President Barack Obama was asked this week about polls showing that most Americans believe Obamacare ("The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act") will hurt them.
Interviewer: "Is everybody wrong?"
Obama (laughing): "Yes, they are. It's going to be a good deal."
We'll see about that.
It's time for Republicans, Democrats and Independents in Congress to listen to the people. Most of us don't like Obamacare. Most of us don't want it.
It hasn't been a very "good deal" for the lawmakers, either. Last month, they and their staffs learned they would have to pay a lot more for insurance under Obamacare.
Congressional leaders, including Democrat Nancy Pelosi, whined, and Obama called the Office of Personnel Management.
Problem solved. Lawmakers and their staffs were deemed eligible for subsidies (our tax dollars) to cover the higher costs.
It doesn't get more outrageous.
A last ditch effort to kill the president's "good deal" emerged in the House this week. Republicans are backing a continuing budget resolution that omits funds for Obamacare.
The measure will go to the Senate, and if Democrats balk, they could cause a government shutdown.
The best of all possible outcomes: Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate overwhelmingly approve the resolution defunding Obamacare.
The president's "good deal" can be stopped. But it will take effort. Maybe a phone call or a letter or an e-mail to members of Congress. Senate Democrats will need thousands of calls.
Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, 202-224-3954, Democrat Sen. Jay Rockefeller, 202- 224-6472; Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, (202) 225-2711.
Defunding Obamacare makes a lot of sense. It does virtually nothing for health care. Rather, it does a lot of damage.
Lawmakers could have (1) removed barriers to free market forces, (2) pursued tort reform, (3) set up a system of individual health care savings accounts, and (4) provided insurance premium subsidies for people who can't afford insurance. But Obama and his fellow Democrats (the majority) opted to take over the entire system.
Why? Maybe because Obamacare could serve as a vehicle for "fundamentally transforming the United States of America" (Candidate Obama, just before the 2008 election).
An important but seldom-mentioned feature of Obamacare is the stripping away of citizen anonymity. Under Obamacare, the federal government will know intimate details concerning your life and activities. Benign? Maybe. But it creates the potential for "hard" and "soft" coercion by a mischievous government.
Other consequences of Obamacare include stagflation, more national debt, loss of personal economic freedom, new taxes, and profound changes in the nation's workforce (fewer workers, and full-time jobs being converted to part-time).
Obamacare isn't much of a "good deal" for health care, either. Longer waits to see a doctor (30 million more people are being forced into an already over-crowded system). Higher insurance premiums. New restrictions on doctors and hospitals for policyholders. Fewer insurance choices.
The nation's medical facilities will struggle, too. The Cleveland Clinic just this week announced major cuts "to prepare for healthcare reform."
The clinic said it needs to reduce costs by $330 million in 2014. "Some of the initiatives include offering early retirement to 3,000 eligible employees, reducing operational costs, stricter review of filling vacant positions, and lastly workforce reductions." Layoffs will be across the board and include doctors, the clinic added.
So, the American people aren't wrong after all, and Obama's "good deal" is actually a raw deal. Now we need to tell members of Congress how we'd like them to vote.
Footnote: On Wednesday, House Republicans announced a replacement for Obamacare. Features include expanded health savings accounts, medical liability reform and allowing the sale of health insurance across state lines. The authors say they'll push for a vote in the House.