The president's health plan won't solve a problem. It will be the start of bitter fights over funding and policy that will consume the nation for decades to come.
"The Health-Care Wars Are Only Beginning,
On Dec. 7, 1941, an announcement was made during the football game between the hometown Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles. All the generals and admirals at Griffith Stadium were instructed to report to their duty stations. Little did they know their lives would be changed forever and America would be at war, or on war footing, for the next half-century. Pearl Harbor had been attacked.
America will be in a constant health-care war if ObamaCare is enacted. Passage wouldn't end the health-care debate. Rather, it would perpetuate ObamaCare as the dominant issue for decades to come, reshape politics, create an annual funding crisis in Congress, and generate a spate of angry lawsuits. Yet few in Washington seem aware of what lies ahead.
We only have to look at Great Britain to get a glimpse of the future. The National Health Service—socialized medicine—was created in 1946 and touted as the envy of the world.
It's been a contentious issue ever since. Its cost and coverage are perennial subjects of debate. The press, especially England's most popular newspaper, The Daily Mail, feasts on reports of long waiting periods, dirty hospitals, botched care and denied access to treatments.
A Conservative member of the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan, last year in an interview on Fox News denounced the NHS as a "60-year mistake," declaring he "wouldn't wish it on anybody."
As prime minister, Margaret Thatcher bravely cut NHS spending in the 1980s, but current Tory leaders regard criticism of the NHS as too risky. "The Conservative Party stands four square behind the NHS," its leader, David Cameron, said in response to Mr. Hannan.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes ObamaCare would have a more congenial fate—that it will become as popular as Social Security and Medicare with voters. She's kidding herself. Social Security and Medicare were popular from the start and passed with bipartisan support.
ObamaCare is unpopular and partisan. It's extremely controversial. Its passage is far more likely to spark a political explosion than a wave of acceptance.
Democratic leaders believe the public doesn't focus on the process of how legislation is enacted. "The American Public Is Stupid right Nancy ?"
But in this case they're wrong. I've been amazed at how many people understand "reconciliation"—a process that allows budget and spending bills to pass in the Senate with only 51 votes, instead of 60. Many voters are also now studying the details of the "Slaughter solution," which would allow the House to "deem" the Senate health-care bill to have passed without actually voting on it and then to vote through changes to the Senate bill. These legislative shortcuts are already infuriating ObamaCare's opponents.