The federal government may have been shuttered for a few weeks, but that sure didn’t stop federal agencies from wielding unprecedented power. In fact, government bureaucracies, like the National Parks Service, did everything they could to make life even more difficult for an already struggling American public. The NPS made “life as difficult for people” as they could, closing national parks and trails, and damaging the local economies around them.
[sharequote align="center"]It’s the government’s malicious intent that is troublesome.[/sharequote]
The NPS took their newfound authority to a new level. From kicking the elderly out of their privately owned homes because they reside on federal land to blocking veterans from visiting memorials erected in their honor, the bureau construed a ludicrous level of control over the American people.
The administration’s latest temper tantrum implemented park rangers as their couriers of punishment.
Now that they have control of the healthcare system, will healthcare workers, who will rely increasingly on the government for revenue, be used as the next pawns ready to castigate America?
Though Obamacare was authorized by Congress, the law grants power to agencies outside the scope of regulation from the legislative branch. From the Department of Health and Human Services overseeing healthcare exchanges to the IRS collecting fines for those choosing to opt out of exchange enrollment, federal bureaucrats will have more power than ever over our healthcare decisions. These agency officials are not elected through the democratic process that members of Congress are, but rather serve at the privilege and discretion of the White House, as are those tapped to work in the Department of Interior and, consequently, the NPS.
Under Obamacare, HHS is slated with much more influence over society than the NPS. With the massive data hub the agency implemented for those enrolled in the healthcare exchanges, medical, financial and a bevy of other supposedly confidential records deemed necessary by HHS will be kept together in a central location. The hub will supposedly help insurance companies verify a person’s identity and citizenship with the access granted to the IRS, HHS and independent navigators appointed by HHS. Obama’s agents will therefore have an unparalleled control of information at their very fingertips.
The current administration and its agencies have proven their incompetence — and even malice — with handling any sort of privilege time and time again, from the Department of Justice spying on reporters and violating the First Amendment to the IRS inappropriately targeting conservative groups. Yet it’s the government’s malicious intent that is troublesome.
Although the Obama administration is at the center of the latest federal abuses of power, these overreaches wouldn’t be possible had the government not steadily swelled in size under previous administrations. With both parties expanding the role of the executive branch and the powers of the federal bureaucracy, it was only a matter of time before government realized it could make life miserable for citizens.
As easily as the White House ordered national parks, monuments and crucial funding for government programs to cease — all inflicting the most pain on the American people as possible — it’s only natural to question just what could occur when the federal government makes Americans’ doctors and healthcare the next fatality of Congressional gridlock. Even if exchange payment offices are deemed “essential” in the next political crisis, the power that the HHS wields to punish Americans will be tremendous.
Featured Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
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