Once upon a time, people's hands were busy putting food on the table and they were too busy or too proud to consider extending those same hands out to the government for a handout. But that time has long passed, and time is running out before America the Great turns into America the Nanny State.
Let this Conservative go on record: When used properly, welfare can be a force for good for those most in need. Unfortunately, we have an administration, whose failed (0-97 in the Senate) 2011 budget bulged with middle-class handouts meant to expand the welfare state. Democrats are bent on making addicts of otherwise perfectly capable citizens to the designer drug of taxpayer dollars. In an attempt to make this addiction permanent, the administration rolled out Obama-care.
In 2008, anxiety over a failing economy and soaring costs of health care helped to propel Obama to the White House, but, three years later, and after the passing of Obama-care, the anxiety has morphed into anger - as the truth about this poorly constructed bill unfolds to find that it is nothing more than a compilation of mistakes, bloopers, paybacks and blunders that fix health care about as well as handing a bandage and bottle of blood thinner to a gunshot victim.
The most recent "blunder," which involves dropping people from the middle class and rolling them onto the welfare rolls, will not only add billions of dollars of cost to the bill; it will throw millions of middle class retirees into the Medicaid program. Medicaid was created to help the most needy in our society. Medicare actuary, Richard Foster, told the House Budget Committee that a provision in Obama-care did not consider social security benefits when calculating eligibility for early retirees, effectively branding those making up to $64,000 per year as destitute. Talk about the destruction of the middle class.
Most troubling is the White House admits Democrat lawmakers knew this provision was in the bill and passed it anyway. Come hell or high water, the Democrat-controlled Senate and House insisted on ramming Obama-care down the throats of Americans against our wishes, and did not care that it would apply more pressure to state budgets already buckling underneath the weight of exorbitant Medicaid costs.
Additionally, Obama-care adds an estimated 16 million to 20 million low-income childless adults to Medicaid programs that will be initially funded entirely by taxpayers. Although it was their desire to have a European-style socialized healthcare system, Democrats created some sort of "Frankenstein" system that is bloated, clumsy and solves health issues like a wrecking ball helps to remodel a home. In this case, the U.S. economy is a house of cards.
It seems like only yesterday Obama promised that everyone could keep their own health care plans, nor would he write any health care plan into law which added to the deficit. But, that was yesterday. Here is what's happening today: The release of a McKinsey & Company survey found that due to Obama-care regulations, some 1,300 employers will drop their employer health insurance plans, forcing as many as 78 million workers and families into Obama-care. A Price Waterhouse Cooper survey found half of all employers "indicated they were likely to change subsidies for employee medical coverage." In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, former Governor Phil Bredesen warned that dropping employer coverage and forcing employees into taxpayer-funded Obama-care will become "very attractive to many employers, both public and private."
"The problem with socialism," said Margaret Thatcher "is that you eventually run out of other people's money." The sand in the hourglass is getting low. Either America's flirtation with socialism will run out of support, or America will run out of money.
Susan Stamper Brown is a nationally syndicated columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org