I saw this commercial a couple of times in the past two days. I searched for it on YouTube, but I could only find the radio version of it. Regardless of its medium, it irritates the heck out of me because it reinforces all the negative things about Obamacare that first drove people to their town halls in 2009 . It’s big, complicated and confusing and that’s admitted by the tax professional used in H & R’s commercial. The bill was so long that neither the Congressmen who voted for it nor the Justices who ruled on it bothered to read it. The agency charged with overseeing its implementation, Health and Human Services Department, really has no idea how to go about it as it issues one contradictory rule after another. These people are now in charge of 15% of the economy. Brilliant.
The ad continues with the tax professional stating that by the time you’re done with her, you’ll know “your eligibility, your potential monthly costs for health insurance and your potential tax penalty if you opt out…” The latter point instantly reminds me of the individual mandate, that odious linchpin keeping this entire law together. And finally, the very first line of the ad, “People don’t realize that taxes and healthcare are connected,” stings the most because we have Chief Justice John Roberts to thank for that. The Obama administration and its surrogates protested mightily and repeatedly that the individual mandate wasn’t a tax and maintained that line even after the Court made its ruling. And yet, Congress’ authority to tax was the peg the majority hung its hat on for the law to pass constitutional muster.
This entire ad begs the question, “What kind of law is this where the average person who is expected to abide by it requires a third-party to help him interpret it?” A bad law. Ushered through by a corrupt process. Not that H & R Block minds. They love it because it means more customers for them. Which further reveals another aggravating point: So many entities made out like bandits on this law and the people who didn’t are the ones this bill was seemingly supposed to help. Be it the large insurance companies benefiting from the individual mandate provision or the politically connected businesses granted waivers from their Congressmen, the entire law is covered in a thick layer of crony capitalism. Don’t say we weren’t warned though.
All this grief from a simple one minute commercial. I actually think this ad does more harm for Obamacare than some realize which is why I encourage its widespread viewing. Perhaps others will have the same reaction that I did: “Man, I’m really getting hosed on this law, aren’t I?” The fact is, Obamacare was ruled constitutional and it is now law. The odds of getting it repealed are as good as the Houston Astros making it back to the World Series. But it’s not entirely hopeless. Obamacare opponents should hope that this Administration, normally so eager to embrace Lincoln comparisons, inadvertently adheres to his warning: “The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.” By design, all the goodies in the bill were handed out first. Now we’re rapidly approaching payment date and mandate time. Strictly speaking, that’s going to burn.