Obamacare Zombies: Finally they're on the run!

Obamacare Zombies are confused. Could choosing your own health insurance also come back from the dead?

Photo: Ernest Istook

WASHINGTON, November 13, 2013 — President Barack Obama’s legions of Obamacare Zombies are in confusion with the meltdown of Obamacare.

It is one crisis that Obama cannot cover-up. For once, the media could not help him by ignoring events, because insurance cancellation letters bypassed media and took bad news directly to the public. Unfortunately, exposing years of deceit required a personal crisis for millions, which for some is a life-and-death crisis.

SEE RELATED: Obama’s ‘apology’ was phony: Proof from the White House

It is inexcusable that it took such disaster to shock these political zombies from their trances. Now it’s too late to prevent damage; it can only be minimized, not prevented.

The U.S. House at week’s end will vote on a Republican plan to revive the affordable individual insurance plans that Obamacare outlawed. Anxious Democrats are being signalled by the White House and party leaders to vote against that common-sense idea. President Obama killed those insurance plans, buried them and has been dancing on their graves. Now the living dead zombies are being told not to let consumer choice come back from the dead as well. Some will disobey; they could be denied roles in any sequel to “World War Z.” Certainly they’ll be chased by angry constituents.

The House bill in effect repeals part of Obamacare, which is next-best to repealing the whole thing. It will be messy to restore those plans. They don’t cover everything like Obamacare does, and that is exactly why they are affordable. They’re real; they’re just not spectacular.

But beware; Washington always tries to offer gimmicks in place of legitimate solutions. For example, there is the idea of just postponing deadlines. That is just a gimmick that helps politicians by pushing things off until after the next elections. After the elections, the impact would still hit the public just as hard as it’s hitting now. And tens of millions are projected to be hit by loss of their current group health coverage in the coming months.

SEE RELATED: Efforts to repeal Obamacare focus on January 2014

It is remarkable how swiftly Obamacare spiraled out of control the moment it went operational. It can only be compared to a nuclear reactor which overheats when fed too much fuel. Obamacare granted near-dictatorial latitude to the Obama Administration, which abused it and ran amuck, creating a health care meltdown. The safety control system didn’t work because fellow Democrats blocked all control efforts with the zeal of attacking zombies.

What have been the marks of these zombies?

  • Obama’s zombies repeated his claims mindlessly, including his big lie that, “If you like your current insurance, you can keep it.” That lie is still online on the White House website, where over the weekend it was slightly re-phrased but kept intact. That pledge also remains on some Congressional websites; Republicans are gleefully showcasing those online, such as at http://www.nrcc.org/

  • Only six weeks ago, Obama’s zombies lambasted Republicans for trying to defund Obamacare in exchange for funding the rest of government.

  • In 2010, every Senate Democrat was an Obama zombie, voting down a Republican effort to block the very HHS regulation which now is causing cancellation of those millions of health insurance policies.

  • Earlier in 2010, it was Democrats alone who passed Obamacare by the narrowest possible margins in both House and Senate. Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi told us they had to pass the bill to find out what was in it. Now we’re finding out what was in the bill’s unread 381,517 words, plus over 11.5-million words of regulations added by the Obama Administration with the vast authority granted by the bill.

Here is the zombies’ new dilemma: On Friday, the House will vote on HR3350, the “Keep Your Health Plan Act,” sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc. It is a simple read; the bill is only two paragraphs long.

SEE RELATED: White House on honesty in the Age of Obama: “What difference does it make?”

The measure allows insurers to continue to sell all individual health policies that were offered for sale on January 1, 2013, overruling the prohibitions of Obamacare. Anyone could buy these; buyers do not have to be  current customers.

The legislation permits what Obamacare outlaws: True competition.

The “Keep Your Health Plan Act” lets individuals choose which features they want and which they can afford. It keeps the requirements of Obamacare that took effect prior to 2013, such as covering children to age 26, covering pre-existing conditions to age 19, and no lifetime limits on hospital stays. But the Obamacare features that start in 2014 would become optional. That enables lower costs because every add-on creates extra cost. Obamacare requires identical expensive features for virtually all plans. A Heritage Foundation study says Obamacare creates less competition and choice than before.

The White House opposes Upton’s bill and so do Democrat leaders in the House. Senate Leader Harry Reid is not expected to permit a vote. But some Democrats are forgetting to act like zombies and may vote for the bill.

The most-nervous are 12 Senate Democrats who voted for Obamacare and who are running for re-election in 2014. That includes Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., whose poll numbers have collapsed in the past month. A bill similar to Upton’s was introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who is one of the 12 facing voters next year. And after news that 1 million Californians have lost their coverage, liberal stalwart Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced she will support Landrieu’s bill.

On top of it all, former President Bill Clinton urged that Obama should “keep his promise” to allow people to keep their insurance. White House spokesman Jay Carney claims Obama intends to honor that principle, but he won’t say how. “When he makes a decision, we’ll let you know,” Carney said. Even fellow Democrats are nervous about trusting Obama to have a viable plan. New polling says a majority of Americans don’t consider the President to be honest and trustworthy.

Rumors are that Obama may propose expanding premium subsidies as a backdoor way to claim he has kept his promise, by spending more money instead of letting people keep their current policies.

Already, a family of four making up to $94,200 a year ― 400 percent of poverty level ― can get an Obamacare subsidy. Expanding subsidies possibly would cost tens of billions of dollars each year, requiring higher taxes or higher fees. Or breaking another Obama promise, “not to add a dime to the deficit.” Plus it would increase dependency on government.

But subsidies don’t lower the costs of healthcare. They only change who pays. 

If the House passes Upton’s bill to revive existing insurance policies, be ready for screaming from health insurance companies. They invested a fortune in re-writing policies, getting them approved by state insurance regulators and by the federal HHS, training their people, and revising their computer systems ― and doing much better than the feds. The freedom to revert to old systems would be very expensive.

Many of those companies, their lobbyists, executives, trade associations, and so on supported passage of Obamacare because it guaranteed business for them. So they were willing to impose the law on the American people.

Insurance companies are not the greedy villains that President Obama depicts, yet it’s hard to be sympathetic for losses they may suffer for choosing to be part of Obama’s scheming.

When Obamacare was first proposed, it had all the ingredients of a horror movie. Now it’s a long-running feature. Just like the old classics with zombies, Frankenstein, and all the other creatures, the ending may have poetic justice, where the monster’s creator becomes its final victim.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Ernest Istook: Knowing the Inside
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Ernest Istook

Ernest Istook spent 25 years in public office, including 14 years in Congress. He was rated one of the top 25 conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Then was a Heritage Foundation fellow and a fellow at Harvard's Insitute of Politics, where he led a study group on Propaganda in American Politics Today. 

Now as a radio host and a commentator, Ernest aims to expose Washington's gimmicks--to help you avoid the pitfalls. He brings clarity out of the confusion. 

Native to Texas, Ernest transplanted to Oklahoma after graduating from Baylor University.

Contact Ernest Istook


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