After running away from Obamacare since 2010, Democrats last night embraced the law and tried to wrap it in new packaging in hopes it will sell better.
The first night of the Democratic National Convention was filled with references to the “Affordable Care Act” and its many wonders: Where being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition. Where birth control is free. Where employers no longer have a say in your health care (really?). Where there are no limits on health costs your insurance must cover. Where 26-year-olds can stay on their parents’ policies.
Strange that we didn’t hear about the parts of the law that are barreling down at us and are ready to hit with full force in 2014. Things that people know are in the law and which they still despise. Things like the mandate that virtually every American will now be required by the federal government to purchase expensive health insurance. Things like the Medicare rationing board and $716 billion in cuts to Medicare funneled into a massive new entitlement program. Things like the employer mandate that is suffocating job creation. Things like $550 billion in new and higher taxes that will hit the middle class.
And there was no talk of the back-room deals that got the law passed, the waivers granted to favored interest groups, the fact that the law was passed on a strictly partisan basis without a single Republican vote, and that opposition to the law stands at an all-time high.
A New York Times/CBS News poll taken this summer showed that health care is a top issue for 82 percent of the American people and that 61 percent say they want Congress to repeal the individual mandate or the entire law. Only 15 percent want to keep the law just as it is. Those numbers are basically unchanged from the time the law was enacted more than two years ago.
Denial of reality was a consistent theme of the first night of the convention. No mention of the cost of the long list of mandates and government-provided benefits in Obamacare — on the day that the national debt topped $16 trillion. No mention of the fact that health-insurance costs are more than $2,100 higher under Barack Obama, not $2,500 lower as he had promised. No mention that 80 million people stand to lose the health insurance they have now and at least 20 million will lose their job-based coverage as a direct result of Obamacare. No mention that the court battles against the law continue, including the 43 Catholic dioceses that are among those suing in federal court to stop the HHS anti-conscience mandate. No mention of the 159 new federal bureaucracies that will take decisions about health care from doctors and patients.
Kumbaya moments are common in political conventions, but these seemed particularly hypocritical. Speakers attempted to celebrate America all the while supporting policies and laws that undermine her strength, ignoring the debt that is crashing down on us and stealing tomorrow’s possibility of prosperity. And demanding the right to abortion under any circumstances, including for sex selection. How is that a celebration of life?
Posted on National Review Online: The Corner, September 5, 2012.