Sneaking It In
Bureaucrats Secretly Implement ObamaCare
by Tony Lee
When ObamaCare passed in the partisan manner in which it did, the liberal establishment and its ever growing army of pipsqueak transcribers in the mainstream media said ObamaCare’s passage would be a boon for Democrats and mocked those like Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli who spoke out against ObamaCare and called the measure unconstitutional, particularly the individual mandate requirement that would compel citizens to buy health insurance they may not have otherwise wanted to purchase.
What a difference a year makes. Fast forward to the present, and ObamaCare -- and its proponents -- are on the ropes, particularly in the legal and political arenas.
But recent news stories about ObamaCare’s planned implementation should be a clarion call for conservatives to focus their attention on the administrative and bureaucratic arenas with as much or more intensity as they have to defeat ObamaCare in the political and legal arenas.
According to The New York Times, “health care regulators have [had] a head start on their financial counterparts. They not only started the process four months earlier when the health care bill passed Congress, but they also have the advantage of already securing start-up funds for rule-making personnel and office space.”
In fact, administration officials told The Times that “In Bethesda, health care officials are leasing more than 70,000 square feet of space on three floors of an office building for about 230 employees to work on rule-making and other duties. The government agreed to pay $51.41 per usable square foot of space, compared with an average of $27 in Bethesda, because it wanted to get the operation running in July, ” which serves as another symbol of the federal government’s inefficient use of taxpayer’s money by paying double the market rate for office space.
More troubling, though, was an account in the New York Times this weekend in which Obama Administration regulators inserted the odious end of life “death panel” provision that Sarah Palin had presciently warned of in her maiden Facebook post a year ago. Even The New York Times’ slug had “death” panels in it. While the Obama Administration touts the innocuousness of the end of life provision, it is not a stretch to imagine a scenario in the future when government bureaucrats frame the way in which doctors must ask various questions to patients concerning end of life care in a way that rations or weans them off care.
As John Hayward noted, these new rules vindicated Sarah Palin’s fear that the bureaucratic machinery would lead in some way to inevitable “death panels.” And as Jason Mattera wrote, the brains behind these rules and regulations that are being considered and adopted seem to be none other than two people Mattera dubbed Dr. Death (Ezekiel Emmanuel) and The Grim Reaper (Donald Berwick), who ran away from HUMAN EVENTS cameras despite the Obama Administration’s promise to make the health care reform process transparent.
In light of recent electoral and legal events, the ongoing attempt to create the bureaucratic framework to implement an act that may be defunded and repealed by the will of the voters and deemed unconstitutional by the rule of law is even more brazen.
During the midterm elections, Democrats ran from ObamaCare because it was so toxic, and nearly 60% of those who showed up to the polls in what was a historic election for Republicans said they wanted ObamaCare repealed.
Earlier this month, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that the individual mandate requirement of ObamaCare was unconstitutional but came short of issuing an injunction. In oral arguments in a federal court in Florida the same week, Judge Vinson seemed receptive to the argument that the individual mandate requirement was unconstitutional and, unlike Judge Hudson in Virginia, seem to imply that he could issue a possible injunction against the implementation of ObamaCare.
Even though ObamaCare would be derailed if the Supreme Court were to rule that the individual mandate requirement is unconstitutional, “implementation of the act will proceed,” a White House official said immediately after a federal judge ruled that the individual mandate requirement was unconstitutional. “The ruling will not materially impede our work.”
Now, those words have become clear. The Obama Administration will try to implement parts of ObamaCare in an under the radar manner through the regulatory and bureaucratic rulemaking process.
In an e-mail unearthed by The New York Times, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) told ObamaCare advocates upon the surreptitious drafting of the “end of life” rules and regulations that “while we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops, because we aren’t out of the woods yet. This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”
“We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ – emails can too easily be forwarded … Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered [the new Medicare regulations], but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it,” Blumenauer said
If the Obama Administration can revive death panels, which they had to take out of ObamaCare, through the regulatory and rulemaking process, imagine what they could do with provisions that they actually rammed through Congress and are actually in the bill.
It is time for conservatives to be vigilant and monitor the Obama Adminstration’s health care regulators and marshal resources and public pressure to prevent unelected bureaucrats from surreptitiously writing aspects of ObamaCare into law that Congress and the courts may soon repeal or reject.