The Obamacare Inquisitions: A Brief, Brutish History

Health and Human Services Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius is

just the latest creepy keeper of the Obamacare enemies
list.
The White House has been keeping tabs on
individual and corporate critics of the federal health
care takeover for more than a year. It started with the
health czar`s Internet Snitch Brigade. Remember?

Last August, the White House Office
of Health Reform called on its ground troops to report
on fellow citizens who talked smack about the Democratic
plan. Team Obama issued an all-points bulletin on the

taxpayer-funded White House website
soliciting
informant e-mails:

"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out
there, spanning from control of personal finances to end
of life care. These rumors often travel just below the
surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.
Since we can`t keep track of all of them here at the
White House, we`re asking for your help. If you get an
email or see something on the web about health insurance
reform that seems fishy, send it to



flag@whitehouse.gov
."

Then-health czar office spokeswoman

Linda Douglass a
ppeared in an accompanying video
singling out conservative Internet powerhouse Matt
Drudge. Why? Because his website featured a video
compilation of Obama and other Democrats—in their own
words—exposing the
"public option"
as a Trojan Horse for government-run health care and the
elimination of private industry.

The Obama dog whistle rang out loud
and clear: Report online dissidents immediately.

Calling on the White House to cease
and desist, GOP Sen. John Cornyn
pointed out
that "these
actions taken by your White House staff raise the
specter of a data collection program. … I can only
imagine the level of justifiable outrage had


your predecessor
asked
Americans to forward e-mails critical of his policies to
the White House."
The flagging operation was shut
down, but a plethora of federal disclosure exemptions
protect the Obama administration from revealing what was
collected, who was targeted and what was done with the
"fishy" database information.

In February, the White House
coordinated a demonization campaign against

Anthem Blue Cross
in California for raising rates.
Obama singled out the company in a
"60 Minutes"
interview, and Sebelius

sent a nasty-gram demanding that Anthem
"justify"

its rate hikes to the federal government. A private
company trying to survive in the marketplace was forced
to "explain"
itself to federal bureaucrats and career politicians who
have never run a business (successful or otherwise) in
their lives. Sebelius went even further. She called on
Anthem to provide public disclosure on how the rate
increases would be spent—a mandate that no other private
companies must follow.

We already have a federal pay czar
requiring companies to justify their pay raises and
claiming authority to claw back bonuses already paid.
Will the White House next demand that other
businesses—not just health insurers—justify price
increases deemed unreasonable, excessive or
"extraordinary"?

On Capitol Hill, Democratic chief
inquisitor Henry Waxman trained his sights on executives
from Deere, Caterpillar, Verizon and AT&T in a
brass-knuckled effort to silence companies speaking out
about the cost implications and financial burdens of
Obamacare. He scheduled an April 21 show trial of
corporate heads who dutifully reported writedowns
related to the Obamacare mandates. Obama Commerce
Secretary Gary Locke joined in on the witch-hunt,
pummeling the companies on the White House blog and TV
airwaves for their
"premature"
and
"irresponsible"
disclosures.

After the Democrats`

own congressional staff pointed out
that the
companies

"acted properly and in accordance with accounting standards"
in

submitting filings that were required by law,
Waxman
called off the hounds. But it was a temporary reprieve.
Sebelius` threat last week against individual market
health insurers who raise rates to cope with new federal
coverage mandates will be far from this desperate
administration`s last.

As health costs skyrocket, doctors
abandon the profession, hospitals lay off workers and
private insurers shut down, the only way to quell the
Obamacare backlash will be through an even more thuggish
campaign to demonize, marginalize and silence nationwide
dissent.

COPYRIGHT

CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC
.


Michelle Malkin


[
email
her
]
is the author of



Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our
Shores
.
Click



here

for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click




here

for Michelle Malkin`s website. Michelle Malkin
is also author of





Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild

and the just-released
Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies.