By Grace-Marie Turner
ObamaCare will continue to barrel toward implementation in 2014, but its failings will become clearer and clearer every day.
The law is in diametric opposition to the workings of our economy and the spirit of freedom on which this country was founded. This is not a political assessment but rather a recognition of the reality of the unworkability of the law — its mandates on otherwise free citizens who will resist, massive new entitlement spending we can’t afford, and centralization of decision-making over health care, even life and death decisions.
We now face the very real danger, as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy warned, that this law will change “the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.”
Yesterday’s election results were devastating, not because so many Republican candidates lost, but because I wonder today if I really know the country I love. By re-electing President Obama, a majority of those who voted chose a president who believes in expanding government power over rewarding the enterprising and creative spirit of hard-working Americans who built this prosperous nation.
America will be a very different country if we continue on this path.
Republicans must take some blame. They did a heroic job of helping people understand the dangers of ObamaCare, but had they acted during the Bush administration to pass legislation to begin to fix the underlying distortions in our health sector, they could have released the pressure that propelled ObamaCare toward passage.
Voters tried to stop the law with the 2010 elections and then most hoped the Supreme Court would strike it down. But the 2012 elections were held during a lull — after a few popular provisions were in place but before the mandates take effect and the avalanche of regulations are released that will more fully reveal the cost and intrusiveness of the law.
The House will no doubt continue to hold hearings about the impact of the law in stifling job creation, the crushing burden of $569 billion in new taxes, the mandates on businesses, individuals, and the states, and the costs that will burden the next generation with trillions more in debt.
The nearly 35 lawsuits against the law will continue to make their way through the courts, and more than 30 state governors will continue to either resist or demand much more flexibility in implementing the law.
But the task has become much, much more complex and the path forward to right our health sector and economy has become much more difficult.
(Grace-Marie Turner is President of the Galen Institute, public policy research organization located in Alexandria, Virginia that promotes an informed debate over free-market ideas for health reform.)