Columnist Charles Krauthammer attacked new Obamacare rules unveiled by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a late Thursday conference call, saying the Obama administration is “approach[ing] banana republic lawlessness” by issuing the decrees.
Krauthammer spoke with Fox News’ Bret Baier on a panel with Juan Williams and Judge Andrew Napolitano, as the three reacted to Sebelius’ new directives for insurance companies.
“This is exactly a reaction to a deep understanding among Democrats that [Obamacare] is a train wreck,” he said. “And it’s a panic reaction. As the judge said, this is utterly lawless. This now approaches banana republic lawlessness. The only difference is that here, when you get presidential decrees, it’s done on a conference call instead of from the balcony of the presidential mansion. That’s the only difference, and nobody sings — Evita isn’t at his side.”
“Look,” Krauthammer continued, “what’s happening is the administration understands that by wrecking the previous system, by kicking millions of people off of their plans — presumably because, as Jay Carney had said, they’re lemon plans, inadequate stuff, substandard — that you’re gonna have people out there in January that are uncovered. And now they’re ordering, or ‘strongly encouraging’ — if the government ‘strongly encourages’ you that’s a spur to action, that’s the equivalent of law — they’re strongly encouraging insurers to actually pay the expenses of people who aren’t insured! Aren’t enrolled!”
Juan Williams ensured viewers all was well. “Good news!” he exclaimed. “I mean, it’s good news. You have more time to sign up to pay the premiums, and you’re also being ensured that your coverage will be in place on January 1st.” He later claimed the new rules were “an effort to try to smooth out this transition.” Krauthammer pushed back.
KRAUTHAMMER: When you say ‘smooth out’ you make it sound like a wrinkle. This isn’t a wrinkle, this is a train wreck. This is thousands of people showing up in January who have no idea if they are covered with that doctor, no idea if they’re insured. The insurance companies aren’t going to know if these guys are insured. And imagine what a doctor does. Somebody who walks in off the street and says “I’m insured,” waves a card, or says he has something. They have no record at all. Imagine the chaos it’s going to cause —
WILLIAMS: That’s potentially true.
KRAUTHAMMER: What this is is a panicked response invented out of thin air without any color of law. And that in and of itself should worry you!
WILLIAMS: But it’s not a major — it doesn’t undermine the entire program. It affects a small slice of the people who are eligible for this coverage.
NAPOLITANO: Five and a half million lost their policies.