Please read this:
November 18, 2013 12:00 AM
Obama’s ‘5 Percent’ Con Job
It’s a 100 percent lie, according to the White House’s own figures.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
Last Thursday, President Obama purported to undo the “Affordable” Care Act (ACA) mandates that he and congressional Democrats quite intentionally designed to force Americans off their health-insurance policies . . . notwithstanding the president’s promise, repeated over and over again since 2009, that Americans would be able to keep their health-insurance policies. In my weekend column, I argued that Obama’s latest unilateral diktat is lawless and transparently political. With each passing day, however, what becomes more breathtaking is the depth of systematic, calculated lying that went into the extensive — the criminal — Obamacare fraud.
Let’s quickly recap the lawlessness and cynical politics behind Thursday’s pathetic press conference. Obama, who poses as a constitutional-law expert, knows full well that a president has no legal authority to waive statutory mandates. Even if he had such power, moreover, he knows that there is no practical possibility of undoing — within the next few weeks, as the ACA would require — the new arrangements that insurance companies and state regulators spent the last three years structuring to comply with Obamacare mandates. In sum, Obama is well aware that his proposed “fix” is frivolous. His hope is that the country overwhelmingly consists of dolts who are too uninformed to realize that this is the case, and who, with a little help from his media courtiers, can be convinced to blame the insurance companies, rather than the president, for the fact that millions of Americans are losing their coverage under his “reform.”
Now, having covered Thursday’s con job, let’s get back to the overarching Obamacare scheme perpetrated by the president for more than four years — a fraud that, I contend, the Justice Department would not hesitate to prosecute had it been committed by a private-sector executive. I’ve related the standards for criminal and civil enforcement that would militate in favor of prosecution in a case involving the dimension of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty we find here. In addition, NRO’s Andrew Stiles had a superb report on Friday showing the sundry ways the administration’s dysfunctional Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, runs afoul of various consumer-protection laws. Again, when such infractions are committed by private businesses, the government punishes them quite severely.
We now discover even more evidence of how brazen Obama’s lies have been.
The president claims he truly believed that people would be able to keep plans they liked because Obamacare provides for those plans to be “grandfathered” — exempted from termination. Thus, he insists, he was acting in good faith when he made the promises that people could keep those plans, though he concedes the promises “ended up being inaccurate.”
This is yet another calculated deception, a willful continuation of the fraudulent scheme. The president well knew that, in implementing the “grandfathering” provision, his administration wrote regulations so narrow that tens of millions of existing plans would be eliminated. Congressional Democrats knew this, too: When Republicans endeavored in 2010 to enact legislation that would have broadened the regulation into a meaningful safe harbor, Democrats closed ranks and voted down the proposal – including Democrats such as Senator Mary Landrieu, who now pretends to be a crusader in the cause of letting Americans keep their insurance.
Unable to deny that millions of Americans have lost the coverage he vowed they could keep, Obama and other Democrats are now peddling what we might call the “5 percent” con job. The president asserts that these victims, whom he feels so terribly about, nevertheless constitute a tiny, insignificant minority in the greater scheme of things (“scheme” is used advisedly). They are limited, he maintains, to consumers in the individual health-insurance market, as opposed to the vastly greater number of Americans who get insurance through their employers. According to Obama, these individual-market consumers whose policies are being canceled make up only 5 percent of all health-insurance consumers.
Even this 5 percent figure is a deception. As Avik Roy points out, the individual market actually accounts for 8 percent of health-insurance consumers. Obama can’t help himself: He even minimizes his minimizations. So, if Obama were telling the truth in rationalizing that his broken promises affect only consumers in the individual-insurance market, we’d still be talking about up to 25 million Americans. While the president shrugs these victims off, 25 million exceeds the number of Americans who do not have health insurance because of poverty or preexisting conditions (as opposed to those who could, but choose not to, purchase insurance). Of course, far from cavalierly shrugging off that smaller number of people, Obama and Democrats used them to justify nationalizing a sixth of the U.S. economy.
But that’s not the half of it. Obama’s claim that unwelcome cancellations are confined to the individual-insurance market is another brazen lie. In the weekend column, I link to the excellent work of Powerline’s John Hinderaker, who has demonstrated that, for over three years, the Obama administration’s internal estimates have shown that most Americans who are covered by “employer plans” will also lose their coverage under Obamacare. Mind you, 156 million Americans get health coverage through their jobs.
John cites the Federal Register, dated June 17, 2010, beginning at page 34,552 (Vol. 75, No. 116). It includes a chart that outlines the Obama administration’s projections. The chart indicates that somewhere between 39 and 69 percent of employer plans would lose their “grandfather” protection by 2013. In fact, for small-business employers, the high-end estimate is a staggering 80 percent (and even on the low end, it’s just a shade under half — 49 percent).
That is to say: During all these years, while Obama was repeatedly assuring Americans, “If you like your health-insurance plan, you can keep your health-insurance plan,” he actually expected as many as seven out of every ten Americans covered by employer plans to lose their coverage. For small business, he expected at least one out of every two Americans, or as many as four out of every five, to lose their coverage.
Avik’s eagle eye also catches that, even as Obama was spinning on Thursday about how his broken promise affects only the teeny-weeny individual-insurance market, his administration was telling a much different story to state insurance commissioners. In a letter about Obama’s proposed “fix,” the head of the relevant consumer-information office referred to “all individuals and small businesses that received a cancellation or termination notice with respect to coverage” (emphasis added). This, Avik observes, “contradicts assertions from the administration that only people in the individual market — people who shop for coverage on their own — are affected by the wave of Obamacare-related cancellations.”
It gets worse. My friends at the American Freedom Law Center (on whose advisory board I sit) are representing Priests for Life, a group aggrieved by Obamacare’s denial of religious liberty — specifically, the ACA’s mandate that believers, despite their faith-based objections, provide their employees with coverage for the use of abortifacients and contraceptives. On October 17, the Obama Department of Health and Human Services, represented by the Obama Justice Department, submitted a brief to the federal district court in Washington, opposing Priests for Life’s summary judgment motion. On page 27 of its brief, the Justice Department makes the following remarkable assertion:
The [ACA’s] grandfathering provision’s incremental transition does not undermine the government’s interests in a significant way. [Citing, among other sources, the Federal Register.] Even under the grandfathering provision, it is projected that more group health plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on. Defendants have estimated that a majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013.
HHS and the Justice Department cite the same section of the Federal Register referred to by John Hinderaker, as well as an annual survey on “Employer Health Benefits” compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2012.
So, while the president has been telling us that, under the vaunted grandfathering provision, all Americans who like their health-insurance plans will be able to keep them, “period,” his administration has been representing in federal court that most health plans would lose their “grandfather status” by the end of this year. Not just the “5 percent” of individual-market consumers, but close to all consumers — including well over 100 million American workers who get coverage through their jobs — have been expected by the president swiftly to “transition to the requirements under the [Obamacare] regulations.” That is, their health-insurance plans would be eliminated. They would be forced into Obamacare-compliant plans, with all the prohibitive price hikes and coercive mandates that “transition” portends.
Obamacare is a massive fraudulent scheme. A criminal investigation should be opened. Obviously, the Obama Justice Department will not do that, but the House of Representatives should commence hearings into the offenses that have been committed in the president’s deception of the American people.
— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. He is the author, most recently, of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy.
Last week I was riding my exercise bike when I almost fell off of it laughing. Bill O’Reilly and liberal contributor Kirsten Powers were in agreement that Obama didn’t “lie” when he made his now-infamous “if you like your health plan you can keep it. Period” promises. And the conservative was sputtering mad, saying, “I can’t believe you are giving [Obama] a pass.”
Kirsten Powers is a liberal, but there are moments when she opens her eyes just a little bit. She understood the horns of the dilemma she was embracing, and stated it for the record to O’Reilly viewers. “Giving him a pass? We’re saying he’s incompetent. How is that giving him a pass?”
Those are your only two options here: either Obama has no business being president, is in so far over his head it is beyond unreal, and has no idea how to run a staff or accomplish anything relating to running a government. Or he is a demon-possessed liar.
Actually, there is a third alternative: Obama is both incompetent AND a demon possessed liar.
In any event, O’Reilly and Powers – in giving Obama the benefit of the doubt regarding his honesty and integrity – now stand proven wrong. Yes, I agree with them that Obama is very clearly incompetent. But the man lied through his teeth, and there isn’t enough incompetence in the world to excuse him from what he clearly had to know as not only a lawyer, not only the onetime editor of the Harvard Law Review, but “a constitutional professor” as well.
This is what Obama’s Department of Justice was arguing:
The [ACA’s] grandfathering provision’s incremental transition does not undermine the government’s interests in a significant way. Even under the grandfathering provision, it is projected that more group health plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on. Defendants have estimated that a majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013.
“Group health plans” include employer-based coverage plans. This DOJ brief is a legal document; if it is false Eric Holder needs to go to prison for that CRIME. And Obama’s DOJ was filing this brief IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO OBAMA GOING OUT AND MISREPRESENTING THE OFFICIAL POSITION OF THE ADMINISTRATION [LYING].
The Department of Justice, in a legal court case (with Kathleen Sabelius’ Department of Health and Human Services as the defendant), officially projected that “A MAJORITY” of employer-based health plans will be “transitioned,” i.e., will be cancelled or substantially altered such that TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WILL BE FORCED INTO OBAMACARE.
We can go back to 2010 when Republican Senator Enzi pointed this fact out and tried to pass a bill through Harry Reid’s Democrat Senate protecting Americans from this health care holocaust. AND EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRAT VOTED TO CANCEL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE’S HEALTH CARE PLANS TO FORCE THEM INTO OBAMACARE. PERIOD.
Consider the quote the fourth paragraph up again. This is what Andrew McCarthy said in a discussion with Megyn Kelly last night:
KELLY: And so the administration in this case goes in and tells the court. I mean, tell us, take the legalese out of it. And tell us, that full screen we had on the board up there, what does it actually say?
MCCARTHY: What they are basically saying is that we have this grandfather provision — they don’t say in there, by the way, that’s what the president is relying on to say if you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan, period. We have this grandfather provision, but it’s fading away. In fact, by the end of 2013, we anticipate that most who were covered by the grandfather provision will lose their coverage.
KELLY: And they’re not just — the shocking thing about this is, they’re not just saying, and it’s only those on the individual market judge. I mean, this is in writing saying, it is most group health plans.
MCCARTHY: Megyn, that only is not true, they cite to a Kaiser study which is about employer health plans. I mean, the whole thing is about employer health plans. They cite to page in the federal register which also is about employer health plans and basically estimates that about seven of 10 people on the high end estimate who have employer health plans, these are the people who get their coverage at work are going to lose that coverage.
KELLY: Yes. We know about that piece in the federal register, we talked about that a while back. Because it was shocking when we first saw it about the estimates from the administration on how many people are going to lose their policies, or have them changed significantly under ObamaCare. But what we have now is the Department of Justice running into court and touting it. Today, present day. Because that regulation was 2010 right after ObamaCare was passed. This is present day, them going into court and saying, trust this judge. The majority of people who have group health plans are going to be canceled.
MCCARTHY: That’s exactly right.
KELLY: What does that mean? What does canceled mean in the group health care context. It doesn’t necessarily mean the same for people who have employer-based insurance as it does for those in the individual market.
MCCARTHY: Yes, the word they used is transition. They don’t say cancel. They do say, lose your coverage which means that you won’t have the same coverage that you have now.
KELLY: Like, we’re not breaking up. We are just transitioning into new relationships that have nothing else to do with one another.
So, yes, a good 100 million American families will lose their employer-based health coverage under ObamaCare. And Obama knows it. And his Department of Justice knows it. And his Department of Health and Human Services knows it. There are over 150 million Americans who get their coverage from their employers – and the Obama administrating was touting the fact that 70% of them would lose their plans and be forced to “transition” into ObamaCare.
The sheer, galling, rabid dishonesty of Barack Hussein Obama and all the thugs who work for him is beyond stunning.
Barack Obama has lied America into a state of complete economic collapse. He has already lied America into the collapse of the American health care system that, in spite of liberals idiotic railings, provided the very best on planet earth such that when world leaders needed the best health care in the world, THEY CAME TO AMERICA.
As we speak, the five million Americans that Obama has written off and couldn’t give less of a damn about are in a true crisis: they have until December 15 to purchase health care plans because they were dumped due to ObamaCare regulations. And the ObamaCare website doesn’t work, which means they can’t buy a plan even at the higher premiums and higher deductibles that ObamaCare is offering (in spite of another lie from Obama to make his plans more ”affordable”). There are people with life-threatening health issues who could literally die. That is PRECISELY the case facing Edie Littlefield Sundby.
Thirty-six times Obama said something very similar to this on camera in front of millions of Americans:
“No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
Barack Obama has refused to hold ANYBODY accountable for ANYTHING, dating back to the Fast and Furious scandal where a US Border Patrol officer was gunned down and murdered by a Mexican drug cartel with guns that Barack Obama and Eric Holder handed to them. Obama hasn’t held ANYBODY accountable for the fact that the first US ambassador since the despicable Carter years (1979) was murdered after BEGGING Obama for more protection in Benghazi, Libya. We now know that Obama himself, his Secretary to the United Nations and his Secretary of State all directly lied when they claimed that the preplanned and coordinated terrorist attack was merely the haphazard result of a Youtube video. And we KNOW that video was never part of the reason for that attack, just as we know that the Obama regime knew that at the time. Obama hasn’t held ANYBODY accountable for the fact that his very own IRS politically attacked Obama opponents for “anti-Obama rhetoric.” We know that Obama has refused to hold ANYBODY accountable for the incredible police-state abuses of the National Security Agency as they’ve done whatever the hell they want to spy on whoever the hell they want whether the Constitution bans it or not. And he hasn’t held ANYBODY accountable for the abject nightmare of his “signature legislative achievement.”
We need to hold OBAMA accountable. Or don’t you DARE ever get upset when a president lies to the people again. This is a man who is clearly guilty of committing felony fraud by inducement – and he committed against more human beings than any leader who ever lived in all of human history.
Now we know why Obama abrogated the ObamaCare law and gave employers until AFTER the election to be held accountable to ObamaCare regulations. Because the same Obama who knew damn well that millions of Americans would have their individual health care plans forcibly cancelled, he also knew that 100 million employees would have their health care cancelled if his abomination of health care took effect before the 2014 election.
There is absolutely ZERO question that Barack Obama KNEW that millions of Americans were going to have their health care cancelled due to ObamaCare. This from the “Health Care Summit” back in February 25, 2010:
REPRESENTATIVE CANTOR: Well, actually, Mr. President, this is the Senate bill along with the 11-page proposal that you put up online that really I think is the basis for the discussion here.
But I do want to go back to your suggestion as to why we’re here. And you suggested that maybe we are here to find some points of agreement to bridge the gap in our differences. And I do like to go back to basics. We’re here because we Republicans care about health care just as the Democrats in this room. And when the Speaker cites her letters from the folks in Michigan and the Leader talks about the letters he has received, Mr. Andrews, his — all of us share the concerns when people are allegedly wronged in our health care system. I mean, I think that is sort of a given.
We don’t care for this bill. I think you know that. The American people don’t care for the bill. I think that we’ve demonstrated in polling that they don’t. But there is a reason why we all voted no. And it does have to do with the philosophical difference that you point out. It does have to do with our fear that if you say that Washington can be the one to define essential health benefits, there may be a problem with that. And that’s the language that’s in the Section 1302 of this bill, that it says that the Secretary shall define for people what essential health benefits are.
But let’s — in the spirit of trying to come together, let’s try and say, maybe if — if we assume that Washington could do that, could really take the place of every American and decide what is most essential, what would be the consequences? And that’s also where we have a big difference in this bill and what would happen.
First of all, the cost, and Jon Kyl laid out the tremendous cost in the nearly trillion dollars of this bill. And I don’t quite know, because CBO said it couldn’t assess how much your additions would cost to it, but we do know that there are plenty of taxes on income. Now, you suggest investment income should be taxed. We have additional taxes on medical devices and the rest. What is a consequence of that? We know there are consequences that small businesses will feel because of the impact on job creation.
But also, Mr. President, when we were here abut a year ago across the street, you started the health care summit by saying one of the promises you want to make is that people ought to be able to keep the health insurance that they have. Because as we also know, most people in this country do have insurance and an overwhelming majority of people do like that coverage; it’s just too expensive.
Well, the CBO sent a letter — I think it was to Leader Reid — about the Senate bill. And in that letter, it suggested that between 8 million and 9 million people may very well lose the coverage that they have because of this, because of the construct of this bill. That’s our concern. And so, as we are in — as we are in the market — in the section of this discussion about health insurance reform, I note, Mr. President, that you have suggested strengthening oversight of insurance premium increases. Because we want to make sure that there aren’t excessive insurance premium increases that take place.
The problem is when you start to mandate all of the essential benefits, there are going to be some insurance premium increases. None of us really want to see them. But if you stop them, who is going to pay for it? Well, then we get back to the fact that businesses won’t be able to pay for it and people are going to lose their coverage.
So I guess my question to you is, in the construct of this bill, if we want to find agreement, we really do need to set this aside. And we really do need to say, okay, the fundamental structure is something we can’t agree on, but there are certainly plenty of areas of agreement. And because I don’t think that you can answer the question in the positive to say that people will be able to maintain their coverage, people will be able to see the doctors they want in the kind of bill that you’re proposing.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, let me — since you asked me a question, let me respond. The 8 to 9 million people that you refer to that might have to change their coverage — keep in mind out of the 300 million Americans that we’re talking about — would be folks who the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, estimates would find the deal in the exchange better. It would be a better deal. So, yes, they would change coverage, because they’ve got more choice and competition. So let’s just be clear about that, point number one.
When Obama came out and said he had no idea that 5 million people AND COUNTING would lose their health insurance because of the way his damn law was written, he is nothing but a stone cold LIAR without shame, without decency, without virtue and without integrity.
Here is the video [accessed here] of Barack Obama back in February 25, 2010 when he openly admitted what he denies right now:
Also back in 2010, Obama regime officials KNEW that nearly 100 million Americans (93 million was their number) would lose their health insurance due to ObamaCare and be forced to come crawling to Obama for their health insurance. So he knew that his “8 to 9 million” “out of the 300 million Americans that we’re talking about” was a lie, too.
It is not enough to say that Barack Hussein Obama is a dishonest man. He is a pathologically, rabidly dishonest man.
There is absolutely no question that Barack Obama knew that when he said, “if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. Period,” he was lying through his teeth. Period.