACARE BUT HE’ OWNS IT IT’S ALL HIS AND YETS REMEMBER HE’S GONE IN 3 YEARS EVEN BILL SAID TO DROP IT LIKE IT’S HOT( SNOOP DOG )

    • Warrior

      AMEN.

  • Richard Borchers

    ONE THING I WILL NEVER BE IS A DEMOCRATE TO ME THAT THE WORST THING TO BE CAUSE AS A DEMOCRATE YOUR THE A REAL FOOL YOU SUPPORT LATE TERM ABORATIONS NO GOD IN SCHOOLS NO GOD ANYWHERE IF IT WAS UP TO THEM THEY ARE THE ONES WHO DESTORED AMERICAN FAMILYS HOW YOUR DAUGHTER CAN GET BIRTH CONTROL WITH OUT THERE PARNETS OKAY AND GAYS EVERY WHERE BOYSCOUTS GAY MARRIAGE EVERYTHING THAT SUCKS THERE FOR

    • Warrior

      AMEN AGAIN!

  • Warrior

    IS it beginning to SINK IN Yet?

    Fouad Ajami: When the Obama Magic Died

    There were no economic or cultural bonds among his coalition. He was all things
    to all people. Charisma ruled.
    By Fouad Ajami | Nov. 14, 2013
    The crrent Troubles Obama presidency can be read back into its beginnings.
    Rule by personal charisma has met its proper fate. The spell has been broken, and the magician stands exposed. We need no pollsters to tell us of the loss of faith in Mr. Obama’s policies—and, more significantly, in the man himself. Charisma is like that.Crowds come together and they project their needs onto an imagined redeemer. The redeemer leaves the crowd to its imagination: For as long as the charismatic moment lasts—a year, an era—the redeemer is above and beyond judgment. He glides through rises, he knits together groups of varied, often clashing, interests. Always there is that magical moment, and its beauty, as a reference point.
    Mr. Obama gave voice to this sentiment in a speech on Nov. 6 in Dallas: “Sometimes I worry because everybody had such a fun experience in ’08, at least that’s how it seemed in retrospect. And, ‘yes we can,’ and the slogans and the posters, et cetera, sometimes I worry that people forget change in this country has always been hard.” It’s a pity we can’t stay in that moment, says the redeemer: The fault lies in the country itself—everywhere, that is, except in the magician’s performance. Forgive the personal reference, but from the very beginning of Mr. Obama’s astonishing rise, I felt that I was witnessing something old and familiar. My advantage owed nothing to any mastery of American political history. I was guided by my immersion in the political history of the Arab world and of a life studying Third World societies. In 2008, seeing the Obama crowds in Portland, Denver and St. Louis spurred memories of the spectacles that had attended the rise and fall of Arab political pretenders. I had lived through the era of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdul Nasser. He had emerged from a military cabal to become a demigod, immune to judgment. His followers clung to him even as he led the Arabs to a catastrophic military defeat in the Six Day War of 1967.
    He issued a kind of apology for his performance. But his reign was never about policies and performance. It was about political magic. In trying to grapple with, and write about, the Obama phenomenon, I found guidance in a book of breathtaking erudition, “Crowds and Power”

    (1962) by the Nobel laureate Elias Canetti. Born in Bulgaria in 1905 and educated in Vienna and

    Britain, Canetti was unmatched in his understanding of the passions, and the elusions, of crowds. The crowd is a “mysterious and universal phenomenon,” he writes. It forms where there was nothing before. There comes a moment when “all who belong to the crowd get rid of their difference and feel equal.” Density gives the illusion of equality, a blessed moment when “no one is greater or better than another.” But the crowd also has a presentiment of its own disintegration, a time when those who belong to the crowd “creep back under their private burdens.”
    Five years on, we can still recall how the Obama coalition was formed. There were the African-Americans justifiably proud of one of their own. There were upper-class white professionals who were drawn to the candidate’s “cool.” There were Latinos swayed by the promise of immigration reform. The white working class in the Rust Belt was the last bloc to embrace Mr. Obama—he wasn’t one of them, but they put their reservations aside during an economic storm and voted for the redistributive state and its protections. There were no economic or cultural bonds among this coalition. There was the new leader, all things to all people. A nemesis awaited the promise of this new presidency: Mr. Obama would turn out to be among the most polarizing of American leaders. No, it wasn’t his race, as Harry Reid would contend, that stirred up the opposition to him. It was his exalted views of himself, and his mission. The sharp lines were sharp between those who raised his banners and
    those who objected to his policies.

    America holds presidential elections, we know. But Mr. Obama took his victory as a
    plebiscite on his reading of the American social contract. A president whoconstantly
    reminded his critics that he had won at the ballot box was bound to deepen the
    opposition of his critics.
    A leader who set out to remake the health-care system in the country, a sixth of thenational economy, on a razor-thin majority with no support whatsoever from the
    opposition party, misunderstood the nature of democratic politics. An election victory is the beginning of things, not the culmination. With Air Force One and the otherprerogatives of office come the need for compromise, and for the disputations of democracy. A president who sought consensus would have never left his agenda on Capitol Hill in the hands of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Mr. Obama has shown scant regard for precedent in American history. To him, and to the coterie around him, his presidency was a radical discontinuity in American politics. There is no evidence in the record that Mr. Obama read, with discernment and appreciation, of the ordeal and struggles of his predecessors. At best there was a willful reading of that history. Early on, he was Abraham Lincoln resurrected (the new president, who hailed from Illinois, took the oath of office on the Lincoln Bible). He had been sworn in during an economic crisis, and thus he was FDR restored to the White House. He was stylish with two young children, so the Kennedy precedent was on offer. In the oddest of twists, Mr. Obama claimed that his foreign policy was in the mold of Dwight Eisenhower’s . But Eisenhower knew war and peace, and the foreign world held him in high regard.
    During his first campaign, Mr. Obama had paid tribute to Ronald Reagan as a “transformational” president and hinted that he aspired to a presidency of that kind. But the Reagan presidency was about America, and never about Ronald Reagan. Reagan was never a scold or a narcissist. He stood in awe of America, and of its capacity for renewal. There was forgiveness in Reagan, right alongside the belief in the things that mattered about America—free people charting their own path.

    If Barack Obama seems like a man alone, with nervous Democrats up for re-election next year running for cover, and away from him, this was the world he made. No advisers of stature can question his policies; the price of access in the Obama court is quiescence before the leader’s will. The imperial presidency is in full bloom. There are no stars in the Obama cabinet today, men and women of independent stature and outlook. It was after a walk on the White House grounds with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, that Mr. Obama called off the attacks on the Syrian regime that he had threatened. If he had taken that walk with Henry Kissinger or George Shultz, one of those skilled statesmen might have explained to him the consequences of so abject a retreat. But Mr. Obama needs no sage advice, he rules through political handlers. Valerie Jarrett, the president’s most trusted, probably most powerful, aide, once said in admiration that Mr. Obama has been bored his whole life. The implication was that he is above things, a man alone, and anointed. Perhaps this moment—a presidency coming apart, the incompetent social engineering of an entire health-care system—will now claim Mr. Obama’s attention.

    — Mr. Ajami, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, is the author, most

    recently, of “The Syrian Rebellion” ( Hoover Press, 2012).

  • Richard Borchers

    THIS IS OBAMA’S IRAQ WHERE THEY SAY BUSH LIED ABOUT WMD;S SO OBAMA BEEN LYING ABOUT OBAMACARE FOR 4 YEARS AND HE FORCE THIS ON AMERICA NOT KATRINA OSAMA HAS BEEN PLANING 9.11 DURING CLINTONS TERM SO NOW THAT IRAN WILL HAVE NUKES MAYBE ONE DAY SOMETHING GOES OFF AT THE WHITE HOUSE

  • Muffin Man Mashinksy

    ObummerCare only came to a vote in Congress because several parliamentary rules were broken, it was only approved by Supreme Court because Roberts flipped his lid for some reason & let them argue it was a tax one day & then a fine 2 days later & then as Scalia said, “Roberts re-wrote the law for them & passed it off as Constitutional” all grounds for his removal from the bench, and then almoist from day one Obummer illegally gave waivers to some unions & corporations & then later has illegally change it as he pleases several times…what he has done has been disgustingly tyrannical & grounds for impeachment along with his previous litany of ex.orders…and why has he gotten away with this…BECAUSE THE GOP HAS NO BALLS….they should’ve been calling for impeachment over & over & over…even good pols like Lee & Cruz & Paul have been wasting time filibustering…they should be leading the way here…even if they can’t get it passed because they do not have the numbers in the senate, they must keep this fight up!!!

  • Muffin Man Mashinksy

    The NY Times is a farce…if a GOP prez broke the law like Obummer has regarding his changing of ObummerCare & issued a plethora of illegal ex. orders & committed War Crimes in the number & way he is using drones, they would be screaming for his head on a platter & for him to be dragged into the ICCC for prosecution!!! Instead they do severe contortions using a ludicrous analogy that is pathetic in defending this most evil inept POS…the worst prez ever!!!

  • BHR

    When Obamacare hits in full force next year, many people will suffer. Over the next 5 years many will die. Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance is cutting the amount and kind of tests people can have, also they are cutting payments to the medical profession. The paper work has been increases so much, doctors have less time to see patients. Many doctors are leaving medicine because they can no longer make a living or have a family life. Fewer young people are becoming doctors or nurses. In the next 5 years, it is expected America will be short between 3 and 4 hundred thousand doctors. Wait times to see a doctor could be between 3 to 6 months. Thousands of doctors will no longer take Medicare.
    With the huge deductibles if a .person gets sick they still can lose every thing.
    Hospital, medical centers and doctors offices will be closing do to lower payments. Thousands are losing their jobs or going to part time.
    Obama has created a program that with all our other programs failing will bring America down.
    Anyone who thinks Obamacare is good is getting it for free or are very ignorant of the facts.