OP-ED in CT News Junkie| Corporate Cronyism: Yet Another Problem With Obamacare
by JR Romano
In 2013, the road to riches got much easier: just get friendly with the Obama administration and wait for the shower of taxpayer dollars to befall you.
That’s the lesson we can take from the President Obama’s controversial health care law—Obamacare—under which many of the president’s health care industry supporters and allies stand to make huge fortunes. It’s the latest evidence that in addition to being incredibly poor public policy, Obamacare is a leading example of government cronyism at its worst.
Since it was passed into law in 2010, Obamacare has never been popular, despite the administration’s repeated claims that it would grow more beloved as Americans learned more about the law.
But as people have learned more about Obamacare, the less they’ve liked it. A July poll by CBS News found that 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s health care initiative, and fully 39 percent want the law repealed.
So faced with an unpopular law that won’t work as originally advertised, what can the Obama administration do? Launch a massive campaign to drown out the skeptics.
One front in that marketing campaign is led by Enroll America. The name may sound innocuous enough but the organization is anything but. Shrouded behind their nonpartisan 501(C)(3) charity status is a group of special interests all set to benefit from the implementation of Obamacare… tasked with enrolling more people into Obamacare. The organization’s board of directors and advisory council is a who’s who of Obama financial supporters, labor unions and liberal special interest groups.
A quick glance at Enroll America’s board of directors reveals that the organization’s support includes big insurance and pharmaceutical players, like Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente and Teva Pharmaceuticals. You can probably guess why these big corporate players would support the president’s health care plan—because as health care service providers, they stand to enjoy a financial windfall thanks to Obamacare’s mandates and subsidies.
As Politico reported earlier this year, Enroll America is working with the president’s campaign team, now dubbed Organizing for America, to “unleash the same grass-roots mobilization and sophisticated micro-targeting tactics seen in the 2012 campaign.”
It’s a cozy deal for the insurance giants, pharmaceutical companies and other health industry players, who will benefit from what is essentially free advertising for their products, coupled with a mandate that you have to buy those products.
Meanwhile, it was revealed this spring that President Obama’s Secretary for Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, had been making fundraising calls to health care organizations to “encourage” them to provide financial support to Enroll America.
If you think it’s unseemly for a sitting cabinet secretary to call on industries her department regulates to shake them down for donations to a private organization, you’re not alone. A congressional investigation is underway to determine the appropriateness of Sebelius’s fundraising push.
It all paints a devastatingly ugly picture of the truth behind Obamacare: an unholy alliance of government agencies and corporate heavy-hitters working together to foist on the American people a government takeover of the U.S. health care system. And while they’re at it, they’ll be enjoying a big payday, which of course will provide more money to make campaign donations.
It’s a textbook example of government-corporate cronyism at work—all aimed at selling Americans on a health care law they never wanted in the first place.
JR Roman is the state director of Americans for Prosperity in Connecticut