Black Friday marks the official start of Christmas shopping season. Unfortunately, there's always that one present under the tree you wish you hadn't received. The ugly sweater from Aunt Bertha that itches or the gym membership implying that Santa thinks you're fat (talk about the pot calling the kettle black). And then, under every American's tree this year, is the gift that keeps on giving, from the taker who keeps on taking: The President's present of Obamacare.
On the first day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: Higher medical costs. The biggest reason for the rise in the price of modern health care is the cost of modern medicine, including medical devices like MRI machines that can cost over a million dollars. Obamacare, in its infinite wisdom, puts a special tax on medical devices. It's a cost that will undoubtedly be passed on to the consumer. Thanks, Obama!
On the second day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: A more powerful Internal Revenue Service. Everyone's favorite government workers are the tax collectors – as popular now as they were in Biblical times – and so we can be grateful this Christmas that Obama put them in charge of much of Obamacare. My fellow conservatives can sleep easy knowing that the IRS has at least never played politics with its power.
On the third day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: Less take-home pay. Maybe you live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe paying your bills depends on every hour's wage and every tip from every customer at your diner. Well, get ready to see your hours cut when the employer mandate goes into effect, because Obamacare makes employers buy expensive health insurance for employees who work more than 30 hours per week. When your boss schedules you for 29 hours of work, thank a Democrat.
On the fourth day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: a pink slip. Obamacare makes employers buy workers' insurance when they employ 50 or more people. If you're worker #49, congratulations: You still have a job. If you're worker #50, good luck on the job market.
On the fifth day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: Less religious freedom. The First Amendment guarantees us the "free exercise" of religion. For over two hundred years, that has more or less meant freedom from a bureaucrat making you violate your religious principles, but next year, the Supreme Court will decide whether Obamacare can make employers pay for birth control their religion forbids. There's a chance the Supreme Court will protect Americans from this violation of religious freedom – but don't bet the farm on it. The Court's track record on Obamacare isn't anything to celebrate.
On the sixth day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: Unfair and illegal regulations. The law Congress passed included an employer mandate and an individual mandate, but Kathleen Sebelius decided not to enforce the employer mandate until 2015. Does Congress's law give her the power to grant employers an extension that individuals don't have the luxury of receiving? No. Does she care what the law says? Apparently not.
On the seventh day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: Higher taxes. Obamacare includes 20 new tax hikes for a total of $500 billion over ten years.
On the eighth day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: Higher spending. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services estimate that Obamacare will cause health care spending to increase by $621 billion over ten years.
On the ninth day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: A cancelled health plan. Obama said, "If you like your plan, you can keep it." That's true – if you ignore the millions of Americans who have lost their health insurance plan because it doesn't comply with Dr. Obama's checklist of requirements you didn't know you needed – like maternity coverage for a couple in their 50s.
On the tenth day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: Higher premiums. According to a study by the Heritage Foundation, average rate increases for red states are rising by 78 percent. For the blue states that voted for Obama, the increases are hovering around 50 percent. I suppose that when it comes to having our insurance premiums skyrocket, Obama really has brought Democrats and Republicans together.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: An unprotected website. Virtually every expert says the Obamacare won't keep your private information away from hackers and thieves. Of course, that's not a problem until you find a way to log onto the website, which brings us to…
On the twelfth day of Christmas, Obama gave to me: A website that doesn't work. In a typical model of government efficiency, Kathleen Sebelius had three and a half years to build a website not much different from Orbitz, and she delivered the technological equivalent of a rusted-out '82 Pinto. Then, Team Obamacare told us we could call a hotline, which only directs us back to the website. If by some Christmas miracle you manage to select an insurance plan, you'll likely learn that the payment processing portion of the website still isn't built. .
Americans are heading into the Christmas season (which, with the most insincere of apologies to my friends at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, I'm not calling the "holiday" season) with no idea what their economic future holds thanks to Obamacare. Will they have insurance? How much will it cost? When will they be able to buy it on a website that works? For many Americans, Christmas is a stressful time. And for many of them, thanks to Obamacare's twelve presents, it's going to be worse than ever.
In fact, as my friend Rusty Humphries told the Tea Party House Caucus last week, Obamacare to most Americans is like The Glitch Who Stole Christmas.