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"How Can There Still Be A Problem? We Passed A Law!"

Damn. One of my favorite styles to write in is to start off with a quote or a joke or something that seems totally unrelated to the topic at hand, and then make it work. This time, though, I have two that I can't pick between them. So here they both are.

1) Back in the bad old days of the Soviet Union, there was a joke going around about a man who called Brezhnev a fool. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison -- five for insulting the Premier, ten for revealing a state secret.

2) "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

At one point during the ObamaCare debate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi committed the classical definition of a political gaffe -- she spoke a bit too truthfully -- when she said "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."

Truer words have never passed her lips. Pelosi had far, far more to do with the content of the bill than did Obama, who cheerfully handed over the detail work to Congress. And now that we've passed the bill, it's becoming clear just what a dog's breakfast it is.

First up, insurance companies -- who, as the subject of the bill and much vituperation by its backers -- sicced their lawyers on the bill to pore over it and decipher exactly what it says. They knew that they had to abide to the very letter of that law, or they'd be strung up by their heels (quite possibly literally, considering the demonizing of them by Obama and his minions). And as an additional safety measure, they publicly announced their interpretation of the law well before it took effect -- so others could check their work and find any potential errors in their understanding.

Well, the first thing that came out was that the insurance company's lawyers figured that the law, as written and signed, did NOT do what Obama had said would be a centerpiece of the bill -- forbid the exclusion of previously-existing conditions for children.

Next, several very big publicly traded companies sicced their tax lawyers and accountants on the bill, as they are legally obligated to re-assess their finances publicly whenever there is a serious change in things -- and ObamaCare will definitely have a serious effect on their finances. They ran the numbers, ran some scenarios, and in their best judgment they would take a hefty hit in their books. So they reported that.

In both cases, the companies acted in full compliance with the law, both in letter and in spirit, in good faith, and reported what they, in their best judgment, saw as the truth. And in both cases, they were roundly criticized by the backers of ObamaCare. Indeed, the big companies who reassessed their finances are going to get hauled before Congress to answer for their statements.

My inclination, were I the head of one of those insurance companies would be something like "we had our people do something that you apparently never did -- we actually read the bill you passed. We understand that you intend to enforce the letter of this law against us, so we made damned sure we read every single letter of that law. And while you talked about covering pre-existing conditions of children in there, you didn't actually put it in."

Or, if I were the head of one of those companies, would be to show up with a phalanx of my tax lawyers and accountants, and say "the laws you passed regarding financial disclosure demands that we issue such statements. These highly-trained, highly-skilled, very knowledgeable tax professionals, obeyed the laws you have passed and best professional practices and analyzed how this abortion of a 'health care financing reform' law you just passed and reported honestly on what that law will actually do. If you have a problem with reality, take it up with a therapist. I'm sure that your 'Cadillac' health plans that we're all paying for will cover it."

Yet another example of why I'm not a big CEO, and never will be. Because people who speak that kind of truth to the kind of people in power right now tend to get stomped on -- along with their companies.

The response so far from the Democrats is remarkably enlightening. They are outraged that the companies they are trying to control are not doing what the Democrats want them to do, but what the Democrats have told them to do. They are outraged that the companies are paying attention to the law, and not what the Democrats are saying is or should be the law. They are outraged that they simply can't wave their hands and rewrite reality based on their good intentions and cheerful fantasies.

This ObamaCare situation represents liberal political theory in a nutshell. See a problem, demagogue on it, pass an ill-conceived law to "fix" it, declare the problem fixed, and shoot anyone who dares point out how their fixes not only haven't fixed the problem, but in some ways made things even worse.

Is it November yet?


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Comments (20)

ah yes, more stupidity from... (Below threshold)

ah yes, more stupidity from the left who had to cram this bill through. They are also teed off because the bill states insurance companies must cover pre-existing conditions. The bill DOESN'T SAY they have to actually sell insurance to people with pre=existing conditions. It also doesn't say they can't charge higher premiums for those kinds of policies which they intend to do.

I don't begrudge a person with a pre-existing condition getting coverage. They should be able to. But they also need to realize that often times their condition was caused by their own unhealthy habits and could have been prevented. They also need to realize more coverage equates to higher costs which are always passed on to the consumer. It's just like auto insurance. If you engage in irresponsible behavior such as speeding, causing accidents etc, you will promptly be put on high risk insurance for 3 years and pay much higher premiums to cover the risk the insurance company takes that you will continue to engage in driving habits that may force them to pay out claims. My Mom always said "wrongdoing brings pain" and that's true in every aspect of life.

What's clear is that libera... (Below threshold)

What's clear is that liberals like Henry Waxman intend to treat any and all "quibbling" over the law as politically motivated by those hatey Republicans. Who could possibly object to The Greatest New Civil Right Since The 14th Amendment(TM)?

I can understand why Congress would react this way, carelessly ignoring the will of Congress and all. The people need to learn to listen instead of recklessly criticizing their betters.

Perhaps it's time to bring back sedition laws.

Once again we learn that fo... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Once again we learn that for the left it isn't about the law or right or wrong, but rather it is about getting their way no matter what.

The dems don't care that the laws they passed require the companies to restate their finances as soon as they know that there has been a significant impact on them.

The dems cared when it was Enron and they could make some political statement about it. They don't want it now because it gets in the way of their getting what they want.

Tax lawyers and accountants... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Tax lawyers and accountants? Charlie rangle will make minced meat out of them.

I 'm still dreaming that no one will accept the congress's Cadillac health plan... but real men died out after they penned the constitution I heard.

Lady Justice is depicted bl... (Below threshold)

Lady Justice is depicted blindfolded with a scale in one hand and a double edged sword in the other.

The Blindfold: because justice, the law, is to be applied evenly and with impartiality.

The Scale: to measure whether the law has been met as it has been written or not.

The Double Edged Sword: because the Law cuts both ways.

The backhand is a doozie.
Live by the sword, die by the sword, Democrats.

The bill was never about he... (Below threshold)

The bill was never about health, never about care, never about reform...but power and control...the only people happy about this are the neo-marxists and the dummies.

Henry Waxman should be very... (Below threshold)

Henry Waxman should be very careful interrogating these company CEO's.
Henry's not the brightest bulb and seems to make it a point not to read legislation he sponsors. (see cap & trade, and others).

As Jay pointed out, the companies did nothing more than follow the law.

Waxman may well regret exposing his stupidity for all to see. Then again, that hasn't stopped him in the past.

Hank, based on length of Wa... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Hank, based on length of Waxman's tenure, I'd say his constituents have seen it, and like it, and have decided he is to their taste. Once again proves that there is not accounting for taste.

Apparently it hasn'... (Below threshold)

Apparently it hasn't dawned on these idiots that the "problem" arose BECAUSE they passed a law?

Goes to show what happens if you need help getting dressed and are in charge, I suppose.

Waxman's 'dog and pony' hea... (Below threshold)

Waxman's 'dog and pony' hearings are scheduled for late April. Any bets they get 'canceled'?

Boeing just announced today that it will also be taking a hit because of ObamaCare, to the tune of about $100 million.

How many jobs did Obama "save"?

Ooops! My bad. Boeing is ... (Below threshold)

Ooops! My bad. Boeing is taking a $150 MILLION hit.

I can hear Waxman now, "Waaa...waaa...those EVIL corporations are following the law! Who do they think they are?"

Democrats will always concl... (Below threshold)

Democrats will always conclude that the best way to get themselves out of a hole is to dig toward China....

Barry's EGO and tin balls w... (Below threshold)

Barry's EGO and tin balls wont let us down!

"How many jobs did Obama "save"?"

To be fair, this nincompoop cant even save his own job.

How many jobs did Barakulus create? so far according to steve g's math, minus 13,654,444

My husband got up this morn... (Below threshold)

My husband got up this morning, grabbed his coffee and went to the computer to read the news as he does every morning. I was in the backyard with the dog and could here him yell, "WTF? Did I wake up in Russia? Who the hell does this clown think he is? Khrushchev?"

I immediately knew what he was talking about.

*HEAR* him yellgah... (Below threshold)

*HEAR* him yell


Hank - "Henry's not the... (Below threshold)

Hank - "Henry's not the brightest bulb and seems to make it a point not to read legislation he sponsors. "

Don't you have to have a little "filament" to even be considered a bulb? Somehow I don't think he fits the bill.

""President Bush has handed out some of the country's most difficult and important jobs - leadership positions in public safety and emergency response - to politically well-connected individuals with no experience or qualifications." - The Waxman.

"Infuriating and inexcusable, ... He's burning through taxpayer dollars, and Washington Republicans won't make him accountable for the millions he's wasted." - The Waxman.

"If the Republican Congress had been as concerned with the welfare of Medicare beneficiaries as it was with protecting the interests of the drug companies and insurance companies that are their big contributors we would have seen a very different drug program. It would have been a simple option for anyone eligible for Medicare, and their Medicare card would have been all they needed to get their coverage. Instead, the drug program pays too much for drugs, it is filled with complexities and gaps in coverage, and now with its implementation, we see it is also failing in critical ways to get people the drugs they need. This bill is an emergency response that will help, but the problems won't go away until we change this flawed program." - The Waxman. (Gee substitute "drug companies and insurance companies" for SEIU and Big Pharma's super-duper decoder ring WH meetings and you got obamacare.)

"Americans are sick and tired of political gamesmanship." - The Waxman.

"What we now have in Iraq is a defeat." - The Waxman.

"Saddam Hussein has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do." - The Waxman (Gee, lefties, did he lie?

Screw him, vote his deadbeat ass out of office.

This outta send the various... (Below threshold)

This outta send the variously initialed "steves" and a few more obamabots that hang on each word written here into a conniption fit of monumental porportions.

This from one of the left-turds "bible," think[less] progress:

Insurers never opposed the new regulations as long as lawmakers understood that covering children with pre-existing conditions would increase premiums and at least two large insurers -- Aetna and Cigna -- have already acknowledged that they will raise rates in anticipation of the new reform. The law's rate review provisions may prevent the most egregious increases, but they won't make premiums any more affordable.
Geesh, as time passes more, and more "cats are fleeing the bag!"

April ...May... June.......... (Below threshold)

April ...May... June..........NOVEMBER!!!!!!

please please please....everyone make calls donate what ever!!!

BUT PLEASE get these assholes out of office in NOVEMBER!!!

I perceive the Democratic r... (Below threshold)

I perceive the Democratic reaction to be as you have described. What concerns me is that there may be enough emotion behind their agenda that they use this as an opportunity to set precedent for violating the rule of law as follows:

"We all know what the legislation was supposed to mean, therefore, we'll just fix the wording now, and the 'corrected' bill doesn't need to pass through the Senate again."

I may be a little off my rocker, but I'm confident that at least some Obamacare proponent somewhere is thinking it.

Ah, the law of unintended c... (Below threshold)
John S:

Ah, the law of unintended consequences cannot be broken and I expect there are several Al Qaeda-sized disasters waiting in that bill.






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