"We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."
Those were the words used by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2010 while trying to explain why the congress needed to pass the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act.
Then, just a week ago, Pelosi declared that Americans should be celebrating Independence Day this year by also celebrating the new-found "health independence" they have in ObamaCare. Trying to somehow equate independence with a government mandated health system is something our Founding Fathers would find laughable, if not sickening.
Pelosi's crazy reasoning three years ago was just a harbinger of the confusion yet to come for the federal health care system takeover.
Just two days before last week's July 4th holiday, the Obama administration announced it had decided to delay the scheduled implementation of ObamaCare's employer mandate for a year, until 2015. That mandate requires all firms with 50 or more employees to provide health coverage or pay steep fines, regardless of the company's profitability or ability to pay.
That was just one of the elephants in the room of this monster bill. There's also the $52 billion in new taxes that will be imposed on businesses by mandating that employers provide health insurance.
The tentacles of Obamacare reach into all sectors of society. For example, about one fourth of all seniors rely on the private health care option in Medicare called Medicare Advantage. Obamacare makes such deep cuts to that program, however, that it's estimated half of those covered will no longer be able to keep the coverage they have.
And then there's all the ominous projections on how this bill will impact employment.
In February of 2011, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf testified before the House Budget Committee that Obamacare will result in an estimated 800,000 fewer U.S. jobs. Obamacare is providing plenty of work for the army of attorneys who must decipher "what is in" the bill that Pelosi and most Democrats pushed so hard to pass.
Last week we learned of yet another concern regarding this monster program that consumes one sixth of the economy.
Whenever there is a national crisis, persons try to capitalize on the chaos and confusion.
In the aftermath of national disasters such as floods and hurricanes, we've seen scam artists looking to pounce on the most vulnerable victims.
Consumers need to be aware that there are other scammers out to capitalize on the confusion of Obamacare by trying to steal credit cards, Social Security numbers and other personal information.
The FTC, which received more than 1,100 complaints about similar scams in May alone, has already issued a consumer alert about one telemarketing scheme, in which impostors claiming to be from Medicare told consumers they needed to hand over their personal or financial information in order to continue eligibility because "change is on the horizon."
Scammers also use scary language to shake down their victims. One offers an "Obamacare card" and threatens to throw you in jail unless you buy insurance.
Whenever someone on the phone uses threatening terms like "it's the law now" or 'the government requires you to do this' or 'you're going to lose your benefits unless you send us money', just hang up the phone or close the door if they come calling to your home. Authorities like the Federal Trade Commission or state attorney general's office need to be notified.
By Jim Zbick