Google+
Close

Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.

The Battle Is Lost, and the War Has Begun



Text  



President Obama won a major victory last night in his determined effort to impose his will on the American people. But far from striking a fatal blow to the cause of limited government and fiscal responsibility, Obama has awakened a sleeping giant.

Unlike past threats to the American way of life, this time the threat comes from within. Lincoln warned us that this would be so:

All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa . . . , with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

In the days and months ahead, certain well-meaning opponents of Obamacare will tell us that we need to make an uneasy peace with the overhaul; that we should work to modify it so as to make it somewhat less egregious; that we should focus on other issues; that we should admit defeat. Don’t be persuaded.

A house built on a poor foundation cannot stand. Obamacare will be built on sand, by unskilled workers, using the wrong design plans. You don’t remodel such a structure. You tear it down and begin anew.

President Obama promised that his plan for “health-care reform” would not cause any individuals or families to lose their health-care plans, would not be paid for by cutting seniors’ Medicare benefits, would not bend the health-care cost curve up (but instead would bend it down), would not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year, would not raise Americans’ health-insurance premiums (but instead would lower them), would not put the federal government in control of health care, would not require Americans to buy health insurers’ product under penalty of law, would not cost more than $2 trillion over ten years, would not raise deficits, would not provide taxpayer funding for abortion, would increase competition and choice, would leave what’s good in place while fixing what’s broken, and would be bipartisan. Obamacare fulfills none of these promises. 

James Madison’s words cannot be repeated often enough: “The cool and deliberate sense of the community ought, in all governments, and actually will, in all free governments, ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers.” The American people don’t want Obamacare, and the will of the American people will ultimately prevail over the will of their rulers — starting in November.

Repeal will be achieved through a three-step process: First, the vast majority of Americans who oppose Obamacare will elect members to Congress who will actually reflect their views. Second, they will elect a president who will actually reflect their views. Third, this new Congress and new president will repeal the overhaul. (Remember, only 1 percent of Obamacare — based on its projected costs over the next ten years — will have kicked in by then.) 

So, the war has just begun, and we must be prepared to dig in for the long haul. Repeal will be a three-year process — more like a marathon than a sprint. If those of us who oppose Obamacare show as much determination to repeal it as Obama has shown in imposing it, we will prevail. Until victory is achieved, let us be committed to this five-word goal: Repeal, and then real reform. And let us fight until we achieve it. After all, that is the will of the American people, and this is America.



Text  


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review