As Senator Harry Reid (D-Mt. Crumpit) rammed the Democrats’ health care overhaul legislation through the Senate, many conservative bloggers, pundits and even the New York Times reported the various payoffs to certain Senators to secure their votes. Now, some bloggers, pundits and policy wonks (having the time the average Americans do not) have been scrutinizing the actual text of the bills which have cleared the House and Senate to find them stuffed with payoffs to various special interests favored by the Democratic Party as well as provisions of dubious constitutional merit.
And they’re pointing out the coercive nature of the bill itself, stipulating what the soon-to-be “mandatory insurance must cover,” as well as its costs and our penalties for failing to comply with that mandate. Yep, soon, we’ll have government telling us what kind of insurance we should have. And if our income is high enough, we won’t be able to comply by buying a cheaper plan offering only catastrophic coverage. Young people who would rather save up for a house or a car or whatever they believe would best serve their personal interests and professional goals, will soon be forced to spend more on insurance offering benefits they don’t need and likely won’t use.
The nanny state provisions of the legislation are just the start of its problems. The House bill, for example, includes generous payoffs to trial lawyers who have been generous in rewarding Democrats with campaign cash:
the Democratic majority in Congress has included multiple trial lawyer earmarks in the House version of Obamacare. Section 257 authorizes state attorneys general to sue companies that violate any federal health care provision and to delegate the work of such suits to class-action plaintiffs’ firms. Another trial lawyer earmark in the bill pays states not to enact caps on attorneys’ fees or lawsuit settlements.
Why can’t congressional Democrats let the various states decide to whom they delegate the work of enforcement? Clearly, Democrats want to steer work to firms which support their candidates, increasing their income so they can keep paying off supportive politicians.
And then, there are potential payoffs to “the scandal-plagued Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now,” you know ACORN. And let’s not forget a provision of dubious constitutionality that ol’ Harry himself slipped into the Senate bill, trying to block future Congresses from repealing parts of the bill.
The more we look at the bill, the more we see its coercive nature and how it was cobbled together to benefit special interests aligned with the Democratic Party, the very type of special interests whose influence Barack Obama decried in his campaign last fall for the White House.
Some new kind of politics.