April 3rd 2010

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: How toxic culture exploits our children

EDITORIAL: Stern Hu trial: implications for Australia

CANBERRA OBSERVED: PM Rudd kicks off a very long campaign on health

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: $16 billion education fiasco traps Julia Gillard

PAID PARENTAL LEAVE: Voters want equality for all mothers: Galaxy poll

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Rann hangs on after big anti-Labor swing

BORDER CONTROL: Rudd's time bomb on a boat: asylum-seekers

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Behind the US-China trade dispute

LEGAL AFFAIRS: Human rights legislation through the back door

EAST TIMOR: East Timor - the quiet revolution

SCHOOLS: New national English curriculum scores only C+

SCHOOL FUNDING: Governments should support parental choice

UNITED STATES: Is Obamacare destined to be a disaster?

UNITED NATIONS: UN feminist gab-fest gets up steam

Firemen hose down political correctness (letter)

Gigantic scam (letter)

Atheistic arrogance misplaced (letter)

Too tough on Tony Abbott? (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Turkey's 100,000 Armenians; Al-Qaeda nuclear threat to Britain; Can Christian organisations survive in a 'tolerant' age?

CINEMA: Hollywood perplexed by family values - The Blind Side, rated PG

BOOK REVIEW: ISLAM AT THE GATES: How Christendom Defeated the Ottoman Turks, by Diane Moczar


Books promotion page

Is Obamacare destined to be a disaster?

by Bill Muehlenberg

News Weekly, April 3, 2010
A one-trillion-dollar package; a 2,000-page bill; a win by just seven votes; and one big meltdown of a nation. That about sums up the numbers on the passage of Obama's health care bill. While the US President has just signed the bill into law, already numerous legal challenges are being hurled against it. Indeed, so far 13 states have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the bill.

I have written before about why this bill is bad news, not least of which are its provisions for the funding of abortion. But plenty of other concerns remain. And plenty of commentators have weighed into the debate, arguing why the passage of this bill is such a major worry.

For example, Mark Steyn examines how this will cripple the American economy. He writes, "If you're sick of talking about health care, you'd better move to Tahiti now. On Thursday, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted to set up a committee to examine whether condoms should be required on all pornographic film shoots within the Golden State. California has run out of money, but it hasn't yet run out of things to regulate.

"Obamacare will result in the creation of at least 16,500 new jobs. Doctors? Nurses? Ha! Dream on, suckers. That's 16,500 new IRS agents, who'll be needed to check whether you - yes, you, Mr. and Mrs. Hopendope of 27 Hopeychangey Gardens - are in compliance with the 15 tax increases and dozens of new federal mandates the Deemocrats are about to 'deem' into existence. This will be the biggest expansion of the IRS since World War II - and that's change you can believe in. This is what 'health' 'care' 'reform' boils down to: fewer doctors, longer wait times, but more bureaucrats."

This is really all about big government. Steyn continues: "Obama is government, and government is Obama. That's all he knows and all he's ever known. You elected to the highest office in the land a man who's never run a business or created wealth or made a payroll, and for his entire adult life has hung out with guys who've demonized (deemonized?) such grubby activities...."

"From now on, it gets worse. If you have kids, they'll live in smaller homes, drive smaller cars, live smaller lives. If you don't have kids, you better hope your neighbours do, because someone needs to spawn a working population large enough to pay for the unsustainable entitlements the Obama party has suckered you into thinking you're entitled to. The unfunded liabilities of current entitlements are $100 trillion."

Phyllis Schlafly warns, "Many people look upon Massachusetts as the model for Obamacare. That state imposed individual and employer mandates in 2006, and it's time to look at the results. By 2010, one third of the uninsured still don't have coverage, and it's become harder to see a doctor. Health insurance is 40 per cent more expensive than in the rest of the country, and Massachusetts is expecting a $2 billion to $4 billion shortfall over the next decade.

"Obamacare is a major weapon to carry out Obama's plan to transform America into a country of incredible debt, government control of industries, redistribution of taxpayers' earnings and savings to non-taxpayers, and massive authority exercised by weirdo czars. The American people - and the various states - are not going to accept Obama's transformation."

Economist Thomas Sowell is also greatly concerned about this bill. "Even the massive transfer of crucial decisions from millions of doctors and patients to Washington bureaucrats and advisory panels - as momentous as that is - does not measure the full impact of this largely unread and certainly unscrutinised legislation.

"If the current legislation does not entail the transmission of all our individual medical records to Washington, it will take only an administrative regulation or, at most, an Executive Order of the President, to do that. With politicians now having not only access to our most confidential records, and having the power of granting or withholding medical care needed to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, how many people will be bold enough to criticise our public servants, who will in fact have become our public masters?"

Increasing premiums

Finally, Cal Thomas offers these thoughts: "The President promised again 'you can keep your doctor'. But the doctor might retire because he or she can't afford to accept reduced fees mandated by government while paying ever-increasing premiums for malpractice insurance to protect him or her from lawsuits, which, by the way, is another reason so many tests are ordered.

"Government-run health care has been tried in Massachusetts ... and it's a disaster. According to Peter Suderman, associate editor at Reason magazine, 'since 2006, the cost of the state's insurance program has ballooned by 42 per cent, or almost $600 million."

Thomas concludes, "As for Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak's deal with President Obama for an executive order banning federal funds for abortions, laws trump executive orders. Stupak caved; so much for standing on principle."

This is only a small sampling of the concerns being expressed about this draconian legislation. If ever there was a way to bankrupt a nation while whittling away its freedoms, this has to be it.

Bill Muehlenberg is a commentator on contemporary issues, and lectures on ethics and philosophy. His website CultureWatch is at: www.billmuehlenberg.com


Mark Steyn, "Welcome to democracy", National Review Online (New York), March 20, 2010.
URL: article.nationalreview.com/428594/welcome-to-deemocracy/mark-steyn

Phyllis Schlafly, "Obamacare versus freedom", Townhall.com, March 23, 2010.
URL: townhall.com/columnists/PhyllisSchlafly/2010/03/23/obamacare_versus_freedom

Thomas Sowell, "A point of no return?", Townhall.com, March 23, 2010.
URL: townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2010/03/23/a_point_of_no_return

Cal Thomas, "B-A-L-O-N-E-Y!", Townhall.com, March 23, 2010.
URL: townhall.com/columnists/CalThomas/2010/03/23/b-a-l-o-n-e-y

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