The Purpose of This Bl;og

By and large, liberals are very decent, kind, and compassionate people who genuinely want what is best. This should be kept in mind as we explore the Law of Unintended Negative Consequences near invariably resulting from Leftist big-hearted solutions to societal problems.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Obamacare - Transparency and Bi-partisanship?

Back in 2007, much of the nation was energized by the promise of change, particularly in the way things get done in Washington. At the time, candidate Obama presented himself as a different kind of politician: one who was determined to leave behind the closed doors, lobbyist manipulated, unyielding, highly partisan,  smoke-filled rooms of yester-years, and who would usher in a new age of refreshing transparency and bi-partisan cooperation and productive compromise and responsiveness to the voice of the people. He championed himself as a uniter and  not a divider. (See HERE and HERE and HERE)

This was to be no more so than with his signature health care plan:

When he announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2007 at Spreingfield, Ill., Obama indicated, "It was here we learned to disagree without being disagreeable -- that it's possible to compromise so long as you know those principles that can never be compromised; and that so long as we're willing to listen to each other, we can assume the best in people instead of the worst." (See HERE)

During the campaign he said:  "I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president." (See HERE) "

He also stated: "Candidates are going to present plans. That is what we have seen every four years--trotting out their health care plans, and nothing happens, and understandably the public gets cynical. The problem is not going to be whether you have got the perfect 10-point plan, the question is whether or not we can overcome the broken politics in Washington that prevents the conversation and get this done. My commitment is to listen to everybody...but move the process forward..' (See HERE)

He has also remarked: "'That's what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are....Because part of what we have to do is enlist the American people in this process.' (See HERE)

Furthermore, he indicated: “I respect what the Clintons tried to do in 1993 in moving health reform forward, but they made one really big mistake, and that is, they took all their people and all their experts and put them into a room, and then they closed the door. We will work on this process publicly, it will be on C-SPAN, it will be streaming over the net.” See HERE as quoted HERE)

For additional quoted promises, see HERE and HERE.

So, did things change?

Truth is, early on in the process of legislating Obamacare there was a pretense of transparency and bi-partisanship and openness to public concerns (see HERE)--which is ironic given that the Obama plan "Require full transparency about quality and costs." (See HERE as quoted HERE)

However, as time went on, the President began to see that he wasn't going to get his way,  and so Washington returned to business as usual. Obamacare was enacted in 2010 (see HERE), or should I say it was manipulatively rammed down our throats. The bill was more than 1000 pages long, and passed with few if any Senators and  Representatives having read it or knowing what all it contained. (See HERE and HERE and HERE) Speaker Pelosi famously remarked, "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” (See HERE and HERE)

First, prior to enactment most Americans disapproved of Obamacare, but their voices weren't heard. (See HERE) And, today, and since it was passed, more Americans prefer that the bill be repealed, than not. (See HERE and HERE) So, their voices are still not being heard. Obama isn't listening.

Second, Obamacare is one of the most partisan if not divisive piece of legislation in U.S. congressional history--where not a single person in the opposing party voted for it. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Third, according to Wikipedia: "The reform negotiations also attracted a great deal of attention from lobbyists, including deals between certain lobby groups and the advocates of the law to win the support of groups which had opposed past reforms, as in 1993. The Sunlight Foundation documented many of the reported ties between "the healthcare lobbyist complex" and politicians in both major parties." (See HERE) (See also HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Fourth, for the most part the hearings weren't televised, and entailed frequent partisan caucusing behind closed doors. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE) CBS reported: "The president, members of Congress from both parties and special interest groups have indeed all participated in negotiations, but those conversations have not been broadcast. Instead, the president has announced deals with groups like the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance industry after they were worked out in backroom deals. Meanwhile, Baucus, one of the most influential senators in the health care debate, not only shut out the public but shut out most of his own committee from his 'bipartisan negotiations.' 'We spent virtually an entire year with most of the Finance Committee being excluded,' Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) reportedly said after Baucus released his health care bill. 'You don't run a committee that way.'" (See HERE)

Even after Obamacare was passed, closed-door meetings have persisted. (See HERE and HERE)

Fifth, crony-ism and underhanded and strong-arm tactics, reminiscent of Chicago politics, have been employed, and continue to be employed. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and  HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

In fact, during the mid-term elections in 2010, Obama remarked: ""we're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us." (See HERE)

Sixth, sweetheart deals were offered to secure votes. (See HERE and HERE)  And, the President has since capriciously given Obamacare waivers to political and financial cronies and made additional backroom deals. (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Evidently, the French proverb holds true: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." (See HERE)

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, and Victimization

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