Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, March 23, 2012.
Neither one of my kids’ first birthdays was a big deal. They were both too little to know what was going on and the efforts of the assembled adults to get either one of them interested in the proceedings yielded only minimal results. My younger daughter slept through most of her first birthday.
Second birthdays, however, are usually a different story. By the second birthday, the honorees are old enough to understand and be understood. A two year-old has a clearly discernible personality. The birthday parties for two year-olds are, therefore, a bigger deal. There’s more real celebrating going on because the two-year old is a part of it all. He’s coming of age.
Which is why it is remarkable that the two year birthday of Obamacare is coming and going almost totally uncelebrated. Proud father Barack Obama had everybody over to the house on the day his namesake was born. But today he, and Obamacare’s mother, Nancy Pelosi (who was anxious to get the birthing process over as soon as possible so that we could all see little Obamacare for ourselves), aren’t saying a word. No cupcakes. No ice cream. No funny hats and party favors.
The second birthday of Obamacare passes unobserved. It’s almost as if mommy and daddy don’t love the little guy anymore. In fact, it’s as if they are actually ashamed of him.
Perhaps the grumpy old Congressional Budget Office – the CBO – has something to with it. It seems that the CBO hasn’t had much nice to say about Obamacare lately. In fact, just last week, the CBO said some downright mean and hateful things.
One such criticism coming from the CBO is that Obamacare isn’t living up to the promises that daddy was making on his behalf before he was born. When we were anxiously awaiting the birth of Obamacare, we were being told that once here and on its feet it would deliver high quality health care to every single American.
But now the CBO says that by 2022 – Obamacare’s 12th birthday – 27 million Americans will remain uninsured. You might recall that we were told that one of the reasons we needed Obamacare in the first place was because of the 39 million Americans that were at the time uninsured. But some people reading the CBO’s report today are apparently being rude and are asking why it’s acceptable that the most sweeping social program ever enacted will only be 31 percent efficient in achieving its principal goal after 12 years. Daddy Obama doesn’t seem ready to answer that question.
Obamacare was going to “bend the [health care] cost curve downward.” Yet two years later according to the CBO, the $940 million ten-year projected cost of Obamacare on the day of its passing now stands at $1.76 trillion from this day forward – almost double. The accounting gimmicks used in the Obamacare birthing room, such as showing ten years of revenues against only six years of implemented cost, are now being seen for what they were. Again, not the kind of stuff for which party hats and streamers are ordinarily broken out.
And as if the mean old CBO wasn’t bad enough, there’s the Supreme Court. Just a week after Obamacare’s second birthday the nine robed jurists will hear vigorous arguments in favor of making sure that it doesn’t live to see a third.
So Obamacare’s second birthday goes by with no cake, no cookies, no ice cream, no balloons being twisted into animal shapes by Chuckles the Clown and, most notably, no proud parents.
It’s hard to get up for a birthday party when so many people would rather be at the funeral.