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Feeding at the ObamaCare Trough


Tucked into one of the flabby folds of ObamaCare’s muffin top was a program called the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, which provides juicy million-dollar bailouts for corporations and labor unions to subsidize health insurance for early retirees.  The program has already dished out over $2 billion, and will likely go bankrupt long before its projected end date in 2014, since it has approved over five thousand entities as recipients.

Naturally, some of the biggest bailouts went to public employee unions, which have enormous retirement programs.  Today Matthew Boyle of the Daily Caller noticed that two of the big winners in this taxpayer-funded lottery are media organizations: the Washington Post Company got $573,217, while CBS Corporation pulled in $722,388 of your money.  I hope Katie Couric knows the funding is there, if she wants to opt for early retirement!

Boyle wondered if these organizations might have trouble impartially covering a program that pays them such huge subsidies, and got an amusing response from Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “It is fine with me if they continue covering the ObamaCare debate.  When NBC used to cover energy issues, they identified themselves as a subsidiary of General Electric.  CBS and Washington Post just have to disclose that they are subsidiaries of the Obama Administration.”

Of course they’re not going to do that, but Blackburn’s suggestion is interesting when viewed in contrast to the verbal artillery Democrats have trained on Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal.  Supposedly the nefarious purpose behind Ryan’s plan is to let the Evil Rich and Super Evil Oil Companies enjoy outrageous tax cuts, for which service they will reward Ryan and the Republicans with campaign donations, plus maybe free oil and other petroleum-based products, such as complimentary plastic bobblehead dolls of themselves.

Why shouldn’t we be even more insistent on knowing who benefits from Big Government programs like ObamaCare – especially since they’re bankrupting us?  Socialist rhetoric assumes that all money is the rightful property of the State, so allowing wealthy people to keep their own money is described as “giving” them some sort of gift.  Well, ObamaCare is very literally giving expensive gifts to a favored few.  There’s no weird totalitarian logic required to understand that these gifts are being very literally financed out of your pocket. 

Wealth is being redistributed to those who receive bailouts from the Obama slush fund, and taken from those who do not enjoy such subsidies.  The recipients are well-connected corporations and unions with huge amounts of money.  Another big beneficiary was AT&T, which is on the verge of buying up T-Mobile and becoming the Godzilla of cell phone companies.  The deal is worth $39 billion, and will coincidentally force T-Mobile’s employees into a union they have always rejected, when they had a choice.  These guys need a bailout financed by middle-class taxpayers?

The losers in this equation are low-income taxpayers who don’t have the option of taking early retirement with government-subsidized benefits.  Why shouldn’t we follow Marsha Blackburn’s sarcastic advice, and assume that everyone who reaps the rewards of Big Government acts in bad faith, the same way Democrats assume all of its critics do?  And if no one can have an honest opinion about these programs, isn’t that a strong argument for doing away with their corrupting influence?


Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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