Is ObamaCare the path to permanent power?
Going into the health-care debate, the majority of the polls revealed that most Americans wanted to see the greedy, ambulance-chasing /malpractice tort lawyers reined in. They wanted health insurance made portable across state lines. They wanted tax breaks to encourage individuals and businesses to invest in Health Savings Accounts. They wanted the formation of an insurance pool for people at high risk due to their preexisting bad health conditions. They did not want their federal tax dollars used to encourage and/or perform abortions. They wanted to see Medicare improved, and its burden on the states reduced.
Sounds good? Too bad. In 2010, when the House and Senate versions of ObamaCare are reconciled in secret by a joint conference committee, virtually none of what the public asked for will be in the final legislation which the president is so eager to sign. Instead, ObamaCare will be on a path to put everyone, from womb-to-tomb, on a version of the so roundly-condemned Medicaid medical-welfare program.
How can that be? How can the public be ignored this way? Simple. What is happening in Washington is not about improving health care for the majority of Americans. It is a brilliant scheme designed to create a permanent Democrat majority for the next 1,000 years. Sound familiar?
Here is how it unfolds: You force some 20 million Americans who, for whatever reason, do not have health insurance to buy health insurance from the existing private insurance companies. Alternatively, you give people the “option” of buying artificially less expensive government-provided health care insurance. Then, via legislation soon to come, you give amnesty to between 12 and 20 million (pick your own number) illegal immigrants, making them eligible for government health-care insurance.
Next, since you have operational control over the private insurance companies, you impose Draconian operating rules on the private insurance companies that drive them out of business. Voila! The U.S. Government becomes the only source of health-care insurance.
But there is a practical limit to how high the federal government can raise taxes to recover its health-care expenses. To try to hold down costs, federal bureaucrats will have to ration health care via the so-called “death panels.” Rather than tick off the political party that holds the power of life and death over you and your loved ones, you feel compelled to vote to keep that party in power. Brilliant!
Back in 2006, when the Republicans stopped acting like the Ronald Reagan conservatives the voters thought they had put in power in 1994, the Democrats took over the Congress. Then, via the congressional/presidential elections of 2008, the American electorate, in effect, told the Democrats that they could do whatever they want to do. And, despite recent political polling opposing ObamaCare, that is exactly what the Democrats are doing. (By the way, the Nazis did not come to power through violence. Hitler used the democratic, electoral processes of the Weimar Republic to do so.)
Can the Obamessiahs pull off this trick? Look at the numbers: Senate majority leader Harry Reid presides over 56 Democrats, 40 Republicans and two independents. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presides over 258 Democrats and 177 Republicans. For actual passage of legislation, Harry Reid needs only 51 of his 56 Democrats. Nancy Pelosi only needs 218 of her 258 Democrats.
Some legal scholars say that certain parts of ObamaCare may be unconstitutional. For example, can the government order citizens to purchase a product like health insurance and then fine and/or jail them if they refuse to buy the product? Unfortunately, it could take years for that question to come before the U.S. Supreme Court which, by then, is likely to have several more Obama appointees on the bench.
[Correction of an earlier column: Tiger Woods was hit on the head with a nine-iron, not a two-iron. The error is regretted.]
Syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, studied at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. Dr. Hamilton is a former assistant professor of political science and history at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
©2009. William Hamilton.