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Court should scrap Affordable Care Act

The high court made the national health care law run the gauntlet last week. Under torture, the law displayed all the earmarks of other programs of President Obama's regime: weakness, deal making and, most of all, serial incompetence.

No one knows what the Supreme Court will do with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The justices could perform a historic service by putting it out of its misery.

In 2009, then House Rules Chairwoman Louise M. Slaughter suggested as much when she told CNN that the corrupted Senate version was almost worthless. Slaughter, D-Fairport, could pay a heavy price at the polls this fall for later attempting to twist House rules to pass that very bill.

The legislation offers disaster for New York. The expansion of Medicaid -- another unfunded mandate -- will cost the state's taxpayers at least $1 billion a year. The requirement for mandated health insurance is so messed up that unions in the state representing 100,000 employees asked for and received exemptions.

New York and California unions may be the largest recipients of waivers in the nation, according to data made available to me by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce. In New York, the powerful pro-Obama Service Employees International Union got most of the waivers doled out to labor.

In addition, SEIU workers in New York were among thousands who received cash settlements through the Early Retirees Reinsurance Program, a segment of Obamacare buried in the 2,700-page bill that hardly anyone read. The Obama regime, Stearns said, spent down in less than two years a $5 billion ERRP fund to support financially challenged pension funds. It was supposed to last four and a half years.

A monster bureaucracy created in the law to rule on mandate waivers has been up and running for almost two years. It's called the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. Under Obama, it has already shown a tinge of corruption by rewarding Obama's union friends with exemptions while turning down business organizations.

A supreme health industry court with no oversight, the center is like the black lung and workers' compensation appeals courts, where well-connected lawyers ply their trade of debauching good government. The center is a dream come true for lobbyists and political fund-raisers.

The shadowy deals that will be made deep in the corridors of this high tribunal for special interests -- like unions, insurance companies and corporations -- are unimaginable.

Obama held no special events to mark the second anniversary of his signature achievement. Three years ago, Obama walked away from a clean program when he promised the prescription drug industry, a major contributor, there would be no reforms on drug pricing or spending on advertising.

To maintain backing by the health insurance industry, Obama walked away from the public option, a small insurance provider that would monitor premiums and service.

Other than extending parents' coverage to offspring up to age 26 and protections for pre-existing conditions, the program looks like a lemon. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made only limited use so far of the law's power to intervene on premiums. Nonpartisan fiscal agencies predict Obamacare will cost almost double what was forecast when the bill passed the Senate and the House.

If the court knocks down the whole law, nothing on balance will really be lost. Then, perhaps an election will be held over the issue of a clean, universal health care program. It won't happen under Obama and these Republicans. But then, we've waited a century for it.

email: dturner@buffnews.com