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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

ObamaCare software is incompatible with American hardware

When you try to run software that’s incompatible with your hardware, this is what happens.  ObamaCare’s failure is spectacular, and not just the coast-to-coast sharknado of error messages, system crashes, pages not found, and unresponsive technical support.  The data processing problems will eventually be worked out; every computer problem can be solved, if you’re willing to spend enough time and money on the effort.  The commissars of ObamaCare aren’t spending their own money, and they couldn’t care less how long it takes to get things up and running, since they believe they have permanently and irrevocably altered America’s society, economy, and politics.

Maybe they should have put less money into propaganda slush funds for left-wing special interests, and hired some more IT guys… but they know they have an unlimited line of credit to handle all that infrastructure stuff later.  In fact, ObamaCare’s failure will be folded neatly into the relentless demand for more money from the American people.  Anyone who objects to borrowing more money from China to get the exchanges up and running will be portrayed as a heartless monster who just wants to let poor people die, a careless anarchist who’s ready to throw away all the time and money already poured into ObamaCare.  In a year, or six months, or whenever we hit the debt ceiling again, anyone who hesitates to raise it will be accused of trying to duck out on bills Congress has already incurred.  Then we’ll be told that anyone who really cared about the deficit would be eager to pay more in taxes to reduce it a bit.  Those foolish enough to buy that argument will not notice that the national debt just keeps piling up, no matter how much money we hand over to the big spenders.

ObamaCare’s incompatibility goes far beyond crashing web pages and mismatched data sets.  It’s a program that only exists because the legislative system was distorted to force it through.  No representative of any political party is fulfilling his or her sworn duty when voting on legislation full of blank spaces to be filled in later, numbers that don’t add up, and springboards for unlimited regulatory power, with thousands of issues to be settled at the discretion of bureaucrats.  Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s infamous demand to pass ObamaCare so we could “find out what’s in it” is the antithesis of representative government, a nearly perfect inversion of the way Congress is supposed to work.

The resulting monstrosity immediately began losing sizable portions of its complicated anatomy.  Unpopular and unworkable components rotted away.  The political support necessary to pass the Affordable Care Act, and keep it alive, was purchased with thousands of waivers and carve-outs, an offense to the American belief in equality under the law.  It’s not easy to remember another law that openly treated people with such rampant inequality, creating special privileged classes with dispensations and subsidies unavailable to the great body of our citizens.  Not even our famously twisted income tax code started that way.

Then we watched as President Obama asserted illegal powers to modify the Affordable Care Act for his own political advantage.  The normal process of legislative amendment was discarded without a thought, because ObamaCare could not have survived it.  Our political hardware was short-circuited to accommodate the alien software forced into it.  Nothing would kill the Affordable Care Act faster than insisting that everyone in Washington follow the letter of the law that was actually passed.  It would be gone within a day.

Even today, the entirely normal process of the House exercising its “power of the purse” is treated like some kind of insane outrage.  The House is supposed to decide how much money the government gets to play with.  They’ve even got a “Ways and Means” committee to figure out where the funding will come from.  The rest of the government should wisely deploy the resources We the People have chosen to provide.  It hasn’t worked that way in a long time, of course – now we have a government that makes demands, and the people submit, unless they can marshal enough coordinated effort at the ballot box to refuse.

ObamaCare is the final negation of the American system, a naked assertion of endless power.  Its defenders say it is unlike any other law in our history – it can never be defunded, delayed, or repealed.  The American people have no further say in the matter.  Our representative are not allowed to reconsider the wisdom of funding the program, no matter how badly it fails.  All that remains is for us to obey.  President Obama stops just short of using those exact words when he thunders that his program is a special “settled law of the land” that only he is permitted to violate.

Even though he’s never been shy about questioning and challenging the Supreme Court – especially on narrow votes – Obama claims his health-care law has received a special consecration.  Like Roe v. Wade - but unlike, say, Citizens United - the Roberts decision on ObamaCare  can never be changed or over-ruled.  Obama even invokes it as a reason to shut down debate over the Affordable Care Act, insinuating that no one can reasonably disagree with a program that has been ruled constitutional.  That assertion is utterly foreign to the American system – the judicial branch is not a super-legislature that can bend every other organ of the government to its will.  Plenty of bad laws have been held constitutional, and later struck down by Congress.

Beyond its uncomfortable fit with our system of government, ObamaCare is incompatible with the American spirit, and our belief in capitalist economic liberty.  The government should not be in the business of using tax/penalties to force people to buy something they don’t want.  Regimes of strict government control reduce competition, which we have long understood to be the most powerful force for improving quality and reducing price.  Choice is the fuel that drives competition, including the choice to buy nothing at all.  The pursuit of indifferent customers brings great efficiency and resourcefulness to industry.

There should be very few times a law-abiding citizen feels the lash of government power, especially inescapable federal power… but ObamaCare makes it a daily occurrence in all of our lives.  Its perverse incentives make it cheaper to deprive many people of health insurance, even when that means paying a penalty.  A large number of those so deprived were quite happy with the insurance plans they’re losing.  They have been punished, but they committed no crime.

President Obama still clings grimly to corrupted capitalist language to excuse his program’s failures.  Today he once again compared ObamaCare’s glitch-tastic launch to the rollout of a new iPhone.  There are many reasons that comparison is absurd, starting with the amount of time and money ObamaCare’s designers were given to make its launch as smooth as possible… and ending with the crucial fact that buying an iPhone is voluntary.  If the rollout is a disaster, you can save your money until Apple gets it right… or you can write them off and buy a Droid instead.  It’s nothing short of obscene for Barack Obama to compare a law with thousands of pages, which gave birth to tens of thousands of regulations, enforced by a phalanx of IRS agents, and implemented with trillions of confiscated dollars to a free-market product.  Many of the problems with ObamaCare can be traced to its creators’ confidence that “customers” cannot walk away… or even vote themselves out of this mess.

If America were a computer system, it would have rejected ObamaCare’s code on Day One.  It simply is not a system designed to be compatible with this nation.  Its designers know that.  “Transformation” is a high priority for them.  Of course, they had to keep the details of this transformation secret until now; the difference between ObamaCare’s promises, and its reality, are staggering.  We’ve degenerated to the point where no one really expects the government to be honest with its citizens any more.  We’re even letting politicians get away with referring to the current fiscal crisis as a “budget” showdown, when it’s nothing of the sort.  There hasn’t been a “budget” for over four years.  The government is not expected to carefully allocate funds provided grudgingly by citizens jealous of their liberty, or be honest about its agenda.  It spends money like mad, racks up monstrous levels of debt, and then chastises us for being reluctant to cover its bills.  As long as a few reliable people like what Washington does, and the people who pay for it don’t get too angry, it’s all good.

The resulting system will eventually be able to run some version of ObamaCare, but it will bear only a vague resemblance to the America that was, and it won’t run for long.

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