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ObamaCare: The Thin Edge of the Wedge

Written By Christian DeHaemer

Posted March 24, 2010

The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.

— Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)

In James Joyce’s famous book Dubliners, there is a passage where a couple of old politicians give a teenager a beer for helping them set up a meeting room. After the boy drinks it down and leaves, one old man says, "That’s the way it begins."

"The thin edge of the wedge," the other elderly man — Mr. Henchy — responds.

That’s what came to mind the second I heard that the Democrats had passed their reverse Robin Hood program on health care.

At first glance, it would appear that there are some benefits: The program will insure 30 million people who are currently living without health care. It covers those living with preexisting conditions, meaning they can’t be denied coverage if they have cancer.

Of course, that all must be paid for…

So the Dems thought up the idea to force young, healthy people to pay for old, sick people. As you know, young people have a lot of bills these days — what with the cost of education, raising a family, and buying a house in a good school district, among other things…

But they voted for Obama, so I guess they are cool with it. Dude, a $500 monthly health insurance bill! Awesome!

Those over 55 years of age are the wealthiest quintile in the country and will see the largest benefit. They vote more than kids do… And besides, they deserve it — what with ending the Vietnam War and all.

But the young will not be forgotten by our friendly government, there to help the men and women of tomorrow.

The program will "allow" young people up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance plans. That’s fantastic, because we all know how dads love to prolong adolescence for as long as possible. With any luck, Junior will be living in the basement well into his 30s.

Obama Sticks It to the Insurance Companies

The best part of Obamacare is that the President stuck it to the evil insurance companies and other health care outfits that are bilking the people.

Obama got them, alright.

In fact he made everyone buy their product. You can see how Wall Street hates it:


Meet The Department of Health and Human Services

I once spent seven hours in the basement of the Indian embassy in Washington, D.C., hoping to get a travel visa.

I remember my number to this day: 259. All day I stared at the big, red, digital counter tick slowly upward through the double digits.

Then, about a half an hour before the office closed, all of the bureaucrats came scurrying out of their holes to attend to everyone’s business so they could go home.

Think about that…

And now add to that dismal picture the fun of sick children and meth-heads with tuberculosis. I hope they have plastic plants and pictures of "healthy" people on the walls. I’m sure they will have anti-drug pamphlets for your reading pleasure.

The government will be running a health care exchange under the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the Christian Science Monitor:

The health care reform bill calls for each state to set up an ‘exchange,’ or marketplace, where people not covered through their employers would shop for health insurance at competitive rates. They would be the umpire making calls as to who would and would not get subsidies. The bill would set up a process for appealing HHS decisions.

In the end, they will take on the form of the Department of Motor Vehicles. But instead of some ignorant drone spewing incomprehensible government jargon as to why you can’t have the joy of paying $75 for your new sticker… You’ll be treated to the same nonsensical spin as to why you have to wait six months for an MRI.

And this will happen. Unless you work for the government, you should expect not to be covered by your employer — just as you no longer get a pension, but a 401k.

The Government Will Take Care of You

The number one reason that the health care bill is awesome is that the government in concert with the insurance companies will help ensure that you don’t hurt yourself. This will be done with altruism in mind — not with an eye on the bottom line.

Take for example, that bold, stiff-upper-lip country called the United Kingdom. You may know it as the victor of Agincourt, Trafalgar, or the Battle of Britain.

In England, the government runs health care and has a bureaucracy called Health and Safety Agency, similar to OSHA in the United States. It regulates every aspect of human life.

And it leads to these types of headlines:

Firemen who are used to climbing 300ft ladders have been ordered not to climb up small step ladders due to health and safety concerns. The Daily Mail

A British council said the Union Jack will no longer fly over its town hall due to safety concerns about the 8-foot ladder used to hoist the flag. — United Press International

Crumbs: Half of Britons injured by their biscuits on coffee break. — The BBC warns Britons to take caution when eating cookies.

Britain banned glass pint glasses at pubs to reduce injuries from broken glass… They carpeted dance floors at convalescent homes; replaced ties for private school uniforms with clip-ons; outlawed coffee in libraries for fear the hot drinks might spill on and burn children; banned a public pancake race at a festival that dates back to medieval times…

And on and on…

Many gentlemen in England now hold their manhood cheaply in the name of safety.

We Can Afford It… Heck, We’re Rich!

I’ve seen many figures recently suggesting we are in similar straits as Greece or Portugal, nations that recently had their debt ratings lowered, their stock markets crushed, and their workers on the streets throwing bottles and burning cars.

Head of the Dallas Fed, Richard Fisher, recently said he was worried about "the very deep hole [our political leaders] have dug in incurring unfunded liabilities of retirement and health-care obligations" that "we at the Dallas Fed believe total over $99 trillion."

Obamacare is supposed to be paid for by a half-a-trillion-dollar cut in Medicare, and a tax on rich people making more than $200,000 a year that will bring in another half a trillion.

But this, my friends, is a pipe dream.

The cut in Medicare won’t happen because it is political suicide. The Republicans are already fighting it.

And the tax on the rich won’t be adjusted for inflation. So, in a few years — when the new health care kicks in — the average worker will not only pay the last "rich guy tax" (the AMT), but he’ll be shelling out for this year’s "rich guy tax" on health care.

Meanwhile, back at the Dallas Fed, Mr. Fisher is worried about the U.S. fiscal picture:

Throughout history, what the political class has done is they have turned to the central bank to print their way out of an unfunded liability. We can’t let that happen. That’s when you open the floodgates. So I hope and I pray that our political leaders will just have to take this bull by the horns at some point. You can’t run away from it.

They are running away from it. They will continue to do so.

In the end, Obamacare will deliver more debt, less competition, more bureaucrats, less service, higher insurance bills, and an ever-climbing burden on the middle class.

After inflation, the new "rich" middle class will pay for the slackers — including their own offspring — who won’t be able to afford insurance because of ever-climbing college tuition bills and massive unemployment.

The rich will fly to Costa Rica or India to get top-notch resort health care from former Johns Hopkins doctors who simply return home for more pay and less stress…

The young will pay the $450 fine to opt out, and then call an insurance company on the way to the hospital’s using the "no preexisting conditions" exclusive hotline…

The working class will see its coverage cut entirely by their employers and spend countless hours with their sick, crying children, waiting in HHS offices for some type of certificate…

But at least we know that the politicians, bureaucrats, and associated nabobs will have the same problems as we peons. They will have the same coverage.

No. Wait a second. The politicians have doctors on staff…

According to the St. Petersburg Times, "Members of Congress have their own pharmacy, right in the Capitol. They also have a team of doctors, technicians and nurses standing by in case someone’s appendix bursts in a filibuster. They can get a physical exam, an X-ray or an electrocardiogram, without leaving work."  Well, they are important.

This new entitlement is one more straw on the camel’s back. Inflation will show up; the dollar will fall. 

The day when a treasury auction fails and Moody’s gets around to dropping our AAA status is not far from now.

One way to protect yourself is to buy gold. I’ve found one company that is under $3 and owns property right next to the largest gold mine on earth. It’s in a country that has a 10% income tax and is the fastest growing economy on earth.

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Christian DeHaemer

Editor, Wealth Daily
Editor and Founder, Crisis & Opportunity