By hook and by crook — ignoring the constitution and twisting parliamentary rules — the president and his congressional allies are succeeding in imposing command-and-control health care on all Americans.
If the new law is allowed to stand, the scraps of freedom we still enjoy in matters of health care will dwindle as provisions of the bill kick in. And that’s only the prequel. Pelosi and other Democrats promise to introduce even more constrictive legislation once Obamacare Round One has been rammed through.
Friends of freedom aren’t giving up. There’s an election in 2010, for one thing. But many state governments aren’t waiting for that. The Idaho legislature just passed the Idaho Health Care Freedom Act, which states, in part, that “every person within the state of Idaho is and shall be free to choose or decline to choose any mode of securing health care services without penalty or threat of penalty.” Governor Otter is signing the Act because, in his view, health care laws should treat people as individuals “rather than as an amorphous mass whose only purpose in this world is to obey federal mandates.”
Idaho is the first state to pass such a measure, but similar legislation has been proposed in 22 others. Such declarations will most likely have only symbolic significance if Obamacare remains in effect and other legal challenges on the grounds of federalism get beaten down. But those are two big ifs. Americans aren’t ready to surrender to the health care commissars just yet.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.