The Right Approach to ObamaCare
Conservatives who view ObamaCare as a disaster have taken different tactical approaches. Senator Cruz, along with a few other brave souls, have urged us to use every weapon at our disposal, including the debt ceiling battle, to make it clear that the repeal of ObamaCare is indispensable to the survival of the best health care system in the world and to the liberties at the very heart of our republic. Senator Cruz is right.
Charles Krauthammer, an equally brilliant and equally principled conservative, has said that when a political opponent is committing suicide, the best thing to do is get out of his way. Dr. Krauthammer notes that the nightmare of ObamaCare is so apparent now to even the left's most slavish toadies, like Big Labor, that the worst thing for Obama is to let his signature legislation actually go into effect. Dr. Krauthammer is right, too.
These are not inconsistent positions. Even at the cost of momentary public opinion poll hits, Republicans must make it clear that opposition to ObamaCare among their party is solid and unequivocal. Even RINOs like Scott Brown opposed ObamaCare. Ted Cruz, un-contradicted by Republicans who oppose the tactics he has used to fight ObamaCare, has done that.
Democrats, however, are not about to repeal or to repudiate ObamaCare. So while Senator Cruz was standing for the right principles, it was not going to work today. Only when there are more Republicans in Congress, and perhaps a Republican in the White House, will ObamaCare be repealed.
Dr. Krauthammer has observed that ObamaCare is so unpopular that it threatens to tear the Democrat coalition apart. Without Big Labor, for example, Democrats begin losing elections even in otherwise safe races. The concern that most conservatives have with this approach is what might be called the "Social Security" or the "Medicare" syndrome. The more Americans come to rely on ObamaCare, the more they will see it as an entitlement and go crazy any time a Republican suggests repeal or even major modification.
ObamaCare, however, has this fundamental difference from those "third rail" entitlement programs: it hurts many Americans from the very beginning. The FDR social welfare nightmares shifted the cost from those living voters to future voters who would, themselves, be hooked on Social Security and Medicare. ObamaCare shifts the burden right from the start among voters alive today.
Moreover, the shift is not even the odious "redistribution of wealth," in which a relativity small number of productive voters are ordered to support a larger number of unproductive voters under the banner of "social justice." Instead of a "redistribution of wealth," ObamaCare is almost a "redistribution of health." So relatively poor voters are compelled, in some instances, to support relatively affluent voters -- and to do so not at some distant future date, but right now.
It is imperative that Republicans continue to shout at every opportunity that ObamaCare is exclusively a Democrat scheme, which Republicans will repeal as soon as they have the votes in Congress. At the same time, Republicans should coalesce around an alternative free-market health care reform which lowers costs by allowing interstate health insurance competition, allows any drug which has been in use in other modern industrial nations to be cleared for use in America, and taxes 95% of all medical malpractice legal fees above $500,000. (These are simply ideas for what might go into the Republican plan.)
As ObamaCare causes frustration and anger, fear and despair, and as it drives health care providers out of private practice, Republicans should refuse to tinker with this obamination and should, instead, insist upon its utter obliteration. Public wailing will come fast, because the left itself has moved from the New Deal/Great Society sort of heroin pusher into an ideology which really doesn't care if people are happy or not.
Against this sort of dehumanized leftism, both Senator Cruz and Dr. Krauthammer are right, although in different ways. Opposition should be absolute and unqualified, but if the left intends to infuriate most of America and we cannot stop it, then let the left, having sown the wind, reap the whirlwind.