At the end of 2013, Democratic representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) had some nasty words for yours truly. Irked that I used my Twitter feed to criticize her Obamacare propaganda efforts, Wasserman Schultz snarked back at me: "Thanks for spreading the word! You'll be eating them next year. #GetCovered."
Classy as always. And completely wrong-headed as usual. Less than three months into 2014, how's dutiful Debbie and her Dear Leader's pet government-takeover program doing? The most recent retreat measures (call it the Obamacare Endangered 2014 Midterm Democrats' Rescue Plan) include:
Allowing insurers for two extra years to continue selling plans that otherwise would have been banned by Obamacare. Last fall, Americans across the country and from all parts of the political spectrum raised an uproar in the wake of millions of Obamacare-induced cancellation notices on their individual-market health plans. President Obama trotted out a "keep your plan" Band-Aid effective through this year. Now, the "transitional period" will extend through October 2016 and cover policyholders until the following September, after Obama is safely out of office.
Extending the open-enrollment period for 2015 from November 2014 to February 2015, a month longer than originally scheduled. (It will no doubt be extended again as the midterm elections get closer.)
Relaxing eligibility requirements for insurers to qualify for financial help under a three-year program intended to cushion insurers' costs of complying with Obamacare mandates.
Exempting labor unions, universities, and other self-insured employers from paying a fee that creates the above-noted fund.
In addition, the White House last month allowed medium-sized employers an extra year to comply with the Obamacare mandate to offer insurance to all full-time workers and reduced the percentage of workers that large companies are required to cover. These latest regulatory walk-backs by administrative fiat all come on the heels of dozens of administrative delays and rollbacks.
While Democrats complain about Obamacare-repeal efforts by Republicans, we may be nearing a special turning point at which the White House will have reneged on more Obamacare regulations than it's actually enforcing!
Remember: In November 2010, the White House began issuing thousands of waivers to unions, cronies, businesses, and organizations that offered affordable health insurance or prescription-drug coverage with limited benefits outlawed by Obamacare. The federalized-health-care architects had sought to eliminate those low-cost plans under the guise of controlling insurer spending on executive salaries and marketing. Despite the waivers, the mandate has led to untold disruptions in the marketplace and has prompted businesses to cancel the beneficial plans altogether and/or slash wages and work hours.
In April 2011, Obama signed a bipartisan-backed law repealing his own onerous $22 billion Obamacare 1099 tax-compliance mandate that would have destroyed small businesses inundated with pointless paperwork.
Last March, with the support of several key Democrats, the Senate voted to repeal the Obamacare medical-device tax. But the vote has not been enforced. Device-makers have cut back on research and development. And according to the medical-device manufacturers' industry group AdvaMed, the punitive tax has forced companies to lay off or avoid hiring at least 33,000 workers over the past year.
In December and January, when Wasserman Schultz was busy acting like a two-year-old in response to Obamacare critics, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was busy:
Delaying premium-payment deadlines.
Delaying cancellations of high-risk insurance pools.
Delaying equal-coverage mandates that force companies to drop health-benefits rewards for top executives.
Delaying onerous "meaningful use" mandates on health providers who are grappling with Obamacare's disastrous top-down rules for electronic medical records.
While Wasserman Schultz defiantly claims that all Democrats will proudly run on health care in 2014 and 2016, endangered Democratic senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina was caught on camera just last week literally running away from a journalist who dared to ask her about the 24 times she falsely promised that if you liked your plan, you could keep it under Obama.
It's not just Hagan; every vulnerable Senate Democrat who rammed Obamacare down America's throat is now running for the hills. When the White House now talks about the "Get Covered" campaign, it's not about ordinary Americans getting health care. It's about covering the backsides of the Obama water-carriers who may very well lose their jobs. They're not just eating their words. They're choking on Obamacare's massive, inevitable, job-killing, life-threatening failures.
I'd like to tell bratty Wasserman Schultz that Obamacare critics will have the last laugh. But we're too busy weeping at the senseless government-induced wreckage around us.
- Michelle Malkin is the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies (Regnery 2010).