The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal.com’s “Best of the Web” written by the editor, James Taranto.
Bottom Story of the Day
“D.C. Awash in Contracts, Lobbying Wealth”–headline, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nov. 18
The Washington Examiner’s Byron York has unearthed a transcript of a House Education and Labor Committee hearing from June 23, 2009, that offers further evidence of the administration’s fraudulent intent. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, a Republican who is also a physician, was questioning Dr. Christina Romer, then chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers:
Price: You also mentioned, as other folks have, that the president’s goal–and it’s reiterated over and over and over–that if you like your current plan or if you like your current doctor, you can keep them. Do you know where that is in the bill?
Romer: Absolutely. And things like the employer mandate is part of making sure that large employers that today–the vast majority of them do provide health insurance. One of the things that’s–
Price: I’m asking about if an individual likes their current plan and maybe they don’t get it through their employer and maybe in fact their plan doesn’t comply with every parameter of the current draft bill, how are they going to be able to keep that?
Romer: So the president is fundamentally talking about maintaining what’s good about the system that we have. And–
Price: That’s not my question.
Romer: One of the things that he has been saying is, for example, you may like your plan and one of the things we may do is slow the growth rate of the cost of your plan, right? So that’s something that is not only–
Price: The question is whether or not patients are going to be able to keep their plan if they like it. What if, for example, there’s an employer out there–and you’ve said that if the employers that already provide health insurance, health coverage for their employees, that they’ll be just fine, right? What if the policy that those employees and that employer like and provide for their employees doesn’t comply with the specifics of the bill? Will they be able to keep that one?
Romer: So certainly my understanding–and I won’t pretend to be an expert in the bill–but certainly I think what’s being planned is, for example, for plans in the exchange to have a minimum level of benefits.
Price: So if I were to tell you that in the bill it says that if a plan doesn’t comply with the specifics that are outlined in the bill that that employer’s going to have to move to the–to a different plan within five years–would you — would that be unusual, or would that seem outrageous to you?
Romer: I think the crucial thing is, what kind of changes are we talking about? The president was saying he wanted the American people to know that fundamentally if you like what you have it will still be there.
Price: What if you like what you have, Dr. Romer, though, and it doesn’t fit with the definition in the bill? My reading of the bill is that you can’t keep that.
Romer: I think the crucial thing–the bill is talking about setting a minimum standard of what can count–
Price: So it’s possible that you may like what you have, but you may not be able to keep it? Right?
Romer: We’d have–I’d have to look at the specifics.
As Sen. Johnson pointed out in his radio address, as a legal matter Obama committed not consumer fraud but “a political fraud echoed relentlessly by House and Senate Democrats who should be held accountable for the disastrous consequences of their grand deception.”
Since politicians write the laws, political fraud (and political malpractice) can be remedied only through political means. If, as the Times’s Michael Shear writes, Obama is now “threatened” by a “toxic mix,” that is a sign of the body politic’s health.
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