In this week's Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare…
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Notable Quote: WSJ on H.R. 3, Biden & Pelosi's Dangerous Healthcare Bill

In this week's Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare and drug price control bill that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are attempting to rush through Congress.  The Wall Street Journal helpfully offers further insight this morning on how H.R. 3 would threaten lifesaving U.S. pharmaceutical innovation and leadership, including on things like the Covid vaccines:

Companies that refuse the government’s price must pay a 95% excise tax on all revenue they generate from that drug in the U.S.  They’d also have to offer the government price to private insurers.  There’s no “negotiation” when a gun is pointed at your head.  A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that drug spending in the U.S. would…[more]

September 23, 2021 • 10:23 AM

Liberty Update

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Obama’s Rhetorical Skill Now His Biggest Liability Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, November 14 2013
Obama chose short-term gain even though the logical consequences were a long-term erosion of his credibility and a break in the bond he previously held with the American people.

There’s a deep, lusty irony to Barack Obama being undone by his own inability to keep quiet. After all, the President owes his ascension to the White House almost entirely to an oratorical ability that was regarded as near-magical back in 2008. Today, “near-fatal” might be a better characterization.

A funny thing happens to presidents with the passage of time. No matter their initial appeal, they virtually always wear out their welcome. If anything, Obama has likely accelerated that process via his ubiquity. You can’t augment the media saturation typical of any presidency with appearances on The Daily Show, The View and ESPN and expect the public not to get sick of you.

Fatigue, however, now seems to be morphing into contempt—and the culprit here is also presidential loquaciousness. Back during the days when Obama was manning the hustings to sell ObamaCare to an increasingly skeptical public, he repeatedly promised, “If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance,” often dramatizing the point by exclaiming “period!” at the end of the sentence. We all know how that’s playing out.

Over the past few weeks, the dramatic spike in insurance cancellations throughout the country have made it explicit that this earlier promise was a lie. In California alone, for example, over 1 million insurance policies have been terminated thanks to ObamaCare.

Because the law mandates an expansive package of benefits that must be present in even the most basic plans—a package that includes, among other features, maternity care, mental health services and substance abuse treatment—existing plans that don’t include those benefits have to be canceled … and the ones that replace them are inevitably more expensive.

Why make such a promise when it was inevitable that it would be broken?

As a matter of amoral, Machiavellian strategy, there’s a very good reason that Obama did this: Much as most people disapprove of Congress as a whole but keep voting for their Congressman, the majority of people are critical of the health care system but are reasonably happy with their own coverage. Thus, the President had to sell the public on an implausible notion: that he could overhaul 1/6 of the nation’s economy without materially changing any of their individual health care arrangements. In this conception, health care reform would be like the trick where a magician yanks the tablecloth off a table but leaves all the silverware in place. Don’t look now, but Obama has spilled cutlery all over the floor.

The avalanche of cancellations may well represent an inflection point for this administration. The point at which a famous presidential phrase becomes a national punch line is usually the point at which he loses the loyalty of the country. Think of Nixon with “I’m not a crook”; Bush 41 with “Read my lips: no new taxes;” Bill Clinton with his denials of sexual dalliances with Monica Lewinsky, George W. Bush with his claims about weapons of mass destruction. “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it” is about to enter that pantheon.

It’s no surprise that rollout of ObamaCare proved to be a stumbling block for the president. This was, after all, essentially a business exercise — create a new product, market it to the public, build an e-commerce platform. Government is not generally competent at such tasks anyway, especially on this scale. How could it be expected to be any better when Obama — a man who regards the private sector as an unconfirmed rumor — was at the wheel?

The president could have spared himself much of this grief had he simply exercised a little more discretion up front. Had he been more honest with the public about the dislocations that would result from ObamaCare, he would certainly have had a tougher time selling it to the public … but the cost of that hardship pales in comparison to the cost of the voters believing that their president knowingly lied to them for his own political advantage.

Obama chose short-term gain even though the logical consequences were a long-term erosion of his credibility and a break in the bond he previously held with the American people. Had he kept expectations measured—had he possessed the courage to be honest with the American people—he wouldn’t be in the trouble he’s in today. Instead, the American people’s judgment about the president, ObamaCare and liberalism in general all are beginning to point to the same conclusion: that they consistently over-promise and under-deliver. In the end, that may lead to this moment, once supposed to represent the liberal apotheosis, serving instead as the inception of a crisis for progressivism.

Quiz Question   
What is the single deadliest disease epidemic to the U.S. population in history?
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Notable Quote   
 
"According to the left-of-center Tax Policy Center, Biden's tax plan will raise taxes on 75% of middle-class families next year and 95% of families over the long term. Biden's policies are already slowing the economy. In August, the U.S. added just 235,000 jobs, a far cry from estimates that 720,000 jobs would be created. The economy has over 600,000 fewer jobs than the Biden administration boasted…[more]
 
 
—Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform
— Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform
 
Liberty Poll   

Pres. Biden is seeking IRS authority to monitor every American financial transaction exceeding $600. Is there any legitimate government reason you can think of for such micro-monitoring of individual financial transactions?