In one of the most morally corrupt and cynical acts of recent political history, the Senate has passed Obamacare. More fighting ahead with a required blending with the even worse House version. But I predict ultimate passage. That ends it, right? Not on a bet.
Obamacare supporters badly lost the political debate. They had the numbers in the Congress to stuff us like a Christmas goose, but the struggle against it–and on behalf of a reform that won’t kill the patient–will continue. Michael Barone, one of the nation’s best judges of the political landscape, agrees. From his column:
A health care bill like the Senate’s is unlikely to settle all health care issues, either, though the ensuing political struggles will stop somewhere short of civil war. “We aren’t done talking about health care,” writes Atlantic blogger (and Obama voter) Megan McArdle. “We haven’t even really started. Our budget problems are as big as ever, and we just used up both political capital, and some of our stock of tax increases and spending cuts, to pay for something else.”
The Senate bill contains provisions that are likely to be revisited. Its language channeling federal and consumer dollars to abortion coverage is opposed, according to Quinnipiac, by a 72 percent to 23 percent margin. Its provision establishing an Independent Medicare Advisory Board and stating that it cannot be abolished except by a two-thirds vote of the Senate is of dubious constitutionality, and even if upheld in a court of law may not pass muster in the court of public opinion. Since when has Congress passed laws that cannot be repealed?
Iowa’s leftist Senator, Tom Harkin, called this boondoggle merely a “starter house” from which the Dems will build a “mansion,” meaning total government control of health care. But that is not where America wants to go. Far more of us want to bulldoze this hopeless mess down to the foundation –and hopefully, as soon as it becomes law, that process can begin.
The Democrats’ health care bills are an attempt to settle a fundamental issue by partisan maneuver and cash-for-cloture. As Stephen Douglas learned [in passing the disastrous Kansas-Nebraska Act], such tactics can work for a while, but the country — and the Democratic Party — can end up paying a heavy price.
Expect lawsuits–surely forcing everyone to buy health insurance is beyond the government’s constitutional power. Expect political guerilla insurgency. Expect ongoing efforts to resist, defang, and defund. Expect this to be a huge issue in the 2010 elections.
No, this isn’t bad sportsmanship: When you impose politically unpopular legislation on an unwilling country–and in a way that breaks all bonds of comity–don’t expect the issue to just go away.