Imker parodies Obamacare, seeks impact on Peachtree City health insurance plan
Peachtree City staff are slated to present a report to the City Council at its Nov. 21 meeting about how the federal Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, will impact the city’s bottom line in the future.
Councilman Eric Imker on Nov. 7 asked for the presentation, saying the city needed to be ready to react to the changes as necessary.
“It’s a very serious issue for our citizens: how much it’s going to cost us out of our pocket that we’re going to have to add to the general fund to take care of our requirements to meet the healthcare act,” Imker said.
Council needs to know how the ACA changes will impact city employees, what the city’s options are and how much it will cost the city.
“I think our citizens need to know that we’re on top of it and looking out to make sure any cost to you taxpayers is going to be understood if there is any,” Imker said.
To drive home his point, Imker used what he called “tongue in cheek humor,” citing a provision in the city charter that allows the city council to levy a tax “for any public purpose as determined by the city council in its discretion.”
“So what’s to prevent us from levying a tax on all footwear, with the provision that you can keep your current footwear provider,” Imker said as he began the parody of the ACA. “Don’t worry about the details of our new ordinance, because you must first pass it to find out what’s in it. It passes, now everyone crowd around me while I sign this into law.
“Fast forward, we now find out that you must, by direction of the ordinance, pick a new footwear provider because your old footwear had a slight style change or price change. The prices and choices for the new provider have been determined by specific criteria that we, the council, have set.”
Imker in his fictitious statement suggested that the council would require that pumps and cowboy boots be mandatory options for citizens’ footwear.
“If you don’t pick one of these footwear providers, we have included a special tax for you to pay,” Imker said. “Remember, we’re doing this to help you despite the fact that 85 percent of you are happy with your footwear. We need to change everyone’s footwear and provider so you will have lower costs and better choices. However, we will not allow competition across the country so localized areas can set their own local prices. Surely we the council are the smartest and most informed to dictate to the citizens the need for your footwear and supply the solution for that need.”
Imker noted that such a scenario would be considered legal since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare was a tax, and this would be a similar endeavor.
“Think about it. We as a council can implement what I just described. It’s total lunacy, but that’s what our federal government did,” Imker said.
Imker added that he is so worked up about Obamacare that he wants to go to Washington, D.C. with a sign to protest it.