The coverage figure is the best argument for the bill; all indications are that it's likely to result in health coverage for 30 million or more individuals. But the evidence that it will do so in an affordable manner is thin. The CBO estimates that the average premium cost will rise 10-13 percent (with a little more than half of folks receiving subsidies). And despite claims that the bill will put a stop to big rate increases, the evidence of the Massachusetts plan, which is very similar to Obamacare, suggests otherwise: Since the start of its plan, that state has seen double digit rate hikes, and expects more to come. And its average premium price is the highest in the nation. How can anyone possibly define this as "affordable"? [emphasis is mine, ed.]Already, more than three dozen states have begun preparing legal challenges on this bill. Those challenges are based on the Commerce Clause and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution. My belief is that it's unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment's claim that those powers not delineated are reserved to the states or the people. From Victor Davis Hansen
In the end, then, we're left with a highly expensive, fiscally dangerous expansion of health insurance that locks even more people into a broken system. That's an achievement, all right, but not a particularly good one.
Do Democrats realize that we really have crossed the Rubicon? In the future when the Republicans gain majorities (and they will), the liberal modus operandi will be the model—bare 51% majorities, reconciliation, the nuclear option, talk of deem and pass, not a single Democrat vote—all ends justifying the means in order to radically restructure vast swaths of American economic and social life. Is someone unhinged at the DNC? They just blew up any shred of bipartisan consensus when their President polls below 50%, the Democratically-controlled Congress below 20%, and health care reform less than 50%. Usually unpopular leaders and their unpopular ideas seek the shelter of minority rights and prerogatives. What will they do when they are in the minority—since they’ve entered the arena, boasted “let the games begin” and shouted “by any means necessary”?
I'll be contacting my local GOP county office to see who is going to run against John Sarbanes this year and work on their behalf to unseat one of the most knee-jerk solid Democratic votes in Congress.