Thursday was a tough day for ObamaCare. In the most spectacular news, Judge Roger Vinson clarified his earlier ruling on Thursday, explaining that he did indeed strike down the entire law as unconstitutional, so it can’t be implemented against any of the 26 states that were party to the suit he ruled on. Vinson was brutally dismissive of the Administration’s delaying tactics, and their attempts to ignore his ruling, questioning their comprehension and legal skills with dry wit. He gave the Administration seven days to file its expected appeal.
Also on Thursday, the House passed a repeal of the 1099 reporting provisions in ObamaCare. These new regulations were extremely unpopular, as they would have burdened businesses with a vast amount of new paperwork, by requiring them to submit 1099 tax forms for relatively small purchases. It would have increased the number of 1099 forms filed each year by something like two thousand percent. In the end, 70 percent of the House voted in favor of repeal, including 238 Republicans and 76 Democrats.
It’s great to see bipartisan support for striking down a terrible law. So… what was this bureaucratic nightmare doing in ObamaCare to begin with? What does burying small business owners beneath an avalanche of paperwork have to do with health care?
The point of the 1099 requirement, you see, was to harvest more tax revenue. Too many small purchases were flying beneath the radar of the IRS. Forcing business owners to fill out all those forms was supposed to bring in about $17 billion from increased tax payments. This was factored into the laughable pretense that ObamaCare would be “budget neutral.”
“This 1099 provision hampers small businesses with red tape and is one of the most out of touch ideas to come out of Washington in a long time,” said Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) after voting for repeal. Yes indeed… and that ridiculous, out-of-touch idea was dropped on the public like a bureaucratic hydrogen bomb because the President and his flunkies needed to cook the books and pretend his health-care scheme wouldn’t bankrupt the country. Obama slammed the small businesses he supposedly loves with a requirement that even 76 Democrats couldn’t wait to shred into bird-cage lining because he needed to fool the public into thinking his signature “legislative achievement” would cost $17 billion less.
On the very same day, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee invited Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to swing by and have a little chin wag about the budgetary implications of ObamaCare. Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) noticed that the rather large sum of $500 billion was dedicated to both sustaining Medicare and funding ObamaCare. When he asked Sebelius which destiny awaited those five hundred billion clams, she replied, “Both.”
That’s right, folks: another part of the ObamaCare fraud involved double-counting half a trillion dollars. Shimkus said he was “shocked” to learn this. “We knew the health care law’s actual cost was much greater than originally told to the public,” he declared. “And now, the truth is slowly coming out in administration reports and testimony.” In other news, Shimkus was equally “shocked” to discover there was gambling going on at Rick’s Café.
Later at the same hearing, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), thinking about the ObamaCare trillions that would soon surge into the leaky pipes of Medicare and Medicaid, asked Sebelius to estimate the amount of money lost to fraud in those programs. The HHS Secretary replied, “We don’t know.” But ObamaCare is going to make this woman one of the most powerful people on the planet, and place a huge chunk of America’s gross domestic product at her disposal. What could go wrong?
Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) wrapped up the Sebelius hearing with the ominous observation that “The list of concerns with Obamacare is long and growing.” It grew considerably in just one day.
Earlier today, Moe Lane documented the monumental *cough* $775 Million budget cut the White House has recommended. This figure struck me as an interesting one when compared with a certain report the Obama Administration has been dodging since November — Ernst & Young’s comprehensive examination of the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ budgetary lapses.
According to the 3 MB report available for download at Health Care News, the accounting firm found that HHS could not identify where nearly $800 Million had gone!
Emphasis mine cause it’s important:
Currently, DHHS has completed its investigation and will be reporting to appropriate authorities a series of violations as discussed in the Procurement Activities section below. To ensure these violations do not continue, enhanced budgetary monitoring processes are required. Additionally, in our review of the Statement of Budgetary Resources, we compared balances in budgetary accounts to their related proprietary accounts. Based on our review and discussions with management, we noted differences of $794 million that could not be explained.
The audit is full of other bad news for Americans, whose health care will increasingly be subject to the whims of a woefully poorly run department. Ernst & Young found that HHS is using 1980s-era technology, with financial management systems not compliant with the “Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996“, that weaknesses in technology could “pose a significant risk” in terms of exposed data, and that a full $1.8 Billion are stuck in old HHS accounts, hanging in limbo. $1.8 Billion! Yes — can you believe it? — we’re trusting these folks to manage our health care.
But hey, let’s accentuate the positive: if Obama could manage to do his job of running the government, and get Sec. Kathleen Sebelius to do her job and get her books straightened out, he could double his recommended budget cuts!
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) grants 1,968 expanded powers to the Secretaries of the Department of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius, with the most given to HHS. The vote to repeal this legislation is necessary to stop government expansion. The 1,968 powers are listed in a new wall chart published by the Center for Health Transformation:
Center for Health Transformation: Home | Center for Health Transformation.