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Obamacare: A Woman’s Choice

Photo courtesy of Mission Geneva/Flickr

Nancy Pelosi is one of the most powerful women in the world. She is also responsible for one of the most powerful examples of how ridiculous and thoughtless the legislative rush to pass Obamacare was.


That soundbite has caused many chuckles on the right, but the fact is that Pelosi was partially correct. We did have to pass Obamacare to find out what was in it. Obamacare is a constantly unfolding law with hundreds of sections left open to interpretation to another powerful woman: the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sibelius.

In his article for the American Spectator “The Empress of Obamacare” Joel Klein reveals how the Healthcare bill gave Sebelius the power to decide just how invasive one of the most dramatic bills of all time would be.

There are more than 2,500 references to the secretary of HHS in the health care law (in most cases she’s simply mentioned as “the Secretary”). A further breakdown finds that there are more than 700 instances in which the Secretary is instructed that she “shall” do something, and more than 200 cases in which she “may” take some form of regulatory action if she chooses. On 139 occasions, the law mentions decisions that the “Secretary determines.” At times, the frequency of these mentions reaches comic heights. For instance, one section of the law reads: “Each person to whom the Secretary provided information under subsection (d) shall report to the Secretary in such manner as the Secretary determines appropriate.”

You can witness the fallout and the backtracking one of her interpretations (regarding the definition of preventative care) created here.

We have only begun to see the debates that will ensue. There is much of obamacare left to be interpreted. Sadly, none of this is going to happen by our legislature where voters can hold their representatives responsible. Unless the Supreme Court steps in, the power and reach of Obamacare is in the hands of one woman. Sebelius gets to choose for us all.

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