Open enrollment

In its second term the Obama administration continues to do great harm to the land of the free and the home of the brave, nowhere more so than in the preservation of Obamacare. The preservation of Obamacare appears to be its sole purpose. We really ought to be paying more attention to the subject.

Open enrollment for Obamacare begins on October 1 for full implementation on January 1, 2014. The program is designed to capture millions of new clients for the welfare state by setting benefits so high. Subsidies to purchase insurance are available for those making incomes up to 400 percent of the poverty level. Congratulations are clearly in order. I don’t believe in predictions, but I will hazard a guess. Obamacare is here to stay.

McClatchy’s Tony Pugh deems the “big question” of Obamacare to be “What’s it going to cost me?” Wrong! The big question is “How can you be so clueless?”

Holman Jenkins takes up one of the issues related to the selling of Obamacare in his Wall Street Journal column “The young won’t buy Obamacare.” Jenkins doesn’t devote much of his column to answering the question because the answer is so obvious.

Glenn Thrush and David Nather take up the political marketing of Obamcare in the Politico story “Launching the Obamcare campaign.” Thrush and Nather don’t provide the context necessary to understand this element of their story — Jenkins does — but it is of interest:

On Monday, Organizing for Action, the entity that replaced Obama’s 2012 campaign apparatus, announced plans to embark on a “seven-figure” ad campaign to entice young, healthy uninsured necessary for the law to succeed. Much of that campaign will be centered in three states that together are home to a third of the nation’s uninsured — California, Texas and Florida, Obama’s 2013 battlegrounds.

“It’s important for the intensity of the effort to pick up in September, October and November,” said an official involved in the planning. “That’s part of what we learned in campaigns… To break through, you’ve got to hit people from all angles, all at once, urging them to take action… You don’t do that in June.”

But POLITICO interviews with front-line organizers in the state-based groups that are bearing the responsibility of enrolling millions of people who have never paid for health care in their lives revealed optimism tempered with a fair dose of confusion, skepticism and anxiety about how the effort will fare in the Obamacare battlegrounds.

What would it mean if Obamacare does not “succeed,” to use the Thrush and Nather’s term. They don’t say. They seem to think that failure means “a new Republican backlash against the law heading into another midterm election year.” I think it means that health care premiums go up, although Obamacare contains price controls that limit potential increases. The “failure” of Obamacare does not mean it goes away.

If you think “war is the health of the state,” to borrow Randolph Bourne’s famous adage, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Obamacare is all about health, alright — Obamacare is the health of the state!

Thrush and Nather return to the subject of the young and the restless one more time: “For the system to work, [OFA] must convince healthy 18-to-35 year-olds who have paid nothing for health care in the past to pony up hundreds of dollars for coverage that could still leave them on the hook for thousands of dollars in expenses — all for the greater good and Obama’s legacy.” I’m pretty sure that won’t be the pitch.

The IRS is of course a key role in the implementation of Obamacare with respect to enforcement of its penalties, but also with respect to distribution of its benefits. Orrin Hatch gives us a taste of things to come in the Wall Street Journal column “Think the IRS is bad now? Just wait.” You won’t have to wait long.

The Wall Street Journal describes Andy Purdzer as “the man who revived Carl’s Jr.” Purdzer has a few pointed things to say about the unintended consequences of Obamacare in the Journal’s Weekend interview column “Of burgers, bikinis and Obamacare.”

One can infer from Purdzer’s comments the billions of dollars that have already been poured into unproductive uses down the Obamacare rathole. Obamacare has contributed greatly to the economic stagnation that characterizes the Age of Obama.

More to the point, however, are Lincoln’s words: “Now I ask you in all soberness, if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if confirmed and endorsed, if taught to our children, and repeated to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the country, and to transform this Government into a government of some other form.” McClatchy to the contrary notwithstanding, that is the big question.

There is so much ground to cover as Obamacare makes its formal appearance on the scene. I intend to make this the first of a continuing series.

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