Has Congress rescinded the Obamacare yet? No?
Bad news if you favor free-market medicine. Nifty news if you’re a doddering corporate dinosaur of old media — like the Washington Post and CBS New and NBC News — with millions, or billions, in the kitty. And zero compunction about holding out a tin cup for funds extracted from taxpayers.
The Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon alerts us to the emergency resuscitation these institutions are receiving from Obamacare’s “Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.” The Post got $570,000 in extracted-from-taxpayers payoffs (some critics call ERRP a “slush fund”); CBS got $720,000; and General Electric, one of the owners of NBC Universal, got $37 million. Verizon, AT&T and sundry labor unions are also snatching up the subsidies.
There’s $5 billion allotted to this Obamacare slush fund for early retirees, which is not supposed to run out until 2014. But almost $2 billion have been distributed to corporations already. (To be fair, everybody knows that early projections of the long-run costs of wondrous new government programs tend to be conservative, understated, modest, even bashful.)
Cannon and others argue that when reporting on Obamacare, journalists at such outfits should disclose that their employers have received the massive subsidies. Let viewers know about the bribes so that they can better evaluate the pro-interventionist spin typical in these venues.
Fine. But I have an even better suggestion for the wealthy corporate mendicants: Don’t take the cash to begin with.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.