The back room deals got done, the vote was taken, and ObamaCare passed. Now Jack Sheldon can sing about being a law.
So, what do those that opposed ObamaCare do now?
First, people should realize that this isn’t the end of America. It’s certainly a bad law, and will result in many negatives outcomes, include higher costs, longer waits, and less medical innovation. It’s also going to be a severe drag on the economy, leaving me even more worried about our long term economic viability.
What it won’t do, however, is lead to a Stalinistic, totalitarian state. That hasn’t happened in countries with much greater nationalization of their healthcare system and stronger leanings towards socialism.
The Republicans are going to run on repeal of ObamaCare, and they’ll have ballot box success in 2010 as a result. There is a large group of very angry people who are upset about either the content of the bill or the process of it’s passing.
The anger will simmer until November, and these people will come to vote in record numbers. The Republicans are likely to take back the House of Representatives and will make major inroads in the Senate.
What won’t happen is that the Republicans actually repeal ObamaCare.
Anyone who thinks that Washington Republicans don’t like a large, strong Federal government are fooling themselves. And it would be 2012 or 2014 at least before the Republicans had the numbers to repeal in any case. I just don’t see them sticking their necks out at that point.
The 2012 race should be an interesting one. The Republicans will make further gains in the House and Senate, and unless there’s a major turn in the trendline of Obama’s poll numbers, the White House should be there for the taking.
But who are the Republicans going to run?
Mitt Romney seems to believe he’ll be the man, and he might be right as far as the Republican primary is concerned. But his connection to the Massachusetts health care system means he can’t bring the anti-ObamaCare voters out. Obama would rip him to pieces in the general election.
The Republicans can win the White House with a decent candidate in 2012, but I don’t see one in their ranks.
In theory, one could arise out of the Tea Party movement, but they’ve yet to show any real success at the ballot box. Ron Paul will be too old in 2012, and the love by many Tea Partiers for Sarah Palin is disturbing.
All this could leave an opening for a third party/independent candidate, but that candidate would have to be extraordinarily strong to compete in our rigged system. I can’t see who that would be.
So, that leaves the courts as the best battleground for the fight against ObamaCare. The lawsuits already filed by several states will be interesting, but I don’t see the Supreme Court taking a stand for Federalism any time soon.
The most vulnerable part is the individual mandate. Having the government require the purchase of a product as a cost of existing has never happened in our system before. And the Feds will have a hard time claiming an interstate commerce exception to the 10th Amendment, when Federal law prevents interstate commerce in health insurance.
The reality is that the individual mandate may never be enacted. And the viability of many other aspects of ObamaCare are dependent upon the individual mandate.
However, if ObamaCare fails because of the lack of a viable individual mandate, don’t expect ObamaCare to be revealed. Our beloved leaders in Washington will instead double down, taking us all the way to a single-payer healthcare system.
Which may be what the Democrats intended in the first place.