The CNN commentator devoted his regular Cafferty File segment 12 minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour to the recent report from the Congressional Research Service that, as Cafferty put it, "says it's 'impossible' to estimate the number of agencies, boards, and commissions that will be created by this new law." Cafferty explained that the report "points to many reasons for this. First off, the parts of the law that create these new bodies vary drastically. In some cases, the law gives a lot of details- in other cases, barely a mention."
Later, the CNN personality cited one provision in the ObamaCare law which "requires six separate agencies- six- within Health and Human Services to each establish an Office of Minority Health- six!" After listing two delays in getting new bureaucracies set up, he continued that there were "questions about the ability of Congress to carry out oversight of this sprawling mess."
At the end of the segment, Cafferty asked his usual "Question of the Hour" of his viewers: "How's the government going to manage our health care if it's impossible to know the number of agencies, boards, and commissions that are created by the new health care law?" He even got one minor dig at his nemesis on the right, Sarah Palin. He asked anchor Wolf Blitzer what he thought of his use of the "Obama-nation" term. When Blitzer replied he hadn't heard of it before, Cafferty quipped, "Me and Sarah Palin- we make up these words."
Just under 40 minutes later, he read some of the viewer replies, which came from both sides of the health care debate:
CAFFERTY: David in Virginia writes, 'From the people who can't manage the 93 intelligence agencies and the Medicare/Social Security mess they have now, comes ObamaCare. The only thing that will be more mysterious will be the dozens of new financial control agencies. This isn't big government. This is morbidly-obese government, and, like the obese person sitting next to you on the airplane, it will flow freely into every nook and cranny of your space.'
John in Pennsylvania: 'Health care reform- wow, what a good idea. Before retiring in April, I paid $194 per month for my wife and myself. Now it's $1,100 a month for the same coverage because I have COBRA and live in Pennsylvania. If I could shop in other states, I could get the same coverage for $484 a month. If I didn't take COBRA, I'd be paying $2,100 a month. Thanks, Mr. Obama.'
Bob in Kansas City: 'They won't, as you say, manage it. Before long, it will be a cesspool of corruption and fraud, just like Medicare, and it won't reduce the cost by one cent.'
Chris in the Bronx writes, 'Jack, please, the law is about 3 months old. The real impact of the bill won't be felt until 2014, when these exchanges are up and running. Stop trying to simplify and dumb-down a complex idea and subject, that is the healthcare system.'
Greg in Tennessee says, 'The solution is a Health Care Oversight Czar heading a Commission, which will undoubtedly recommend an Oversight Department, and probably need an Oversight Inspector General. That way, they'll be able to determine the number of agencies, boards, and commissions created by this new law.'
Dennis writes, 'Do you honestly think this would magically happen immediately? Something of this magnitude is going to take time to work out.'
And Julie in Louisiana writes, 'No surprise, Jack. They'll call it job creation.'
The full transcript of Jack Cafferty's commentary from Tuesday's Situation Room:
CAFFERTY: In a word, it's setting up to be an "Obama-nation"- a sprawling bureaucratic giant- nobody knows how big it's going to be, that seems to be the result of President Obama's new health care law. According to Politico.com, a recent report says it's 'impossible' to estimate the number of agencies, boards, and commissions that will be created by this new law.
The Congressional Research Service report points to many reasons for this. First off, the parts of the law that create these new bodies vary drastically. In some cases, the law gives a lot of details- in other cases, barely a mention. The law authorizes some new entities without saying who's going to do the appointing, or when it's going to happen, and all of this means that some agencies could wait indefinitely for both staff and funding, while others could go forth and multiply, creating- quote 'an indeterminate number of new organizations,' unquote.
So far, it's shaping up to be exactly what the critics were afraid it would be. For example, there is one provision in the health care law that requires six separate agencies- six- within Health and Human Services to each establish an Office of Minority Health- six! One Alaska health task force was supposed to meet by May 7- that was the deadline. It held its first meeting July 16. Another committee on breast cancer [was] supposed to be set up by May 22. It's now August 3, and it's still reviewing nominations for committee members.
These [sic] are also questions about the ability of Congress to carry out oversight of this sprawling mess, and there are concerns about the number of appointments the General Accounting [sic] Office gets to make- at least 83 new members to be appointed to six new boards.
Here’s the question: How's the government going to manage our health care if it's impossible to know the number of agencies, boards, and commissions that are created by the new health care law? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile, post a comment on my blog.
[to Wolf Blitzer] Like, that word, "Obama-nation"?
WOLF BLITZER: (laughs) I never heard it before, but- I don't know.
CAFFERTY: Well, I just made it up. (unintelligible) Me and Sarah Palin- we make up these words.
BLITZER: Thank you.