We were told—and sold– everything except the truth about the details in the healthcare act. And then, despite a majority of Americans rejecting this massive change in public policy, Congress enacted it anyway. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work in our representative democracy.
This massive 2500 page piece of legislation went to the floor of the House without being read by pretty much anyone, was rammed down the throats of an unwilling public, was enacted in the middle of the night–and in the height of hypocrisy exempted the President, the Vice President, Congressional leadership and committee staff from the bill that Americans didn’t want.
It’s why I’m helping to lead the most massive petition drive in the history of the country to erase this assault on common sense and faithful representation of the will of the American people. With the House of Representatives vowing to push a repeal vote, many pundits describe this as a “symbolic act” by House Republicans that will be frustrated in the Senate and, if necessary, vetoed by the President.
They are, as usual, ignoring the effect of public opinion and the central role citizens of the nation must play in approving—or rejecting— public policy changes. They are ignoring the revolution that is occurring in the body politic that has so profoundly changed “business as usual” inside the capitol beltway. The voice of the citizen is being restored and those who again frustrate the will of the majority of Americans are going to have a difficult time explaining why this law should be an exception to the bedrock of our system of government—the “consent of the governed”.
This legislation was a triumph of bare-knuckled politics over both good judgment and legislative responsibility. The process that led to enactment damaged the democratic process and signaled little care for the legitimate objections of what poll after poll said were the views of most Americans. Now, in the light of day, the judgment of those outside Washington is again proving correct. ObamaCare will, in contrast to every assurance, damage the healthcare system, our economy and our pocketbooks. Then speaker Nancy Pelosi quipped earlier that we would have to pass the legislation to “know what’s in it…”. Now we know and it’s not pretty.
Turns out that most people won’t be keeping the insurance they like—despite repeated promises to the contrary by the President and Congressional leaders. Turns out that health care costs won’t be constrained but will explode, as we have already seen with double digit hikes. Turns out those massive cuts in Medicare to achieve phony “savings” will either make it impossible for doctors to see senior citizen patients or will have to be erased from the plan. It turns out that everyone won’t be covered with “universal” care, including the very committee staff who wrote the bill.
In the coming months we will see the American people roar their disapproval and insist, without qualification, on repeal of the healthcare act. This is nothing less than a renewal of the promise of our form of government and a validation that the consent of the governed is again the test all public policy must satisfy. Given the missteps from Washington in recent decades, this could not come a moment too soon.
Unlike other places in the world, we won’t accept healthcare rationing by government bureaucrats, interference with the doctor/patient relationship, a slowdown in medical research or the foolish and ill-timed exacerbation of a runaway national debt so large that it requires intergenerational theft.
The largest petition drive in the history of the nation will now see millions of Americans demanding a Congressional repeal vote with margins in both the House and Senate that are immune to Presidential veto. Far from symbolism, our citizens will ask for—and expect—Congress to undo the damage done in the name of politics.