Who has been minding the store? I step out of the country for a few days to go sailing and, Pow, ObamaCare™ and all that it entails slouches towards Washington to be born.
As I’ve often noted in this space, what travels under the rubric of “health care reform” is only incidentally about health care and hardly at all about reform, i.e. improving things. Really, it is about increasing the government’s control over your life, partly by handing over the machinery of health care to its phalanx of bureaucrats, partly by the familiar mechanics of choice — limitation that such “reform” involves: more regulation, more bureaucracy, and last but most assuredly not least higher taxes. As Ronald Reagan noted more than a quarter century ago, “One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project.” Sunday was a sad day for individual liberty and a sad day for America.
But I did not return from the Caribbean to bellyache. As the philosopher Yogi Berra observed, it ain’t over till it’s over, and it ain’t over yet. No one should underestimate the gravity of Sunday’s vote. By a narrow margin, the Democrats have pushed the United States that much closer to the slough of socialist dependency and fiscal suicide. But the victory may yet be a pyrrhic one. All across the land people are awakening from their dogmatic slumbers. Tea partiers from Washington, D.C., to California are brandishing the insignia of freedom. Never in my lifetime has there been such a strong field of conservative political candidates. A week, as Harold Wilson once observed, is a long time in politics. But it looks now as if the November 2010 will mark an historic victory for the partisans of freedom and prosperity. What can be enacted can also be repealed, as the fate of the ill-judged 1988 Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act reminds us. One scant year after it passed, it was repealed. That antistrophe might provide a useful model for those wishing to respond to this latest assault on freedom.