The debate over the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not going away, despite all the swells telling us how fantastic it is and the dictates from President Barack Obama that we are no longer permitted to discuss, debate or decide the future his signature healthcare reform.
One of the signs that the Iraqis were serious about democracy, before we abandoned the whole project, was that when candidates lost elections, they handed over the keys without a fight.
Seeing it in another country, one that fancy Americans said was not civilized enough for democracy, I realized that the measure of a democracy is how losers handle losing.
The reason why Iraqis accepted defeat at the polls was that they were convinced that they had lost a fair fight. Nobody wants to lose, but if one is out-hussled or out-argued, one accepts the results and plans for the next election.
In America, there are times when the victor did not win fair and square.
For those situations, instead of the losing side accepting their loss and moving on, there is a lingering of unfinished business. For conservatives, being on the losing end of the Supreme Court decision that stripped legal protections from the unborn is a scar that never heals.
It has been more than 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision and the protests continue with new generations of Americans taking on the cause of our unborn Americans slaughtered by the millions every year.
There was no election or legislative fight or referendum, rather it was a convoluted and murky decision agreed to by five men given less than three months after the pro-abortion candidate lost 49 out of 50 states. To make things even worse, the Roe majority opinion is a the crakerbox palace of legal and constitutional logic, with an invented right of privacy and the 14th Amendment mixed in.
In the next presidential year, 1976, Jimm Carter, the man who won the White House ran in the early primaries and caucuses as the pro-life candidate, only to welch after the other candidates had fallen to the wayside.
The next presidential year, Ronald Reagan, the pro-life candidate won the White House, but even with conservative majorities, it was a bridge too far to undo a Supreme Court decision with a life-begins-at-conception amendment to the Constitution.
Ask someone in the pro-life movement what drives them. If they are honest, they will tell you: “We wuz robbed—babies are dying and we were boxed out of the process.”
This brings us back to the ACA, or Obamacare.
The president’s landmark healthcare legislative is a poorly designed program that does not work. It attempts to replicate market forces, only with government hacks in charge. Instead of losses and profits determined by the market, political humans bestow rewards and issue fines.
No one argues that the 2,700-page law will lower costs and improve healthcare quality.
Interestingly, everyone agrees the law lowers healthcare quality and increases costs.
Everyone agrees that the adminstration has used extraordinary authority to interpret the law, so as to make it somewhat function. Everyone agrees that if Democrats dared to fix the bill in Congress, if it was not repealed outright, it would be severely trimmed.
Now comes word that the president and his staff gamed the numbers and pretty much deceived the American people into trusting their gamed numbers, instead of their instincts.
How do we know? We know because the MIT economist who cooked the books and then served them on a platter told us so.
If you never heard of Jonathan Gruber, you are in good company. Obama said he never heard of the guy either. This, of course, brings up the awkward question: Mr. President, when a man, you paid $400,000, works side-by-side with you devising the biggest hoax since Global Warning, should you have at least asked what name to put on the check?
It would be course to suggest the president lied about Gruber. Afterall, this is the president, who said with Obamacare, if you like your policy you can keep it.
There is a cool quote attributed to Henry Kissinger: “The illegal we do right away, the unconstitutional takes longer.” Whether he said it or Tina Fey said it impersonating Kissinger it rings true.
The restoration of legal protection to the unborn is a heavy lift. But, the dismanatling of Obamacare is not so bad. Making the load lighter is the validation that our instincts about the Candyland map Obama gave us were true in the first place.