03.31.2010 0

Don’t Go Wobbly

  • On: 04/07/2010 09:55:40
  • In: Health Care
  • By David Bozeman

    According to the Associated Press (and giddily reported on page 1 of my hometown paper), some Republicans are rethinking their ‘Repeal the Bill’ mantra, fearful that voters might ”begin to see benefits from Obama-care” (the AP never mentions what those health benefits might be). U.S. Senate candidate Paul Kirk of Illinois, who was adamant in his repeal-the-bill stance, has “eased back,” and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges a “more effective approach to minimizing its harmful impacts.” Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee notes that repeal is “just not going to happen,” and Senator John Cornyn of Texas says the GOP should focus on the “misplaced priorities of Democrats.”

    Democrats didn’t prevail on the strength of ideas, just by a slim plurality of numbers. They typically wear down voters through tedium and time — delaying much of the bill’s implementation till 2014 and later was, tactically, brilliant. And surely one could make the case that, come November, the public will have moved on and will react bitterly to a rehash of a long-closed subject.

    Or so the Democrats hope. Political prognosticators on both sides gauge public opinion, then react accordingly. Have Senators Corker and Cornyn forgotten that leadership entails molding public opinion and not merely following it? According to most polls, six in ten Americans still oppose Obama-care. What, between now and November, besides lethargy and spin, can change voters’ minds that bold Republican leadership can’t counter?

    Even assuming some slight benefits (again, we’re scratching our heads here), a freedom-loving people should reject Obama-care because of its staggering tolls of taxes, fees and lost choices and opportunities. Caterpillar recently announced a $100 million drag on profits thanks to Obama-care. According to The Christian Science Monitor (just before the vote), “If the health care reform vote succeeds today, the $940 billion bill would be the biggest change to domestic policy in a generation. The rich and the health industry would pick up most of the tab.” Higher taxes and fees on health care industries, ‘Cadillac’ taxes on the most expensive insurance plans and stricter standards on insurers and private employers will surely be felt by consumers and will result in fewer choices, not more. But merely because someone in a higher income bracket is picking up the tab. I’m supposed to be pleased as punch that I’m paying little or nothing for my coverage?

    That is what the Democrats are banking on. But then they don’t really speak to America’s traditions of independence and self-sufficiency, now do they? Obama-care is a disease bred by the germs of class envy and deferred responsibility. A reader post at NewJersey.com states, “. . . I am for anything that will bolster small and medium sized U.S. companies at the expense of large multi-national corporations.” True, one should not take any raving on a message board too seriously, but how far out of the mainstream of liberal thought is such a sour sentiment? When a president announces to cheering college-age voters that they can stay on their parents’ policies till age 26, the opposition is duty-bound to remind voters, before, during or after the fact, that they are saddled not with traditional American leadership but with a post-modern, Peter Pan presidency.

    The health care debate has been dominated by the in-your-face arrogance and hubris of Barack Obama. Lacking seasoning and maturity, he has made little if any effort to ease public division, instead smirking that Republicans seeking to repeal health care reform should just “go for it.” And yet the GOP fears looking negative and mean-spirited! Still, the mere passage of time will not make Obama-care any better for our nation’s health, so Republicans should call his bluff. The health and freedom of our children and grandchildren demand that we do, indeed, GO FOR IT!

    David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.

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