A little news of the weird to lift your spirits on the first day back to work after a long holiday weekend.
As you read this, remember that “smarter government” these days in the health-care realm means taking people’s word for it when they say they’re too poor to pay for health insurance on their own.
Obama will use a 10:30 a.m. ET meeting with Cabinet and senior officials “to lay out his vision for smarter government during his second term,” said an update to the White House schedule.
Shortly before noon, the schedule says, Obama “will make a statement on his Management Agenda in the State Dining Room.”
In a statement, the White House said Obama will discuss progress in three key areas: “Delivering government services better, smarter and faster … finding ways to reduce waste and save taxpayers money; and … opening up huge amounts of government data to give entrepreneurs and businesses the ability to create jobs and solve problems.”
Eliminating ObamaCare’s anti-fraud provisions certainly will deliver services faster, whatever else it means for saving taxpayers money. (The Journal calls them “liar subsidies.”) Ignoring the security provisions in an immigration reform bill passed by Congress, which O presumably thinks he’s entitled to do given his refusal to enforce ObamaCare’s employer mandate, is another way to deliver “services” faster to a coveted constituency. Question: Why would he prefer to strip the anti-fraud elements in his pet domestic legislation rather than delay the exchanges for a year until they’re in place? “Smarter government” suggests going the latter route instead of the former, no? Phil Klein knows why:
With this news coming after the employer mandate delay announcement, the Obama administration has now openly conceded that it is in way over its head when it comes to implementing this unworkable law. Thus, the new strategy is to simply set up a mechanism to feed taxpayer subsidies to as many Americans as possible so that even if Obamacare is a complete train wreck, it will make enough people dependent on government to make repeal politically impossible. Republicans should seize on this immediately, and force the administration to defend a policy that would open the floodgates to fraud.
Precisely. Byron York made the same point a few days ago, in fact, noting Valerie Jarrett’s determination to see the health-insurance exchanges up and running on time. The public’s dependency on ObamaCare is the best, and ultimately maybe only, defense against repeal. Whatever rules the White House has to break for political advantage (postponing the employer mandate until after the midterms), whatever corners they have to cut (giving people a green light to defraud the system for the next year in applying for subsidies), they’ll break those rules and cut those corners in the name of getting the exchanges running ASAP. The more people enroll before 2016, the less likely it is that the GOP will muster the political will to blow up the law and start over afterward. In fact, suspending the anti-fraud measures is best viewed not as a necessary evil to facilitate implementation but as a pot-sweetener. Knowing that the feds won’t be checking people’s applications for subsidies too closely for the next 12 months is a further (crooked) incentive to get them to sign up. That’s what “smarter government” means in practice: Willful inducement to fraud in the name of encouraging dependency.
Oh, and if you think delaying the employer mandate for a year was some sort of panacea for business, read this. Another year of uncertainty for the economy, brought to you by “smarter government.”