Sebelius Seizes Even More Power
11:10 AM, Dec 23, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Not satisfied with the colossal amounts of power that she would acquire under Obamacare if it isn't repealed, Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Kathleen Sebelius has issued a 136-page "rule" that will now give her (and her subordinates) largely unchecked power to pass judgment on the prices of health insurance throughout the United States. Notwithstanding the fact that 43 states already regulate and approve health insurance premiums, Sebelius claims that we need an additional, more centralized, protection against insurers' unseemly 'profit motive.' But a far greater threat to the future of American republicanism is posed by the impulse that animates Sebelius and the bulk of the Obama administration: the power motive.
It's staggering that one person would think that she should ultimately get to decide what a product, which Obamacare would soon require all Americans to purchase, should cost. Moreover, the Wall Street Journal writes that Sebelius's "rule" marks "an effort to end-run Congress, which by some miracle declined to give HHS the formal legal authority to explicitly block premium increases, despite a direct appeal from President Obama." Not having been granted that formal power, "Ms. Sebelius is creating by regulatory fiat larger de facto powers to achieve the same end."
The Journal adds that this "is typical of the vast ad hoc powers that Obamacare handed to regulators," which will be wielded "to punish the insurance industry for rising health costs that the new entitlement is already turbocharging."
If the passage of a 2,700 page "law" (more like an entire legal code) weren't telling enough, this latest development provides yet another reminder that Obamacare wouldn't merely lead to $2 trillion in new federal spending in its real first decade, from 2014 to 2023 (according to the Congressional Budget Office); a $300 billion increase in nationwide health costs (according to the Medicare chief actuary); higher health-care premiums (according to the CBO); higher taxes (according to the CBO); Medicare cuts (according to the CBO); and lower-quality health care (according to the American people). It would also lead to results of even greater importance: the politicizing of health care, the compromising of liberty, and the debilitating consolidation of power in the hands of the unelected few.