The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Thursday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the new regulations put out by HHS ahead of Obamacare’s implementation:

The problem is the inherent complication and complexity of the law. You held up that wide package of regulation for one provision. There are hundreds of provisions in the bill. And there are some we don’t even know about or we’ll discover in time.

Imagine the power that the HHS Department has in writing it, and you can write it in ways that will exempt A and include B. And look at the power it exerts over the private sector. All this complexity doesn’t just introduce inefficiency and also introduce huge increases in cost — it’s inherently corrupt.

One example. A few weeks ago, McDonald’s said it would have to drop coverage for its workers because of an arbitrary provision in the bill where insurers could only allocate 20 percent of revenues to overhead and profit, a number picked out of a hat. It could have been 26 percent. [But it was] 20 percent.

Well, it turned out that McDonald’s and other employers couldn’t do that and would drop insurance. So they went on bended knee to HHS and they got waivers. Some companies will get the waivers, others won’t.

Think of the power it exerts on the person on the other side of that transaction. They have to calculate. They’re going to be impacted by these provisions and waivers. They don’t want to oppose or annoy in any way the administration in power. And that is what’s wrong with a system this complex and with this many arbitrary provisions.

On the North Korean threat to launch a “sacred war”:

I love that threat from an atheist regime that it is going to launch a sacred war. In those kinds of totalitarian countries, the only thing sacred is war. …

The South Koreans for the first time in decades are showing spine. They have a nationalistic government and the population was radicalized by the attack two weeks ago which for the first time killed civilians, the first time since the ’50s. So you have a population that is not going to take it anymore.

As a result of the reaction by the South Koreans — who have always appeased the North and not responded and [thereby] encouraged aggression — as a result of the spine they are showing, the Chinese are getting worried about this and they understand unless they hold back the North Koreans you can actually have escalation and a second Korean war. …

The South Koreans are not caving in. And the Chinese … are worried that if their client [North Korea] continues [its provocations], it could lead to war unintended, which is the last thing the Chinese want. In the past the South Koreans would appease and acquiesce and not respond and give aid and food. That’s not happening now.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


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