Thursday, March 19, 2015

Why Is ObamaCare in Such Trouble?

Why,five years after passage, does ObamaCare remain in boiling political hot water?

The reason why, as I have said many times in these blogs, is anger over lack of political legitimacy. Unlike Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, ObamaCare passed without a single Republican vote. This is not the way laws effecting every American are done.

Before passing the health law, President Obama failed to build political support. Instead he bypassed Republicans through Medicaid bribes in three states (Louisiana, Nebraska, Connecticut) and resorted to parliamentary and reconciliation trickery to sneak an unread bill through Congress.

It was Obama’s way or the highway. It was the use of unilateral presidential authority through executive presidential discretion. Presidential discretion, we have learned, is a broad, vague, and gray highway, open to interpretation.

The result, according to Daniel Henninger in today’s WSJ “ObamaCare for Arms Control, ” is a political mess. Henninger compares the current Iran nuclear arms deal to ObamaCare. With Iran, Obama is bypassing Congress and seeking rubber-stamp approval from the United Nations Security Council, which unlike the Senate, is certain to approve the deal.

The result? “A substantive mess undermined by failure to build adequate political control…a virtual Rube Goldberg machine, a patchwork of fixes… a shamble of half-done details.” Henninger contends , “Political legitimacy is the coin of the realm in the American system.”

Illegitimacy breeds anger – anger over a one-party health law, anger over half-baked, unfilled, misleading promises, anger over political arrogance. Yes, ObamaCare has helped deliver subsidized care to 8 million uninsured. Yes, it has expanded Medicaid to 8 million more.

But at a fearsome price, loss of political legitimacy, bitter partisanship, and damage to the traditional relationships between the Presidency and elected representatives of the people in the House and Senate. Anger motivates men to do unto others, e.g. Congressional invitation to Netanyahu, open letter of 47 Senators to Ayatollah, and repeated House votes to repeal ObamaCare, what they did unto you.

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