Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, Samuel Johnson famously observed, much as truth is a last resort to liberals.
Hardly a day passes without yet more novel excuses for the ongoing trainwreck known as Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, a legislative title well en route to becoming a punch line. But there amid the torrent of lame apologia came a brief moment of candor from a former Obama media flack, just about the last person in the world from whom to expect a straightforward answer. (Audio after the jump)
It came by way of former White House press secretary Bill Burton on Ed Schultz's radio show during a discussion of the problem-plagued Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov. Schultz dutifully cited alleged lack of funding for the website, as if the most expensive legislation in American history suffers from a dearth of cash (audio) --
SCHULTZ: I guess time is of the essence now. I mean, I think anything technically can be fixed. I want you to address, what do you know about the shortcomings of resources that were put into this project?
BURTON: Well, you know, part, one part of the problem is, uh, the arcane rules of government procurement and because it takes so long to put out a bid and to receive, uh, to receive multiple bids and go through them and go through the process, it just takes a long time. And because the Republicans were trying to squeeze funding at every given opportunity, because this shutdown happened and because, uh, it's just so generally difficult to get anything done inside government.
Put another way, the main problems with Obamacare are that it doesn't trump other laws (specifically for procurement), Republicans keep trying to defund it (and have failed repeatedly, with its funding still intact), and "because the shutdown happened" (which, oddly enough, contradicts what Obama said right before the shutdown began).
It was not until Burton was done parroting bullet points that he finally came clean, much like a teenager taking an inventive route to explaining the dent in his parents' car -- "it's generally just so difficult to get anything done inside government." Not sure if that's an exact quote from Ronald Reagan, but I can the man's reassuring voice saying it.
Seeing how government is inefficiency incarnate, what liberals are attempting to do with Obamacare is take that nearly one-fifth of a $16 trillion economy we devote to health care -- and put it under even more government control. And as long waiting lines ensue, medical outcomes worsen, premiums rise, doctors and nurses flee to other lines of work, and Americans pine for the days when Barack Obama was still a hyper-ambitious state senator, his devotees will most assuredly recommend -- more government control of health care! It's pathological, they can't help themselves. One fervently hopes they get this treated.
In his 2010 policy study "The Obamacare Disaster," the Heartland Institute's Peter Ferrara described the new bureaucracies we'll be seeing --
Obamacare creates 159 new bureaucracies, boards, agencies, commissions and programs to govern American health care. Included among them are the Health Choices Administration, Health Benefits Advisory Committee, Independent Medicare Advisory Board, Bureau of Health Information, National Priorities for Performance Improvement office, Interagency Working Group on Health Care Quality, Institute of Medicine, Community Preventative Services Task Force, Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, Center for Quality Improvement, National Health Care Workforce Commission, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, and state-based reinsurance programs. This does not include the Federal Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness, which was created by the stimulus bill.
Its proponents have long claimed Obamacare will lead to better medical treatment at lower costs for Americans. But the only aspect of this law that appears destined for robust health is the breadth and reach of the bureaucracy.