Obamacare Repeal Gains Momentum

Monday, 09 Aug 2010 07:52 AM

By Deroy Murdock

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Obamacare faced voters for the first time Tuesday and was diagnosed as seriously ill.

By a margin of 71 percent to 29 percent, Missouri voters approved a referendum to invalidate any Obamacare mandate to purchase health insurance or any penalty for not doing so.

Proposition C reflects growing momentum to repeal Obamacare, an increasingly unpopular federal sinkhole that the American people do not want and numerous state and federal officials are working sedulously to reverse.

Obamacare's latest defeat did not occur in Mississippi, Utah, or some other right-wing bastion. Instead, this happened in Missouri, a swing state in which President Obama narrowly lost (by just 3,903 votes) to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the 2008 presidential election.

Rather than accept responsibility for Tuesday's setback, Democrats typically are faulting Republicans. "The numbers are totally distorted because of the lopsided turnout," Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., told The Associated Press, blaming heavy GOP voter participation.

Of course, this coin's flip side features Democrats so ho-hum about Obamacare that they failed to defend it.

Federal Judge Henry Hudson ruled Monday that Virginia may proceed with its lawsuit to overturn Obamacare's individual mandate to acquire medical coverage.

"While this case raises a host of complex constitutional issues," Hudson wrote, "all seem to distill to the single question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate — and tax — a citizen's decision not to participate in interstate commerce."

As Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli observed, "The government cannot draft an unwilling citizen into commerce just so it can regulate him under the Commerce Clause."

Obamacare's mandate redefines the individual's relationship to Washington, D.C. If it can compel Americans to buy health insurance, why can't it force each American to join a gym or eat a bran muffin every morning?

A constituent of Rep. Peter Stark, D-Calif., asked him at a June town hall meeting, "If this legislation is constitutional, what limitations are there on the federal government's ability to tell us how to run our private lives?"

Stark's answer encapsulated Obamacare's underlying statist philosophy: "The federal government can, yes, do most anything in this country."

Twenty different state attorneys general are in court battling Obamacare's defining ideology, as embodied in the individual mandate.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, 170 of 178 Republicans have signed Iowa's Republican Rep. Steve King's discharge petition to bring repeal language to the House floor.

"Our goal is to have 218 signatures on the discharge petition to force Speaker Pelosi to unclench her fist and allow a vote to repeal Obamacare," says Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America, a pro-repeal conservative advocacy group. "The fact that not one of the 34 Democrats who voted against Obamacare has signed this petition should lead voters to ask these congressmen if they now endorse Obamacare's implementation."

Americans increasingly would applaud such a House vote. A July 30-31 Rasmussen survey shows that, among 1,000 likely voters,  59 percent want Obamacare overturned, while 38 percent disagree. (Error margin: +/- 3 percent.)

Despite relentless Democratic preening over Obamacare, pro-repeal sentiments have risen from 55 percent (42 percent opposed) on March 24, when Obama signed this bill.

The American people can kill this monster in its crib. Handing Republicans the keys to Congress on Nov. 2 could smother this $2.5 trillion extravagance in its infancy. While a GOP repeal vote surely would earn a presidential veto, a Republican Congress could defund this law's implementation.

Instead, Republicans should administer a pro-market antidote to Obamacare's poison: health-insurance vouchers, medical malpractice reform; universal, tax-free health savings accounts; and individual, portable medical plans, all available across state lines.

Obamacare's ultimate demise likely will require a Republican chief executive to sign its death certificate. Until that joyous occasion, Americans should dream of the day when Barack Obama returns to Chicago to break ground on his presidential library.

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.Murdock@gmail.com.

© Scripps Howard News Service

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