Judd Gregg: Obamacare a 'Crass Grab for Political Power'

Image: Judd Gregg: Obamacare a 'Crass Grab for Political Power'

Monday, 24 Mar 2014 12:41 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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President Barack Obama and his administration are ignoring Abraham Lincoln's rules of governance when it comes to Obamacare, says New Hampshire former governor and senator Judd Gregg: "You cannot fool all the people all the time."

In an op-ed piece for The Hill, Gregg, a three-term Republican senator who once served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, wrote it is interesting to see Obama "eviscerate his own healthcare program" to protect members of his party from the "rightful wrath" of Americans who are losing their health insurance.

"The president and his secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, have now delayed the core elements of his healthcare program not because they want to improve it, but because they want to get past the next election," Gregg wrote.

But if current estimates are correct, by the end of March, fewer than 9 million people will have signed up for insurance through Obamacare, he noted.

"I say 'allegedly' because the Department of Health refuses to tell anyone how many of the people they claim have signed up have actually paid a premium — which, of course, is the test of whether one is really a participant in the program," wrote Gregg, noting that fewer than 25 percent of the people who signed up were actually uninsured.

However, the primary purpose for Obamacare was to provide coverage for 44 million people who did not have insurance, Gregg said, but actually, fewer than 2 million of them will be enrolled.

"This is an abysmal result, no matter how it is spun by the Democrats who voted for Obamacare," Gregg wrote. "The entire healthcare system of the United States has been turned upside down at tremendous cost both in dollars and personal angst about lost coverage. Yet the result has not been any meaningful progress at all toward the original goal."

He wrote that in his state, more than 20,000 people have lost their insurance, but residents are still hearing from their Democratic representation and the Obama administration that their losses are "tolerable."

In addition, the Medicaid expansion being forced on New Hampshire will increase its financial burdens, according to Gregg. After the first two years of getting help from the federal government, the state and others will have to pick up more of the costs of providing coverage for low-income residents.

"This is nothing more than a blatant attempt to force New Hampshire and its citizens into resorting to some form of a broad-based tax, like an income tax, in order to pick up costs that have been mandated by the Affordable Care Act," Gregg wrote.

But the tax is the "holy grail" of Democrats, he wrote, and soon all states will face tough choices.

"It is becoming ever-clearer that the true purpose of Obamacare was never to cover the uninsured," Gregg said. "The purpose of Obamacare was and is to put control of all major healthcare policy, not just Medicare and Medicaid, in the hands of the few and the elite in Washington."

Democrats also want a single-payer system, Gregg wrote, but there are better ways of handling healthcare than turning it over to the government.

"The American people will see this administration’s manipulation of the time frame and substance of Obamacare for what it is: a crass grab for political power," he wrote.

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