Obamacare is just the tip of the iceberg

It represents a small piece of government's burdensome regulations

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The personal information you give to Healthcare.gov “is protected by stringent security standards,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

Not so.

“Software experts tell CBS News they have identified multiple security issues,” Jan Crawford reported Nov. 5. “We gave one technology expert the real HealthCare.gov user name of a CBS employee. Within seconds, he identified the specific security question she selected to reset her password.”

“Four days before the launch the government … granted itself a waiver to launch the website,” said CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson. “The final required top-to-bottom security tests never got done.”

The top operations officer for the Obamacare websites told the House Oversight Committee that he was never given a Sept. 3 memo that detailed six security problems which pose “limitless” risk.

The administration is spending $67 million to hire thousands of “navigators” to help people sort through the Obamacare maze. Some could be convicted felons, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted.

“HHS decided to build political support for the Affordable Care Act by pouring money into supportive organizations so they could launch poorly trained workers into their communities without obtaining criminal background checks or creating systems for monitoring their activities,” said former Social Security commissioner Michael Astrue. “It will not take long for navigators to become predators, and HHS has no plan to deal with the new breed of predators it is creating.”

“Navigators” in Texas were caught by guerilla videographer James O’Keefe advising clients to lie to obtain subsidies. Fraudsters and scam artists take advantage of the frequent crashes of Obamacare websites. “If an insurance shopping website is usable, it’s not the federal government’s,” the Wall Street Journal warned.

There is no greater consumer fraud than Obamacare itself, which I suppose is why Ms. Sebelius wants to exempt it from laws which fight fraud in Medicare.

We need government to protect us from avaricious businessmen, liberals say.

Private companies “can’t get away with inflicting something as poorly conceived and non-functional as the Affordable Care Act on their customers without facing bankruptcy and lawsuits,” responds computer geek turned pundit John Hayward. “If Barack Obama were a private-sector CEO, the only remaining question would be whether angry customers or angry stockholders got him into court first.”

No private corporation can fine Americans for refusing to buy a shoddy product. What Americans need protection from is overbearing, deceitful, avaricious government.

The kindest explanation for the Obamacare fiasco is galactic incompetence. Secretary Sebelius had longer to build Healthcare.gov than it took to for the United States to fight World War II and spent nearly $400 million to build it. Yet it’s such a mess, computer experts say we should junk it and start over.

“This is just a disaster,” said former insurance executive Robert Laszewski. “Al-Qaida couldn’t have run this worse than the Obama Administration has run Healthcare.gov.”

An apt analogy, because thanks to yet another “glitch,” anyone anywhere in the world can enroll in Medicaid for 90 days by entering fraudulent information, according to PJMedia.

Yet those who are (at best) galactically incompetent assert the right to tell us what kind of health insurance we must buy.

Obamacare is the tip of an enormous iceberg. Federal regulations have grown like kudzu. They strangle our economy and choke our liberty.

The Code of Federal Regulations expanded from 19,335 pages in 1949 to 134,261 by 2005. The additional regulations reduced economic growth by about two percentage points a year, economists John Dawson and John Seater calculated in a paper in June. If regulations had remained at the 1949 level, the gross domestic product in 2011 would have been more than three times larger, they estimate. Median household income would have been about $330,000 instead of $53,000.

Since 2005, more than twice as many pages have been added to the CFR as there were in toto in 1949.

If all the regulations added during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama were repealed, it’s possible that our rate of economic growth could more than double and the unemployment rate be cut in half.

Jack Kelly is a columnist for the Post-Gazette (jkelly@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1476).

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