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Science's Big Problem ObamaCare: Why the Rules Matter

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ObamaCare: Defeat or Repeal?

by Christopher Chantrill
March 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm


THE BIG question for Americans is whether they are better off defeating the monstrosity of ObamaCare now or whether it is best to let the Democrats pass it and then work to repeal it, whether it takes a day or a decade.

The short answer is: Defeat it. The passage of ObamaCare lets a genie of government power out of the bottle that will be very difficult to put back in. It will turn health care into an ineffectual government program much like education in which Americans are endlessly fighting for advantage. Nobody with an ounce of compassion could wish ObamaCare on the American people.

As Speaker Nancy Pelosi works this week to get the necessary votes for passage, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay suggests to CNN that Pelosi’s leadership style may be helping to defeat ObamaCare:

Nancy Pelosi writes the bill, hands it to the chairman, says ‘get it out of committee in an hour and we’re going to the floor, we’re going to debate it and I’ll break arms if you vote against me.’ That will come to haunt you and bring you down.

In his day, DeLay would work with members to get consensus before bringing a bill to the floor.

There’s a temptation to say: Let the Democrats pass their bill. Let them own health care. Let them start "bending the cost curve" and rationing access to health care. Let them take over the evil insurance companies and have government gatekeepers be the ones to deny care. Then we’ll throw the Democrats out of office and repeal the bill and it will be morning in America again.

There are a number of reasons why the outcome of ObamaCare would be a lot less enjoyable than this rosy scenario.

First of all, in the period between passage and repeal many damaging events will have taken place. Taxes will have gone up. Many employers will have terminated their health plans and accepted a tax that costs them less than their employee health plan. Seniors will have lost their Medicare Advantage. Doctors will have retired rather than deal with the hassle of ObamaCare. Already the curtain will have rung up on a meaner, nastier America.

And we know today what that looks like. It looks like Greece, where the government is teetering on the edge of default and workers from a bloated the public sector are rioting in the streets over the possibility of any reduction in their pay and benefits. It looks like Iceland, where the voters just voted by 93 percent to 1.5 percent against the government’s proposal to pay back losses suffered by British and Dutch depositors after its bank meltdown in 2008. And let’s not forget Argentina, which has lumbered from inflation to default and back again numerous times since it opted for the empty promises of Juan Peron and the lovely Evita back in 1946.

The squalor of this kind of government is dreadful. It is government that lurches from crisis to crisis, resorting to loans, IMF bailouts, defaults on debt followed by "restructurings" that deliver a 60 to 70 percent loss to bondholders. In the Argentine crisis of 1999-2002 the government blithely seized dollar deposits in personal checking accounts and replaced them with pesos worth about 25 percent as much.

Under government like that you can’t be an independent soul. You have to work for the government, join a union, pay your dues to the local party boss. Otherwise you will get run over. The glory of America is that most of the time it has avoided this misery.

Governments resort to this sort of thuggery because the political process rewards thuggery. Politicians get elected on the strength of glorious promises; they get reelected on the weight of loot acquired for their constituents. So long as people want loot from politicians, so long will politics be a squalid business of taxing, spending, borrowing, default, and the blame game.

The United States was founded in another time. It was a time when people still recoiled from the abuses of the absolute monarchs. Political leaders saw the damage that big government could do and they wanted to build a nation that was independent and free. They thought that government should be limited, and that it should have "enumerated powers," meaning that its powers should be limited to those enumerated in the Constitution.

The practice of limited government encourages a virtuous circle of social virtue, as people find that they must serve their fellow men and women in economic goods and services to gain prosperity and distinction. The practice of big government encourages a vicious cycle of rent seeking, as people find that the only way to get on is to support a politician and agitate for a subsidy or a bailout.

We’d better defeat ObamaCare now, and defeat Democrats in November, rather than defeat Democrats in November and then reverse ObamaCare.

America’s future, and her prosperity, depends upon it.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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presented by Christopher Chantrill

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