The American Spectator: What Lies Beneath
The economic report released last week by Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack Obama’s health care “reform” law would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS sources, who added that Sebelius’s staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken.
“The reason we were given was that they did not want to influence the vote,” says an HHS source. “Which is actually the point of having a review like this, you would think.”
The analysis, performed by Medicare’s Office of the Actuary, which in the past has been identified as a “nonpolitical” office, set off alarm bells when submitted. “We know a copy was sent to the White House via their legislative affairs staff,” says the HHS staffer, “and there were a number of meetings here almost right after the analysis was submitted to the secretary’s office. Everyone went into lockdown, and people here were too scared to go public with the report.”
In the end, the report was released several weeks after the vote — the review by the secretary’s office reportedly took less than three days — and bore a note that the analysis was not the official position of the Obama administration.
Let’s play make-believe for a moment or two. Close your eyes for a moment and think of a dozen people you know. They could be family, they could be friends, they could be scantily-clad men and women from the cast of Dancing With The Stars. It doesn’t matter. Close your eyes and picture them in your mind. Picture them sitting with you at a long, long boardroom table.
You and your friends are directors and officers of ABC Widget Co. You sell widgets. Your company, unfortunately, is having some difficulty because of the economic downturn and maybe, for sake of argument, because of increased government involvement in the form of widget production regulations. In other words, you’re struggling. And while you might honestly believe that the long-term outlook for ABC Widget is good–you believe that you make a superior product, even though sales and public opinion should tell you otherwise–right now the company looks as though it could be in danger of folding. Earnings are off. Expenses are too high. “Merely afloat” is something that you can only aspire to.
In desperate search of investors, you and your twelve scantily-clad friends decide that the numbers can be fudged enough to portray ABC Widget as being in better financial condition than it really is. And so you send out financial statements misrepresenting some facts and omitting others. Many investors bite, and purchase shares in ABC Widget in reliance upon those misrepresentations. Victory is yours. Pour the good scotch.
Congratulations — you just committed securities fraud. You knowingly misrepresented and omitted material facts regarding the true financial condition of your organization in an attempt to woo investors and convince them to part with their money.
How, may I ask, are the actions of this administration really any different?