Obama Becoming a Punchline, but Obamacare Is No Joke

“The Tonight Show” is a cultural bellwether, so when its studio audience roars its approval at Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) quip that Obamacare is “the biggest job killer in this country,” you know something’s happening across our land.

The truth is now gushing out on the President’s signature legislation, which has become a late-night punchline that not even reliably liberal “Saturday Night Live” or Jon Stewart can keep from satirizing. The fact that fewer than 27,000 people “selected” plans—but didn’t necessarily buy them—on HealthCare.gov in five and a half weeks tells a tale in itself. (We had a little fun with it here.)

Conservatives who sought to defund this law can take pride in taking a stand that is looking better and better with each passing day—one that will not be forgotten. Progressives who shut down the government because they would not compromise are, on the other hand, looking over their shoulders and taking arrows, even from the left.

This is why the President’s approval ratings are at an all-time low, according to an impartial Quinnipiac poll released this week. It said that only 36 percent approve of the President’s job on health care; 38 percent on foreign policy; 32 percent on the economy; and 35 percent on immigration. By a margin of 52 percent to 44 percent, Americans say their President is a dishonest man.

Late-night comedians notwithstanding, Obamacare isn’t funny to the millions losing their insurance after being repeatedly reassured by the President that “if you like your present insurance you can keep it. Period.” For many of those losing their coverage, the options they have are anything but cheap.

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It is even less funny that this lie was essential to passage of the law. Obamacare squeezed through on the narrowest of margins—no Republican voted for it, and Senate rules had to be twisted—and the bill would have died had President Obama spoken the truth and said “millions will lose their insurance coverage.”

It also isn’t funny to those who are seeing their premiums go up. According to Heritage researcher Drew Gonshorowski, premiums are going to increase for individuals buying insurance in the exchanges in at least 42  of 47 states.

In fact, health care costs will rise across the board. As Bob Moffit, a Senior Fellow for Health Policy Studies at Heritage, has said, “No matter how you look at this, health care costs both for individuals and for the country as a whole are going to increase.” There are many reasons for this, as Moffit mentioned—namely, 18 new tax hikes, $1.8 trillion in new health care entitlement spending, and new benefit mandates.

And the worst part, of course, is what Obamacare will do to our national psyche, how it will affect the relationship between government and the governed. None other than V.I. Lenin said that “medicine is the keystone of the arch of socialism.” Lenin founded a communist empire that lasted 70 years. Lenin also said “a lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

In other words, Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster for our country. This is why it would have been better to defund it before it took the toll that it is already taking on so many American citizens.

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The Heritage Foundation and its sister organization Heritage Action took the lead this fall in bringing these truths home to Americans, and I’m so proud of them.

When this law passed on March 22, 2010, I wrote in this space that Heritage would fight with all its might to repeal Obamacare:

I write to reassure our supporters, the conservative movement, and the American people at large that The Heritage Foundation will do all within its power to keep this issue alive in the public square and make the intellectual case for the repeal of this act. We will bring all our resources to bear on behalf of those who believe America is and will always remain the Land of the Free.

This remains as true as ever. I’m so glad that Jim DeMint, now at the helm, has decided to continue this fight.


Ed Feulner

Founder, The Heritage Foundation

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