Many conservatives have been deeply disappointed by House Speaker John Boehner’s spending compromise late in the night of April 8 with Sen. Harry Reid and Pres. Obama. But, as Michael Barone points out in his piece for the Washington Examiner, the deal ain’t all bad:
Speaker John Boehner was criticized by some on the right for not pressing for deeper and more permanent cuts in spending than the $38 billion he claimed. But the deal nonetheless passed both houses by wide margins, and it contains some details that threaten to undermine the policies of the Obama Democrats in the future.
Most important, it requires the General Accountability Office to conduct an audit of the waivers from the Democrats’ health care bill that are being issued in large numbers by the secretary of Health and Human Services Department.
This will raise an uncomfortable question. If Obamacare is so great, why are so many trying to get out from under it? And, more specifically, why are so many Democratic groups trying to get out from under it?
The fact is that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has granted more than 1,000 waivers from Obamacare. Many have been granted to labor unions. Some have been granted to giant corporations like McDonald’s. One was granted to the entire state of Maine.
By what criteria is this relief being granted? That’s unclear, and the GAO audit should produce some answers. But what it looks like to an outsider is that waivers are being granted to constituencies that have coughed up money (or in the case of Maine, four electoral votes) to the Democrats.
If so, what we’re looking at is another example of gangster government in this administration. The law in its majesty applies to everyone except those who get special favors.
The GAO has also been ordered to produce audits on the effect of Obamacare on health insurance premiums. This is likely to reveal that the president did not keep his promise that you could keep your current health insurance if you want to.
And there will be an audit of the comparative effectiveness bureaucracy established in the 2009 stimulus package. Comparative effectiveness is supposedly an objective study of which medical techniques are most effective. But anyone who looks closely finds that the experts are constantly changing their minds, which suggests that this is more alchemy than science — and maybe political favoritism as well.
Not to mention that those “experts” — unelected Obama/Sebelius appointees unconfirmed by Congress and unaccountable to us citizens — will be tasked with cutting half a trillion dollars out of Medicare expenditures. Meaning: Bye-bye, grandma, take two Tylenols and shove off.
The audits that are mandated in the Boehner compromise could prove to be a very powerful weapon for us in the battle to take down Obamacare.
Hat tip: Weasel Zippers