The legislation was passed by Democrats without a single Republican vote. It has risen to the forefront of the nation’s attention once again with the implementation on Tuesday of the so called “individual mandate.” After the bill became law, Obama hailed it as a “long overdue victory for America’s consumers and patients.”
However, according to several national polls, Mr. Obama’s signature legislative achievement is a victory that a majority of the American people does not want. A recent Real Clear Politics Poll indicated 52 percent of those surveyed oppose the health care bill. In fact, out of 382 polls listed by RCP on public support for the health care bill since 2009, only 26 (none since January 2013) indicate approval of the bill by the American people.
In addition, businesses and, surprisingly, labor unions have openly worried about the effect that Obamacare will have on their employees and members. In a widely publicized letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the leaders of three major U.S. unions, including the powerful Teamsters, stated that, “Congress wrote this law; we voted for you. We have a problem; you need to fix it. The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios.”
According to a list compiled by Investor’s Business Daily, companies like SeaWorld, Five Guys Burgers, Circle K and even Wal-Mart are taking action to reduce portions of their full-time workforce to part time in order to avoid or lessen the impact of Obamacare on their businesses. In addition many public entities, schools, colleges, and municipalities are taking similar evasive action for the same reason.
The letter from the unions identifies the obvious effects of the Obamacare bill and correctly warns that Obamacare “will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”
Despite the real world evidence to the contrary, in his highly partisan remarks on Sept. 26, the president, with a straight face, stated that “There’s no widespread evidence that the Affordable Care Act is hurting jobs.” In the face of the anecdotal evidence to the contrary, one wonders how Obama can be so out of touch.
If, as Mr. Obama claims, the ACA will be so beneficial to Americans, notwithstanding the potential illegality of doing so, why has his administration granted waivers of some parts of the law to at least 1,231 businesses including such notables as Waffle House, Aetna and PepsiCo, Inc.?
Worse, on Aug. 1, the Obama administration granted waivers to Congress which resulted in a savings to members of between $5,000 and $11,000, which we mere taxpayers do not get. Even worse, President Obama, the White House staff, Cabinet secretaries, and all of the Administration’s political appointees are also exempt from the Obamacare individual mandate.
It’s good to be a member of the ruling class. Like the animals in George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm,” some are apparently more equal than others.
Finally, in an obvious effort to avoid potential political fallout, the Obama administration, by executive decree, delayed implementation of the employer mandate until after the 2014 midterm elections, effectively amending the clear requirements of the ACA. And I thought it was Congress’ job to amend existing laws.
Mr. Obama has said more than once that he is not a dictator. That’s a good thing, because when it comes to Obamacare, he sure is acting like one.
Jerry Landers is an attorney in Marietta.