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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Medical Statism a.k.a. ObamaCare Passes in the House

ObamaCare, which is officially known as Patient Protection and Affordability Act of 2010 (H.R. 3950), has just passed in the House. The vote tally comes at 219-212.

It's now expected that Herr Obama will sign it on his desk this upcoming Tuesday. But how can he sign a bill into law if the Senate hasn't applied the "fixes" that the Democrats made to the House-passed version of the bill hours ago? Because those "fixes" aren't REAL fixes. Those are just last-minute amendments to the bill AFTER it was passed, and they are heading to the Senate. The bill has already cleared the halls of Congress. According to the Voice of America news website, "[T]he Senate must still sign-off on a series of changes approved by the House."

Obviously, so many backroom dealings had occurred on the House floor. The key provisions of the legislation that the medical lobbyists and Big Insurance (like Blue Cross Blue Shield) are backing include:

  1. Coercing individuals to buy insurance or be faced with a penalty of 2.5 percent of income. That penalty would come to an annual amount of $695 if individuals refuse to accept that coverage.

  2. Coercing employers to offer insurance to their workers or face a penalty of $2,000 per worker. Specifically, employers will be coerced to cover 65% of family premiums or fork over a penalty based on payroll. Small businesses with less than $500,000 on payroll will be exempt and payrolls up to $750,000 will have a reduced contribution.

  3. Banning private insurance firms (that don't have the political clout like Big Insurance does) that want new business from denying coverage to policyholders having preexisting medical conditions.

  4. Coercing above-mentioned firms to accept new government regulations and mandates.

  5. Coercing parents to keep their children on their medical plans until they reach the age of 26.

The most laughable aspect of this "debate" on the House floor is that Democratic Congresscritter Bart Stupak from my home state of Michigan, who was originally against the bill because of a provision in the bill that would allow taxpayer financing of abortions, flip flopped on it because of a meaningless deal that Obama cut with him by saying that he would issue an executive order to prohibit the funding. Stupak wasn't against the bill because it would solidify the state's entrenchment in the medical care system; he was against it because of his pro-life views. If that provision had not been written in the bill in the first place, does anyone really think he would have voted against it? Not in a New York minute!

(Interestingly and hilariously enough, the congressman was branded a "baby killer" by a Republican colleague in the House, although he has an idea of who said it.)

Once the bill is signed into law and goes into effect, one can be certain that millions of Americans will not obey the law. This is what happens when the state furthers itself into the medical care system much more than it has in decades. Any chance of restoring a true free market medical care system went up in smoke the second the bill passed.

It's time for all Liberty activists to start practicing civil disobedience and educate the masses in a clear, concise, and innovative way. No more the state! More freedom than ever!