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Tallying Obamacare's Broken Promises

3:49 PM, Mar 22, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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A lot of folks (particularly those on the left) figure that now that health-care reform has been passed, the public will get its government health-care entitlements and like them and stop bothering to strain at the government bit. Democrats hope that'll happen before November.

Tallying Obamacare's Broken Promises

They mistake the public mood on this piece of legislation. Sure, Americans like entitlements once they have them, but never before has such a large entitlement bill passed with no bipartisan support against the clear will of the people.

And, though all federal government programs eventually break the promises of the politicians who pitch them to us, the promises broken by this bill are already spectacular. We don't even have to wait for it to be passed to make that determination because Obama broke so many promises during the very process of writing it. Thanks to technology, the 24-hour-news cycle, and the energy of the Tea Party-led opposition, Americans were able to slow down and witness the dirty construction of a bill in a more intimate way than ever before. The process was the substance, as Matt Continetti wrote, and it made an acutely aware public even more upset about the bill. It was an unusually deep knowledge of the bill that made the public dislike it, not ignorance of it, as the president likes to believe.

Jeff Anderson, in his argument for a three-year plan to repeal much of the bill, counts the ways in which Obamacare's creation betrayed its creator's promises:

President Obama promised that his plan for “health-care reform” would not cause any individuals or families to lose their health-care plans, would not be paid for by cutting seniors’ Medicare benefits, would not bend the health-care cost curve up (but instead would bend it down), would not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year, would not raise Americans’ health-insurance premiums (but instead would lower them), would not put the federal government in control of health care, would not require Americans to buy health insurers’ product under penalty of law, would not cost more than $2 trillion over ten years, would not raise deficits, would not provide taxpayer funding for abortion, would increase competition and choice, would leave what’s good in place while fixing what’s broken, and would be bipartisan. Obamacare fulfills none of these promises.

The same forces that revealed failures in the process like never before now have the potential to reveal failures in execution. Obama's poll numbers may bounce slightly on liberal euphoria at having accomplished something and general relief that Congress is momentarily done meddling, but people will not soon forget what the Democrats have done based on a few rewritten Obama speeches.

And, as if to help, Obama seems intent on continuing to break promises until the very signing of the bill. Remember that 5-day period of public comment before he signed each bill, which was supposed to be such a vital part of his presidency's transparency?

Yeah, about that. He can't even make good on this mostly meaningless, ceremonial, after-the-fact promise:

President Obama will sign landmark health-care legislation into law Tuesday at the White House without waiting for the Senate to deal with a package of revisions that was also approved by the House late Sunday, administration officials said.

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