As the battle to send ObamaCare to the death panels heats up in earnest next year, “it will be good to remember the circumstances and lessons of the bill’s passage,” Byron York writes at the Washington Examiner. “Given a brief window of opportunity, a determined group of lawmakers can do damage that might take years to undo:”
As Republicans prepare to take power in the House and play a more influential role in the Senate, it’s good to think back a year. At the end of 2009, it was not at all clear that big Republican victories were on the way — only that the GOP was at its lowest point in a long, long time.Roundly defeated in 2008, House Republicans were powerless to stop a huge Democratic majority from passing the national health care bill in November 2009. Then, in late December, Senate Republicans were just as powerless to stop a filibuster-proof majority of 60 Democrats from pushing that far-reaching and deeply unpopular piece of legislation through the Senate.
With the passage of Obamacare, GOP lawmakers learned what defeat really meant.
The country is still learning the full extent of the damage. A new analysis by the Washington Post shows that a provision of Obamacare dealing with high-risk patients is attracting far fewer participants than expected but still costs vastly more than projected — a bad omen for the law’s other programs. And that is on top of earlier reports showing that Obamacare will actually bend the cost curve upward, not downward; that many companies are curtailing or planning to curtail coverage offered to employees and retirees; and that its core provision, the individual mandate, might well be unconstitutional.
It’s a mess. And as this Congress ends, and a new Congress considers repeal, it’s worth remembering the unusual and fleeting circumstances that led to its passage.
Read the whole thing.
Related: Richard Pollock spots “Ten Political Flash Points for 2011.”