Gary L. Bauer
This morning, Obama met with the Senate Republican caucus. Prior the meeting, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, "It will be a good opportunity to engage in a frank exchange of ideas with the president, if that's what he's looking for." Call me skeptical, but that seems like a really big "if" in my view.
The White House and Senate Democrats think they hold all the cards in the PR game. They have refused to consider any changes to Obamacare. They have refused to consider any of the appropriations bills the House has already passed. They are even inventing controversies out of thin air.
We reported earlier this week that federal bureaucrats tried to cut off funding for death benefits to the widows and children of our fallen heroes in Afghanistan. It was totally unnecessary.
A legal opinion from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service makes it clear that legislation to fully fund our troops, passed by Congress and signed by Obama before the shutdown began, protected these benefits. But the bureaucrats tried it anyway just to make conservatives look bad. And the polls suggest they may be succeeding. (See next item.)
But if congressional liberals continue in their obstinate defense of Obamacare, perhaps the best case scenario may be to let Obamacare play out and continue to be the disaster that it is. Perhaps if the media and the American people were not so preoccupied with the shutdown and scaremongering over a default, they would be more focused on Obamacare's increasingly obvious failures. For example:
- Nine insurance companies are abandoning the Obamacare exchange in Nebraska. One company notified state officials that Obamacare's "increased regulations make it difficult to continue.
- Thousands of doctors in Connecticut just got fired. That seems odd given that one of the major goals of Obamacare was to increase access to healthcare providers for the previously uninsured.
- But according to one news report, "Termination letters went to physicians caring for Medicare patients." Remember how Obamacare was partially paid for? With a $500 billion cut to Medicare.
- The media spun this by noting that benefits weren't being cut, just "payments to providers." We were supposed to believe that cutting payments to doctors would not affect patient access. Well, now we see exactly what is happening. In Connecticut at least the providers themselves are getting cut
- In the midst of a government shutdown when the Obama Administration supposedly can't find money for the widows and children of our troops, it did have funds to send HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on an Obamacare sales tour. Yesterday she stopped at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- I'm sure Sebelius wishes the event had been cancelled for lack of funds. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "About 20 people armed with laptops and certified by the government to sign up people for coverage were meeting with uninsured people, answering questions and fruitlessly trying to access the website. It was unclear how many people -- if any -- were able to enroll at Thursday's event."
Polls Find Growing Frustration