Michael Cannon at the indispensable Cato Institute clarifies several misconceptions about Obamacare:
Myth: This isn’t a government takeover of health care.
This legislation will force all Americans to purchase health insurance coverage. Government will control what kind of insurance you purchase, where you purchase it, how much you pay and what kind of medical care you receive. Our health care sector will be “private” in name only. Once government controls those decisions, there will be nothing left to socialize. Make no mistake — this was a vote on socialized medicine.
Myth: This legislation will stop abusive insurance practices.
The Obama plan will encourage abusive insurance practices. Research by Obama adviser David Cutler shows that the plan’s price controls will force insurers who provide quality care for the sick into bankruptcy. Insurers will therefore use countless and covert means to deny care and avoid, mistreat and dump the sick. Along the way, the legislation will shower private insurance companies with half a trillion dollars in government subsidies.
Myth: The legislation will contain health care costs.
The Obama plan will increase health care costs for the simple reason that it would put millions more patients, plus doctors and insurers, in a position where they are spending the taxpayers’ money. That never produces frugality. Its command-and-control approaches to cost containment have failed over and over in Medicare and Medicaid because they don’t change the incentives that encourage cost growth.
Over at The American Spectator, conservative lawyer Stacy Cline points out that the legal challenges to ObamaCare have the odds, and the case law, against them:
Last night’s passage of the greatest expansion of the federal government since the Great Society is a sad day for our country, not only because it may bankrupt our future, but also because we have no recourse to the Constitution. Our Constitution was elegantly designed to protect individuals from too much concentration of power in any one source, but the Supreme Court has evolved into a body that has protected and even facilitated the modern regulatory state at the expense of our founding principles. The optimism of state attorneys general and others who hope to challenge the constitutionality of this legislation is admirable, but such challenges are not likely to be successful.
But what, you might ask, about what seems like it might be the most vulnerable part of the health care bill, the individual mandates ?
Well, as Cline points out, that may actually be the weakest ground of all:
Despite this patent overreach by Congress, the Supreme Court’s flawed jurisprudence on this issue probably permits it. The government will argue that it has the authority to impose the individual mandate under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which permits Congress “to regulate Commerce … among the several States.” Supreme Court precedent has interpreted the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate and prohibit all sorts of economic activities that in the aggregate substantially affect interstate commerce.
Continuing our “Liberty Candidate Series” of interviews, Brett talks with UL’s own William “BJ” Lawson, discussing his 2010 race for the GOP nomination to face incumbent David Price again in November. Lawson is running with a message of “Peace, Prosperity, & Liberty,” focusing on stimulating job growth through tax cuts, reducing the size and scope of the federal government, reforming the federal regulations burdening American businesses, reducing spending to a level that restores a fiscal balance, restoring trust in government, and empowering local decisions on education.
Watching the House take up ObamaCare on Sunday night was difficult. For those of you that have read my posts for the last year know that health care was a big issue for me. So to watch the Congress enact a bill that is going to impose unconstitutional mandates on individuals and job-killing regulations on businesses and spend over $1 trillion (once you include the Medicare doc fix and accounting gimmicks) and result in more budget deficits.
Democrats says opponents of ObamaCare are wrong in saying that this is a government takeover of health care. While it’s true that the government is not physcially taking over the industry, individuals will only be able to purchase government approved health insurance plans. If an individual has a policy they like, they may not be able to keep it because some bureaucrat will tell them that the government knows what is best. It is a takeover by proxy.
A good friend called me shortly after the vote was taken, telling me how he’d worked on this issue for so long. He was stressed, disappointed and dejected. I can’t blame him. I felt the same way, though he was taking it a bit harder. I had been preparing myself for this outcome for days.
This guy is a fighter. He’ll bounce back. I am concerned that others won’t be be so quick to heal.
WASHINGTON — The battle over health care is poised to move swiftly from Congress back to the country as Democrats, Republicans and a battery of interest groups race to define the legislation and dig in for long-term political and legal fights.
President Obama plans to open a new campaign this week to persuade skeptical Americans that the bill holds immediate benefits for them and addresses the nation’s shaky fiscal condition. Republicans said they would seek to repeal the measure, challenge its constitutionality and coordinate efforts in statehouses to block its implementation.
The politics of health care are fragile — and far from certain — in the eight-month midterm campaign that will determine which party will control Congress next year. But both sides steeled for a fight to extend well beyond November, involving state legislative battles, court challenges and, ultimately, the next presidential race.
Even before the final vote, Republicans began relentlessly assailing lawmakers who supported the legislation, suggesting Democrats are spendthrift and proponents of big government. Democrats said they would seek to capitalize on the momentum from their success and strive to move beyond the political arguments in hopes of demystifying the complicated legislation.
“We ought to focus on not the political stakes, but the stakes for the country,” David Plouffe, an adviser to Mr. Obama, said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We’re going to go out there and not just talk about what we’re for, but what the Republicans are voting against.”
Recently, I have been reflecting on the war on drugs and the fight for marijuana legalization and why so many people are opposed to legalization. What is most alarming to me about this situation is the almost across-the-board lack of support from Republicans, and even vocal opposition to legalization efforts. This is incredibly troubling, if not hypocritical.
While Republicans decry the health care bill as an attack on our rights, as unconstitutional, and opposed to our liberties because of a possible mandate, they at the same time argue that the governments complete ban on a substance, even if it used by an adult in their own home. If you believe the government has the right to dictate what an adult does in their own home to their own body, you ultimately believe that the government owns the citizens.
This philosophy that Republicans abide by via their support for the war on drugs makes many of their arguments against health care ironic. It’s not that I disagree with their views on health care, by all means I am opposed to government-run health care, but this “picking and choosing” of when the government can become pervasive and counter to a liberty-oriented philosophy of rights is simply not consistent.
I have never smoked marijuana. My support for marijuana legalization does not come from a desire to use the substance myself, but from a belief that the government’s role is not to make decisions about what we do to ourselves. Think of it this way – drinking alcohol is not a crime; drinking alcohol and then driving and running someone over is. Smoking marijuana should not be a crime; smoking marijuana and then killing someone is. Marijuana in and of itself is not a crime, nor is the consumption of it. The fact that we put people in prison for possessing a plant, while at the same time call ourselves a “free nation,” is extremely ironic.
Over at American Spectator, Phillip Klein writes what many conservatives and Republicans should be acknowledging after the passage of ObamaCare:
[N]one of this would have been possible without George W. Bush — or more broadly speaking, Bush era Republicanism. While they were in power, Republicans squandered an opportunity to push free market health care solutions. When they did use their power to pass major legislation, it was for policies like the big government Medicare prescription drug plan, which was (until today) the largest expansion of entitlements since the Great Society. They took earmarks and doled out farm and energy subsidies. They earned a reputation for fiscal recklessness and corruption and incompetent governance. President Obama ultimately forced through the health care bill in spite of the political consequences to his party because he’s ultimately a true believing liberal. But it was only because of the failures of Bush-era Republicanism that an ideological liberal with little experience was able to capture the presidency on the abstract notion of change.
Absolutely dead on. Yes, they got health savings accounts (HSA), but the expansion of an already burdening entitlement is inexcusable.
Early in the day, it appeared that opponents of ObamaCare could win the day. Enough Democrats had defected, primarily due to concerns over federal funding for abortion, to defeat the bill.
There was talk of a deal between Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and the White House. President Obama would sign an executive order barring federal funding of abortion to get Stupak and other members concerned about the issue on board. Stupak’s sudden change of heart guaranteed passage of the bill.
During debate on the floor, Republicans argued that such an executive order could not overrule law passed by Congress. That argument has some substance. Unfortunately, vulnerable Democrats weren’t looking for something meaningful, they were looking for political cover back home.
Podcast: Healthcare, CBO, Census, Immigration Reform, Pre-Crime Policing, War,Guests: Doug Mataconis, Brooklyn Roberts
By a vote of 219 to 212, the House of Representatives passed the Senate version of ObamaCare, which the president signed will law immediately. Thirty-four Democrats broke with their party to oppose the bill.
The reconciliation package, which fixes issues House Democrats had with the bill, will be voted on next. The reconciliation bill avoids a Republican filibuster.
We’ll have a full story up tomorrow.
[UPDATE] At 11:35pm, the House approved the reconciliation package by a vote of 220 to 211.