The high-stakes political maneuvering leading up to the passage of Obamacare included a few moments of candor not often exhibited by members of Congress.
For example, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declared on March 10, “We have to pass the bill in order for you to find out what is in it.”
And during a meeting of the House Rules Committee on Saturday, Rep. Alcee Hastings admitted, “When the deal goes down, all this talk about rules… we make them up as we go along.”
With this sort of honesty from representatives in Congress, it’s actually shocking that 64 percent of the voting public strongly disapproves of the job they are doing.
Though the bill has been signed into law, the debate about the merits of the legislation continues.
In particular, proponents on both sides of the abortion issue question the compromise gesture of an executive order to limit federal funding of abortion, the solution that enabled Rep. Bart Stupak and other pro-life Democrats to join their party in passing the bill despite the lack of legislative language limiting federally funded abortion services.
Pro-life advocates note that an executive order is easily reversed and expect President Obama will do so when the furor over health reform subsides. Pro-abortion advocates fear the executive order represents “a significant rollback in reproductive rights,” a concern expressed by Jehmu Greene of the Women’s Media Center, appearing on Fox News.
“Bart Stupak had an agenda,” Ms. Greene said, “to have the government intrude, to come into my home and come into your home and insist on a medical decision that the government wants to see happen. That’s not what this bill does.”
Sorry, Ms. Greene. That’s exactly what this bill does. Unfortunately, her myopic focus on abortion rights has blinded Ms. Greene to the reality that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, written in such legalese and jargon as to be virtually indecipherable to most citizens, nonetheless clearly puts the government in charge of our health decisions in ways we have yet to imagine.
Throughout the behemoth legislation are countless new boards, commissions and oversight bureaus designed to assess quality of care, design “best practices” and force – through incentives and penalties – the implementation of the government’s idea of beneficial health services. Those “best practices” will not necessarily reflect the desires of doctors and patients, but the treatments that pass the government’s cost/benefit analyses.