Conservatives are ebullient over the unexpected hostility and skepticism the government’s lawyers faced from the Supreme Court Justices over the three days of hearings on the constitutionality of Obamacare. In fact, so withering was the interrogation that the consensus of the Beltway-NYC elite has shifted virtually overnight from “Of course the Court will uphold it!” to “Oh my God! The individual mandate is doomed!”
It is heartening to see the Justices take the constitutional question seriously, and entertaining to see them pick apart the very weak case(s) for the individual mandate that every American purchase health insurance or face government sanction. And it certainly seems more possible now than it did last week that the Court may throw the baby out, and the bath water too, for good measure.
However, it is possible that this focus on constitutionality may someday backfire on conservatives.
If the law is upheld, that will take a lot of the steam out of the opposition to Obamacare. In the minds of many voters, rightly or wrongly, the imprimatur of the Supreme Court may function as a sort of ne plus ultra for the whole debate. Voters may figure, “Oh yeah, Obamacare. Didn’t the Supreme Court settle that? So what’s the big deal?” On the other hand, if the law goes down the left will say, “See, we tried that individual mandate that conservatives came up with, and it didn’t work. Time for single-payer national health care!” Which, of course, is what they’ve really wanted all along.
Further, they will have been given a road map by these Supreme Court proceedings on how to construct a health-care regime so that it will pass constitutional muster when they try again (and they will try again). Based on the arguments we’ve heard from the Justices this week, if liberals next formulate a health-care scheme that is paid for straight up with taxes, avoids a mandate, and/or is simply an expansion of an existing federal program like Medicare, they will have gone a long way toward making it uncontroversial, at least as far as the Court is concerned. Of course, this will produce a ravenous, growth-killing monster akin to those who bestride the European continent.
This is why it was so important to win this battle politically, why it was so crucial to prevent this law from being passed in the first place. Considering that public opinion has consistently been hostile to this legislation, the fact that it was not strangled in its cradle represents a stunning failure on the part of liberty lovers, both in and out of government. As it is, we are now in the unenviable position of praying that Justice Kennedy will make a logical decision.
The truth is this: Whether or not the Court finds this law constitutional is irrelevant. No matter which side the majority of Justices come down on, Obamacare is a killer — a killer of prosperity, a killer of liberty. It will further condemn our children and their children to a life of servitude and indebtedness. This law will break our nation, financially and spiritually, and unmake what our Founders made.
This is why Obamacare must go.