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October 8, 2013

Put a stop to Obamacare while we can

By Chuck Pinkey
The Daily Star

---- — If one is able to wade through the waist-deep media-manure and make some sense of what’s going on in Washington, it boils down to two issues. They are the stopping of Obamacare, and once again, the raising of the national debt limit.

Of the two, stopping Obamacare is the most important and might very well be impossible, but since when has that discouraged a true patriot from fighting?

Without doubt the Democrats own Obamacare. Remember, before its passage, the special deals for the senators from Nebraska and Louisiana to buy their votes? As then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass this bill to find out what’s in it.” Makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it? Not a single Republican voted for Obamacare. 

Since its passage, Obamacare has been changed at least 17 times for unions, large corporations, certain states, etc. … Many large companies are now hiring part-time workers instead of full-time to avoid the impact of Obamacare.

Even the most liberal pundits are pessimistic about its success, and moderate through conservative commentators are calling it a first-class disaster. Many on the right suggest letting it go forward for “it’s certain to implode.”

That’s fine, and it’s sure to backfire on the Democratic Party, but not everyone plays politics. What about the suffering and massive costs that will be borne by the American people? That is why it must be stopped. Once it starts, there will be no end to the money spent on this 21st century Titanic.

The Republicans are in an 11th-hour battle to stop this money pit, and as expected, the press is painting them as right wing extremists, but be advised; should the Republicans prevail, all Americans will benefit.

As an example of the disaster-in-waiting, the figures always quoted for Obamacare coverage are for 70 percent with co-pay, which is the plan most are expected to receive. The figures sound high, though somewhat reasonable, but they are based on variables like massive signup, corporate participation, lower unemployment than we have today, willing doctors and hospitals, etc. … 

However, should you go to the hospital for bypass surgery or long-term cancer treatment, you could easily be presented with a $200,000 bill. Obamacare will pay 70 percent, and you will pay 30 percent or a mere $60,000. Should your spouse or child need major medical care, too, one could be facing hundreds of thousands in co-pay, or as it’s coming to be called, “cost sharing.”

Have you noticed that the IRS is in charge of health care? Seems strange, doesn’t it, but what better agency to ensure that Washington gets that 30 percent paid in full. The IRS will have access to your accounts, your 401k, your wages, your home and property, and your pension. Remember Sen. Ted Cruz wanting to abolish the IRS? Now you know why! 

Recently, he and other conservative Republicans have crafted a bill that defunds Obamacare, and funds the financial obligations of the United States. To make a long story short, the Democrats and President Obama will not accept this. Without that funding, the government recently shut down, but not really.

Essential services and essential personnel are still being paid, and separate bills have been sent to the Democratic Senate from the Republican House funding the National Guard and Reserve, our national parks, the National Institutes of Health, and other projects, but these bills were rejected by the Democratic leadership. What happened to compromise?

Now, the shameful games begin by the Obama administration. Remember, during the sequester, the “make it as uncomfortable as possible” routine? This time, hundreds of privately funded parks on federal lands were ordered closed, even though they have no federal employees. The “economy tanking” is being warned, and soon police layoffs and chaos will be predicted. 

Lost in all the frenzy over the train wreck called Obamacare, is the raising of the National Debt Ceiling. It now stands at $16.7 trillion. Here we go again! Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a letter to Congress that, “The United States will run out of borrowed money ‘no later than Oct. 17’ unless Congress raises the $16.7 trillion debt limit.”

Nothing I like better than hearing President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and other Washington insiders talk about fiscal responsibility. Look folks, I’m sure we’ve all heard stories about a friend with an ex-spouse and their credit card, and how sometimes, you just have to pull the plug.

At a debt of $16.7 trillion and growing hourly, our credit should stink, and that debt is not sustainable. To allow the debt ceiling to rise with Obamacare coming online is absolute economic suicide.

CHUCK PINKEY is a retired area businessman. He can be reached at The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board, but the author thinks they ought to.