It’s been very painful to listen to the president of the United State this past week because it is now nearly universally admitted that over the past four years, Barack Obama didn’t tell the truth to the American people about the Affordable Care Act.
Some say he misspoke, misled, didn’t give us the truth–whatever term you want to use–it all really boils down to one dubious reality.
Period. (to use his own favorite punctuation mark.)
And lying destroys the foundation of trust upon which democratic republics are built. Without faith in our leaders and institutions, laws will not be obeyed and peace and civil society cannot exist.
I’m deeply saddened about the Administration’s deception. Today, I will move in the opposite spirit and share with you the straight truth about Obamacare.
First of all, let’s remind ourselves what constitutes a lie. It is a conscious, intention to deceive. It happens when a person knows the truth, but chooses to ignore it.
Here are two examples from recent history. I’ll choose both a Republican and a Democrat to be fair.
- Richard Nixon – He authorized his political committee to illegally break into an office (at the Watergate complex) to help win an election–then lied about it. His famous falsehood was: “I am not a crook.” A few months later he resigned in disgrace because he was a crook who had lied to the American people.
- Bill Clinton – He committed adultery with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, in a small room just outside the Oval Office, then looked the American people in the eye and said, “I did not have sex with that woman.” Some months later, he admitted that he’d lied about conduct unbecoming to a married president and was nearly impeached for it.
Let’s give one more example to clarify the difference between lying and simply mis-speaking.
President George W. Bush famously told the American people that we needed to invade Iraq because of the presence of weapons of mass destruction which might be distributed to Al Qaeda or other rogue terrorists.
When we got there, the WMDs were not to be found. Did Bush lie? The judgment of history is a clear nyet. Prior to the Iraqi campaign, all the respected intelligence agencies of the world believed that Sadaam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
We also knew he had them because he had used them on his own people--killing thousands of Kurds in the 1980s. He had them, used them, and then they disappeared. When we didn’t find them, we were left with two options: 1) Either he didn’t have large quantities, or 2) They were moved to another site (Syria?) before the American invasion.
Either way, George Bush didn’t intend to deceive. He simply misspoke based on faulty information.
It’s important to note the difference because this makes or breaks the believability of a leader. When you misspeak because of wrong facts, your heart and motivations can still be trusted. But when you deliberately choose to lie about a subject, then evil has entered your heart and destroys all credibility and integrity.
To state it again: Leaders can misspeak, learn the real truth, correct those mistakes, and still maintain their integrity and following. But when leaders tell a lie, they cause lasting damage to our faith and trust.
Yes, they can sometimes be restored via humility, repentance, correction, and renewed integrity. But that takes time. Rebuilding trust often requires months, years or even decades.
Thus, when a high level leader lies, he is usually finished for life in the realm he served. Trust has been shaken, confidence has died, and people become cynical to following–which is the death knell to his or her government.
In democratic societies (ones that believe in character and integrity), lying leaders either resign, are impeached, are voted out, or their legacies are tarnished.
Sin has serious consequences.
Barack Obama now faces that reality.
But before we hurl any stones, it might be helpful to personalize the discussion. Have you ever told a lie–an intended deception? To a family member or close friend? To the government when filling out your taxes? To a policeman when being pulled over for a violation? To any other person to cover up something you did or of which you are ashamed?
I have–and I have asked forgiveness for those sins. And once I repented, I asked God to help me never do it again.
However, I never did so in a leadership position where it affected the trust of a group of people. That’s where Barack Obama is in serious trouble. At least 36 times–all perilously preserved on video–Barack Obama told the American people:
“If you like your insurance, you can keep it. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep him. Period.”
You can watch all 36 false promises here.
Even some Democrats are owning up to the lie. Congressman Kurt Shrader D-OR now says:
“I think the president was grossly misleading to the American public and is causing added stress and added strife as we go through a really difficult time with health care.”
He’s right. At least five million people in the nation have currently lost plans that the president said we they could keep.
And “we’ve only just begun.”
So what is the straight, honest-to God truth about the Affordable Care Act often called Obamacare? I will give it to you, to the best of my ability, in Q&A form.
Q: What were the original purposes of the ACA? A: From a liberal point of view, the main purpose was to provide health care to all the poor (uninsured) in our nation. A second purpose was to win their votes via this dramatic expansion of the welfare state. A third purpose was to super-size the Federal Government to control one-sixth of the American economy. The ACA is the largest wealth redistribution scheme in the history of the USA.
Q: Is the ACA a form of national or socialized medicine? A: Yes, it is the first step that direction which is designed, over time, to collapse the private insurance markets and create a single payer (government) system in America. Government control of health is the holy grail of progressivism. It is the beginning of the end of free and prosperous societies. Just look at Europe–and the former Soviet Union.
Q: Was the ACA wisely passed into law? A: No. Such a large, impacting, entitlement program should have waited for bi-partisan support as Social Security and Medicare did. But not one Republican voted for the bill, many Democrats were bribed into supporting it, and the Congressional rules were bent to force it upon the America people.
Q. Is ACA a good concept and well-written? A: Neither one. Governments are bad at providing services due to lack of competition and competence. They were not meant to be “providers” (done far more redemptively by the private sector), but rather “protectors” of the peace. The ACA is a two thousand page albatross. Here’s a rule of thumb: The bigger a bill, the worse it is (more regulations and bureaucracy are required). The ACA is the longest bill in American history. Get it?
Q: Will people lose their personal policies under the ACA? A: Yes, millions of them. Five million have already been dropped (including my family), and that number will rise to probably fifteen million. After the employer mandate kicks in, the number could rise as high as 130 million people.
Q: Why are people losing their policies? A: Because the ACA limits the freedoms of both insurance companies and individuals. It forces thousands of customized policies to be forced into four. The four approved by the feds require everybody to carry and pay for everything–even if you don’t need it. If you’re a man, you still have to pay for maternity care. If you’re a tee-totaler, you still need to pay for substance abuse counseling. This is the basis of the president’s lie: ACA changes the playing field so that all policies conform to the bureacrats’ wishes. Thus, scores of millions of people will lose the insurance and doctors they like.
Q: Why will people lose their doctors? A: Because ACA will completely change the landscape of American medicine. First, many doctors will leave the system because of financial dis-incentives and dreaded paperwork. There will be a huge doctor shortage. Plus, your new “forced upon you” plan may not include the group or hospital your personal doctor is associated with.
Q: Who will benefit the most from the ACA? A: Those who are currently uninsured and live below the poverty level. They will receive “free” healthcare via a vast Medicaid expansion. This includes a large sector of the elderly and probably many illegal aliens.
Q: Who will be hurt the most? A: The tax-paying middle class and younger Americans. In most cases, the tax-paying “center” of America will be forced into higher premiums and deductibles to pay for the “free” insurance for the poor. This will especially hurt younger Americans, most of whom need little or no health insurance (only catastrophic care), but no longer have that option. They will pay for everybody else.
Q: Why was the ACA roll-out so botched up? A: Because of the size of the program, the disparate computer systems that must communicate with each other, the incompetence and fraud found in most governmental programs, and a dirth of leadership. Computer glitches may someday be worked out, but the tentacles of this bureaucratic overlay on top of your health care will make going to the doctor seem like a visit to the post office.
Q: Will the Affordable Care Act save individuals and the nation money on health care? A: No. It will cost many times the first 900 billion dollar estimate–and for a majority of Americans (outside of the poor), it will cost much more than they are paying now. It will create more poor people.
Q: Will the ACA help produce jobs or bring down the federal deficit? A: No. It is the largest job destroyer in American history and will add trillions more dollars to an already unsustainable debt calamity.
Q: Are some insurance policies “sub-standard” or lousy? A: No. All people don’t need or want a Cadillac. When you’re young, you can save money through a catastrophic-only policy. If you have good health habits, you don’t need de-tox. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The more choices there are in health insurance, the better and the cheaper. At it’s root, the ACA is anti-choice.
Q: Are there any good aspects to the ACA? Yes. 1) The desire to insure all Americans (through a wrong method), 2) The portability of policies (you shouldn’t lose your insurance when you change jobs), and 3) Covering people with pre-existing conditions. But free market, cost-effective solutions can meet these needs better without a “one-size-fits-all” insurance coercion.
Q: Is health care a human right? A: No. Human rights are God-given, and they include life, liberty and property–which all human governments should uphold. Standards of living are not rights. They are outcomes of hard work, financial resources, and circumstances that are different for all people.
Q: How did this bad bill ever pass? A: Through a largely uninformed populace that is increasingly hooked on governmental entitlements rather than hard work, personal initiative, faith in God, and devotion to private charities (such as churches). We voted in bad leaders who are taking us down a road to personal and corporate ruin.
Q: So what can we do? A: We must ask God’s forgiveness for turning away from his truth and principles, rise up to cast off this tyranny, vote out the people that gave us the disastrous ACA, elect a freedom-restoring Congress in 2014 (especially in the Senate), and a liberty-loving president in 2016.
Then we need to repeal the ACA and provide our citizens a free-market based menu that will care for the needs of people and insure that the American medical experience remains the best in the world.