EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

August 2, 2013

Column: Pull the plug on ObamaCare

Congress possesses the power of the purse, but only if it wields it. And it should do so to defund ObamaCare before this medical Godzilla grows larger and more ferocious.

Republicans senators Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas are leading a valiant effort to pass legislation in September that will finance the federal government, as is, but zero out ObamaCare, officially called the Affordable Care Act. Short of repeal, which President Barack Obama would veto, this may be the last exit before ObamaCare’s New Year’s Day implementation. Once this beast is unleashed, its fire-breathing destruction could become uncontainable.

ObamaCare’s critics have reached a crescendo.

“One major problem is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. ... The IPAB will cause frustration to providers and patients alike, and it will fail to control costs.”

Was that Rush Limbaugh? Glenn Beck?

Thus wrote former presidential candidate and Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, M.D., in July 29’s Wall Street Journal. He likes aspects of ObamaCare but considers the board a clinical wrecking ball.

ObamaCare “will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.” So goes an open letter by the chiefs of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and UNITE HERE. These three labor unions represent some 2.8 million workers.

Even as it paces its cage, ObamaCare already is wreaking havoc.

“One thing that we hear in the commentary that we get ... is that some employers are hiring part time in order to avoid the mandate” for insuring staffers who work more than 30 hours weekly, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified on Capitol Hill July 17. This worrisome trend dominated June’s employment figures. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part-time jobs rose by 360,000, while full-time positions fell by 240,000.

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