Dem Congressman on ObamaCare: Hey, the Constitution had its problems, too
posted at 12:41 pm on August 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
So did Social Security and Medicare, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) assures MSNBC viewers in his appearance on Morning Joe in defense of ObamaCare. The comparison to the Constitution is the silliest and least on-point, especially when considering the obstinacy of the Obama administration in working with Congress to fix the problems that even the White House sees with the mandates. Meeks’ other comparisons are much better — although not for his position on ObamaCare (via the NRCC):
Rep. Meeks: Well, you know, when Social Security first came out, people didn’t understand that completely. When MediCare came out, people didn’t understand that completely. But over time we developed, we got it right. The fact of the matter is, when the Constitution came out, people didn’t understand that. And there were problems in the Constitution. We didn’t say get rid of the Constitution, we fixed it.
First off, the Constitution’s function was to limit the power of the federal government, especially in its original form. That alone makes Meeks’ analogy exceedingly strange, given the Affordable Care Act’s massive expansion of power, even to the point of forcing all Americans to buy health insurance as a consequence of breathing.
Let’s take a look at the other two comparisons, though. Both Social Security and Medicare were initially launched as limited programs that would cover a very small percentage of Americans, and therefore remain cost-limited. Decades later, both programs are deep in the hole, especially Medicare, which has potentially hundreds of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities, thanks to political pandering and refusal to index eligibility to life expectancy or income. In fact, one of the main arguments for ObamaCare from Democrats was that it would fix Medicare’s oncoming fiscal disaster. Meanwhile, providers are bailing out of the Medicare system in droves, thanks to irrational reimbursements and red tape.
Meeks is correct — we have every reason to believe that ObamaCare, with its mandates, subsidies, and avalanche of regulation will turn out exactly like Medicare and Social Security. Outside of the cloakrooms of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses and the Oval Office, though, that’s not considered an endorsement.