RUSH: Jim Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute. He used to write stuff for Reuters, which is incomprehensible to me. I don't know what a guy who I agreed with as often as I agreed with Jim Pethokoukis is doing writing for Reuters, but he did. He's now at the American Enterprise Institute, which is a conservative think tank. I'm only gonna share this with you because we were talking about much of this earlier in the program today. It's about health care, and his point is it's already too late, why Obamacare isn't going to happen the way Obama thinks it is. He quotes a colleague of his at AEI named Joe Antos. The first point is it's gonna be more expensive than anybody thinks now and that is on paper, and we all know that because it's a federal entitlement, and they're all more expensive than their projected costs.
The second point he makes, which we've discussed, is that the Supreme Court decision on Medicaid will drive up federal spending, and it will, by definition. If the states opt out of the Medicaid expansion, the Feds take it over. The details are this. "By making the Medicaid expansion optional, some states are likely to not expand eligibility to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) -- and the alternative is expanded enrollment in subsidized insurance through the exchanges. Although there is the lure of 100 percent funding for the first three years, there is also the burden of having to pay 10 percent of the cost of the expansion in subsequent years. States that do not expand Medicaid eligibility are likely to see many of those who would have been eligible seek insurance through the exchanges."
But then this is the point we really talked about: "The exchanges won't be ready. A few states -- including Massachusetts, California, and Maryland -- appear to be well along in their implementation activities, but 37 states have not yet enacted enabling legislation or invoked an executive order to establish a state health insurance exchange. … It is clear that many states will not have their insurance exchanges operating in time to enroll their citizens in exchange plans before they become liable for the mandate/tax in January 2014. Moreover, it is doubtful that the federal government -- which carefully describes its role as facilitating the state’s exchange rather than running a federal exchange -- will be capable of stepping in. The task is too large, and the time is too short."
This is the point Michael Tanner was making at Cato. They didn't authorize expenditures for the federal government to take over the exchanges if the states don't do it. So what is the bottom line of all this? The bottom line is that if there is a second Obama term, it will be noted for two things: a continuing, long recession, and widespread breakdowns in the implementation of his health reform plan. There's no question that's gonna happen. This thing is 2,700 pages, and much of it is unwritten. Much of it's left up to the secretary and Health and Human Services, "as the secretary shall determine." My point, I don't think Obama cares. I don't think that he cares about the details. I don't even think he knows.
If you want to know the hard, cold truth, all this is to Obama is bigger government, more power, more control, and the opportunity to raise taxes and redistribute the money. That's all it is to him. That's what he wanted out of it. He wants the government in charge this. He knows that when the government's in charge of health care, and when the government's in charge of the costs, that he can dictate behavior on the basis that certain behaviors are too expensive and will cost the government too much money, and therefore he can prohibit certain behaviors or tax them or what have you. That's what he salivates over. He doesn't care about the breakdown. In fact, the more it breaks down, the better. Because I'll tell you, isn't it true government program A signed into law, government program A falls apart, does not perform anywhere near as designed, panic ensues, problem create. The next thing that happens, we need a new program to fix program A. Government fixes it, what they broke. That's been the tradition.
They create these stupid entitlements and other programs, they don't work, and everybody clamors for the government to fix it, and the government happily says, "Well, hell yeah, we'll be happy to fix it." Because government gets bigger every time this happens. And every time government gets bigger you lose a little freedom and you lose a little money. Every time it gets bigger. So they come up with a program, the program doesn't work, people clamor for the program to get fixed, government says, "We'll do it." What's convoluted about this is that the people who screw it up in the first place are the ones people ask to fix it. Despite the absolute disaster the government is in running programs, still way too many Americans turn to government to fix these problems. And it's because there's this misplaced belief that there is benevolence in the government. And with this bunch running it, there isn't any benevolence.
It's not a matter of thinking. I know Obama doesn't care. He doesn't care what's in this plan. He doesn't care for the minutia. He doesn't care about the details. And if there are bumps in the road in implementation, so what? It's just more of an opportunity for more government to fix that problem. And guess what? There's an added bonus. You get to blame the Republicans for what's gone wrong, and the media joins right in. "Yep, the Republicans screwed that up."
"Wait a minute, Republicans didn't support any of it."
"Yeah, and that's the problem. If we'd-a had Republican help this problem wouldn't have existed. If we'd-a had a little bipartisanship. This problem is directly traceable to the fact that Republicans didn't care. But that's okay, we'll fix it."
I imagine Obama's fluent in discussing the exchanges a bit, but he didn't even write this. He didn't even write the health care legislation, turned it over to Congress. It's been sitting in a drawer collecting dust for 50 years, and every year some little staffer would add some more dreams to it. Finally it ends up as 2,700 pages of absolute liberal disaster. And these guys are right. It's not gonna be implemented correctly, and there are going to be people that will be fined and taxed, despite the fact there won't be any policy to buy, exchanges aren't gonna be set up, and even if they are they're not gonna run right because it's the government running them. It is an absolute disaster. And you would think that when that happens, most people would say, "A-ha, well, this is the wrong way to do this. Let's turn this back over to the private sector."
That's not what's gonna happen. What always happens is people turn to the government to fix it when the government broke it in the first place. I don't know. These guys are right. Whether Obama's reelected or not, if this thing isn't repealed, its implementation is going to lead to more confusion, chaos, murkiness, despair, tumult. It's too big to work. It's like everything liberal. There's so much misplaced idealism, believing that what they believe is perfection personified. It's utopia. We believe in it, it'll work. And there's no evidence that that's ever the case. The people who aren't gonna care are the rich 'cause they're not gonna be affected by it. And Obama won't be affected by it. Henry "Nostrilitis" Waxman won't be affected by it. Members of Congress won't be affected. It's not gonna fall apart for them.
RUSH: Folks, let me just tell you: Obama never expected Obamacare to be implemented the way he said it would be. You're not gonna keep your doctor. You're not gonna keep your plan. He lied to everybody. He doesn't care. You think Social Security looks like it was originally drafted or originally intended? It doesn't. Neither does Medicare. And they aren't concerned about being held to their promises. They don't care! And if there are obstructions to their efforts, what do they do?
Well, the next time they control Congress, they "fix" it. And if this doesn't go right (and it won't), if it survives, it's gonna be an absolute disaster, which is made to order for Obama and the Democrats. Blame the insurance companies for not cooperating! Blame Walmart, somehow! Blame the drug companies! Blame Republicans for all the problems! The media will be right in there. Dupes like Juan Williams will be writing, "Oh, yeah, it's the Republicans' fault! It's the drug companies' fault!"
They'll all be in there. That's the pattern.
The more chaos, the better. The more problems, the better. We get another government program to fix it! See, Obamacare is just the baseline. Obamacare is just the starting point. When it doesn't work, we need a fix program. We need a program to fix this, and then another program to fix that. And pretty soon there are gonna be 14 different versions of Obamacare like there are 14 different versions of Social Security. Now there's Social Security disability where 8.7 million people are on the program. I don't think that was part of the original idea. Ditto, the income tax.