It took hundreds of millions of dollars in bribe money to win the votes of Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Bernie Sanders of Vermont (plus even more millions for a senator whose identity cannot be determined because of obtuse language in the bill). By hook or by crook, Obamacare’s Senate backers achieved their magic 60 votes.
Now, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, his 57 Democratic colleagues and both Senate independents own Obamacare. Their votes moved the health care reform bill past its biggest legislative hurdle yet in a tally taken in the dead of a very cold Monday morning on a massive bill none of them actually read in its entirety.
These 60 senators have joined in what surely ranks among the most breathtakingly arrogant spasms of antidemocratic hubris in American legislative history.
By every credible measure of public opinion, opposition to Obamacare has grown for months as people learned more about it. Fully 61 percent of those responding to CNN’s most recent survey turned thumbs down on Obamacare. And still these 60 senators opted to thumb their noses at the majority.
Just how bad is Obamacare? Here are some of the proposal’s most important flaws, as described by one of its most passionate critics:
• It forces you to pay up to 8 percent of your income to private insurance corporations — whether you want to or not.
• If you refuse to buy the insurance, you’ll have to pay penalties of up to 2 percent of your annual income to the IRS.
• After being forced to pay thousands in premiums for junk insurance, you can still be on the hook for up to $11,900 a year in out-of-pocket medical expenses.
• Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won’t see any benefits — like an end to discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions — until 2014, when the program begins.
• It allows insurance companies to charge older people 300 percent more than other customers.
• The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and insurance premiums for a family of four will increase by an average of $1,000 a year. That means in 10 years, your family’s insurance premium will be $10,000 more annually than it is now.
Care to guess the name of the Obamacare critic who pointed out these and many other flaws in the bill? Jane Hamsher of the very liberal blog Fire Dog Lake, who called Obamacare “a con job.” Clearly, opposition to Obamacare has grown to span the political spectrum. Yet, these 60 senators couldn’t care less. May the day come soon when all of them have to explain their disdain for their constituents.