In his latest column, Richard Clark maintains that asking us to vote for candidates who will vote to repeal Obamacare is akin to asking us to "drink the Kool-Aid" ("Don't ask us to 'drink the Kool-Aid,'" April 10). The reference, of course, is to the poison religious nutcase Jim Jones demanded that his followers drink prior to the infamous "Jonestown massacre."
If anyone is "drinking the Kool-Aid" here, however, I would suggest it is the lemming-like defenders of this legislative monstrosity.
To begin with, the law remains massively unpopular. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows 53 percent of Americans oppose the law, as opposed to 39 percent who support it.
Back on April 6, 2010, Richard Clark wrote of Obamacare's so-called individual mandate (forcing everyone to buy health insurance): "The commerce clause of the Constitution covers the health care reform bill quite nicely." He has apparently disabused himself of that notion (hearing the recent oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court could do that to you). Now, he tells us the individual mandate is justifiable because (1) it was the brainchild of the Heritage Foundation and (2) a similar measure was part of "Romney-care" in Massachusetts.
Setting aside the humor of Richard Clark citing a conservative think tank, I'm sure he is aware that what is permitted to states is not necessarily permitted to the federal government. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure it has to do with the 9th and 10th Amendments.
Clark also cites a litany of insurance "reforms" supposedly contained in Obamacare. Suffice it to say, these "reforms" are simply regulations that force insurance companies to pay for things like pre-existing conditions (Gee, can I burn my house down and then buy insurance on it?), birth control items and the like. Which, of course, simply means that premiums will go up - paid by you and me. As the old saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch.
Then there's that provision that forces insurance companies to spend 80 percent of their revenues on patient care - except, of course, if you're one of the 1,500 plus favored corporations, unions or other entities that the Secretary of Health and Human Services has deigned to exempt from that rule.
It would take some seriously powerful Kool-Aid to convince me that legions of government bureaucrats are going to be any better at providing health coverage than the existing insurance companies. Especially given that the government's current health care programs - Medicare and Medicaid - are rushing headlong toward insolvency.