Heartland Institute Experts React to House Hearing on Obamacare with Kathleen Sebelius

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified today before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the failure of the Healthcare.gov Web site and other problems surrounding the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The following statements from health policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius did her best to defend the indefensible today, repeatedly taking the blame for Obamacare’s failure to launch while at the same time repeating falsehood after falsehood regarding the reasons for its problems and the level of warning the administration had.

“Sebelius blatantly lied to Congress about whether or not a key grandfather regulation was changed after the law was passed which eradicated President Obama’s ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it’ promise; she lied about whether she was warned that the exchanges were not ready to launch – we know from released documents that contractors repeatedly warned HHS and CMS about the problems; and she even lied about whether or not she was legally allowed to go on the exchange.

“All these lies can’t hide the most important truth: that if Sebelius and her fellow bureaucrats can’t fix the exchanges within the next few weeks, the pressure for delay of this unworkable law will become enormous. Already 10 Senate Democrats favor delay of the individual mandate – and barring a miracle of technocratic governance, soon, it will be many more.”

Benjamin Domenech
Senior Fellow, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Secretary Sebelius states that the Affordable Care Act, which can’t produce a functional Web site, is going to fix the ‘delivery system.’ Once people get corralled into Obama-compliant health plans, doctors will be automatically made smarter, more efficient, and less costly. She herself must be Wonder Woman. One day, she says they really needed six years to do the Web site, then she claims it will be fixed in only six weeks!

“Can incompetence really be this gross? Or is the true objective being achieved? Do they really want more uninsured people, more Medicaid dependents, and the wreckage of both private insurance and private medicine?

“Obama’s supporters appear to think that there is no problem with breaking clear promises, like being able to keep your health insurance, if you can just change the meaning to ‘you can’t keep the insurance you like, but you’ll be able to buy something we like for twice the cost.’

“If Obama can rewrite the law as he likes, why stop with delaying the employer mandate and forcing still more people into the individual mandate? Can he go all the way to single payer, all by himself?

“The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) filed suit today to challenge Obama’s violation of the constitutional separation of powers by legislating from the White House.”

Jane M. Orient, M.D.
Executive Director
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
[email protected]

“‘Some people prefer Solo® cups and some people prefer champagne glasses’ will go down in infamy with ‘When the President does it, it’s not against the law,’ ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,’ and ‘At this point, what difference does it possibly make?’

“The fundamental problem with Obamacare is that it promised champagne glasses for all at Solo® cup prices, which – no offense to Solo® cup – is an economic impossibility, no matter how hard the ‘experts’ may try.”

David L. Applegate
Policy Advisor, Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 29-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.