COMMENTARY | The Orwellian named Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, celebrated -- if that is the proper word -- its second birthday. If the Supreme Court or the electorate chooses wisely this year, it will not have a third birthday.
Charles Krauthammer writes eloquently of the practical effects of Obamacare, its exploding cost, its delegation to unelected and clueless bureaucrats health care decisions, and its blatant unconstitutionality. PJ Media adds the political cost it has inflicted on Obama and the Democrats, the rise of the tea party and the political tsunami of 2010.
Obamacare has added to the lexicon the term artfully coined by Sarah Palin, "death panels," such as the Independent Payment Advisory Board designed to cut health care costs by rationing it. The Republican House voted to abolish the IPAB recently, according to the Associated Press. The Democratic Senate is likely to keep the issue alive by declining to follow suit.
If there is anything that exemplifies government overreaching it has been health care reform. It was passed, rammed through a Democratic controlled Congress, through ugly, backroom deals such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker Kickback designed to buy the votes of senators who had been on the fence. It was done while thousands of tea party protestors were yelling for Congress not to do it just outside the Capitol.
The government takeover of health care has been a liberal project since the dawning of the 20th century. Nothing could so advance the idea of exerting government control over peoples' lives by assuming responsibility over who lives and who dies. A government, even an elected one, is all powerful if it can tell people whether or not they will get some drug or some surgical procedure that could mean the difference between life and death. One tends to be more attentive to the desires of such a government than to one that has not that power.
Will the Supreme Court strike down Obamacare? It's based on the remarkable premise that the Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to make people do anything it wants. If that principle is upheld, then the rest of the Constitution is meaningless.
In any case, whatever the court does, it is left to the people to repudiate this attempt to clamp down control over their lives at the ballot box. We have freedom only if we exert ourselves to keep it.