Archived Story

Blank checks + politics = disaster

Published 8:27am Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One day after ending a partial shutdown of the federal government, our leaders – and I use that term loosely – went out and borrowed a single-day record $328 billion on Thursday of last week.

It appears now, at least to me, that the all the bargaining and behind closed door dealings up in our nation’s capital to end the shutdown all boiled down to one thing – giving those in charge in DC a blank check.

Gee, that’s all we need….to add to an already all-time record $17.075 trillion federal deficit. Whatever happened to the campaign promise by President Obama to reduce the debt? At the time of all the speeches prior to last November’s election, our national debt stood at $15 trillion.

Perhaps the President needs to understand the meaning of reduce. Adding is not reducing.

And speaking of adding, how much will Obamacare really cost to implement? And who foots the bill?

I understand the part about ensuring all Americans, especially those who are poor and can ill afford to purchase health policies, have access to insurance. I read somewhere that if a person is at the poverty line (meaning they make less than $11,500 a year), they can purchase healthcare insurance for just $19 a month. That’s great; I’m happy for them, but the insurance company selling that policy through the federal exchange will charge more than $19 monthly for that policy. That’s where the federal government comes to the rescue and pays the difference. But where does the federal government get that money….. from the taxpayers, or in the case of our current leaders in DC, they just rip out another blank check and borrow some more money. I won’t be here long enough to see that bill paid, so the financial burden becomes that of my daughter and her generation; my soon-to-be-here grandson and his generation, and right on down the line.

Heck, just to implement Obamacare and roll-out its website – that’s not working well, by the way – has cost taxpayers $292 million. Back when CGI, the company that won the contract to set-up the website, initially started the project, they expected it to cost $94 million.

Just don’t worry about it….tear out another blank check and sign it on the already over-burdened backs of the American taxpayer.

From information on Forbes.com, “a growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.”

In other words, Forbes said HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs. “Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky said in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.”

Why was it delayed?

“An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies,” said Forbes.com.

And getting back to this blank check issue, from what I understand about the deal struck in Washington last week, there was no debt ceiling set on how much the government can spend until this current agreement ends in February of next year.

With that in mind, we, and I mean the U.S. taxpayers, better be ready to dig a little deeper in our already downsized pockets. The crew in DC have a slew of blank checks to fund whatever their tiny hearts desire.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

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