Back in early 2010, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Congress they would get to find out what’s in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, after they passed it. No need to ask any questions now regarding the pesky details and small print in the over 2700 pages of legalese. Just vote yes for it, trust us, and you will be pleasantly surprised.
For those legislators saying they couldn’t vote if there were any provisions for abortion or abortion drugs, they were promised drugs/procedures would not be in it. For those politicians that said they couldn’t vote for it if its cost was over a trillion dollars, they were promised it was a bargain at only 987 billion. For those politicians that said they couldn’t support this legislation if it increased taxes, they were promised there would be no new taxes; there might be some “fees.” Just vote for the bill and all will be taken care of.
Then there were those politicians who said they needed a little something “extra,” a little “sweetener,” if they were going to put their stamp of approval on Obamacare. We were treated to a new term, the Cornhusker Kickback, a concession a Nebraska Senator wrenched out of the deal makers that basically let the rest of America pay for Nebraskans health care.
Then of course we were treated to the Louisiana Purchase, part deux, which saw Louisiana get an unfair advantage granted to it at the expense of the rest of America in order to ensure an aye vote for Obamacare.
The above deals were struck and countless other deals were buried in the 2,700 pages of legislation that were withheld from lawmakers and the public until the last moment before a vote was taken on it. Nancy Pelosi’s admonition still ringing in our ears: “You’ll get to see what’s in Obamacare after you pass Obamacare.”
Well it’s been over 2 years since the legislation has passed and to this day it is still unclear what is actually buried in those 2,700 pages, it’s as if no one actually read it in its entirety. It does seem to be a living breathing document in some instances, almost a situational handbook to change and interpret as conditions dictate.
But what we have found out is that after 2 years, the price for Obamacare is double what we were told it would be. We also found out there are provisions for abortion procedures/drugs which many were promised would not be in there. Nancy Pelosi was asked if she thought the legislation was constitutional and she seemed to act surprised. Had she even not read all of the 2,700 pages?
Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who had said he was firmly against the legislation, until he was enticed to vote for it with a sweetener called Cornhusker Kickback, found it ended his political career and he is now spending “more time with his family”
2010 saw a backlash against legislators who had voted for Obamacare. Many of these politicians were thrown out of office by angry constituents who didn’t trust their legislators for not reading a bill before voting on it. Obamacare became a rallying point for many Americans to focus their ire on. Obamacare helped spawn the American Tea party, part deux.
26 states and private organizations sued the government in order to repeal this legislation on the grounds it was unconstitutional and violated commerce laws as well as the right of Americans not to be forced to pay for a service.
Finally this week the Supreme Court got to hear arguments pro and con for Obamacare. By listening to the tone the Justices used to grill the Obama administration lawyers, it was obvious they had problems with the premise of the bill. The solicitor General himself seemed to be having a very difficult time justifying the large intrusive reach of the government into Americans lives.
If the Supreme Court strikes down the law in its entirety, it will be an opportunity to start over in modifying our health care system in a bipartisan manner. Many major reforms were overlooked in the rush to pass ACA/Obamacare. If the court strikes down only parts of the bill, it may bankrupt the health insurance system. Many are waiting for the verdict…Many political careers hang in the balance.