Voter antipathy for the policies of President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress is running high. A July Rasmussen Report shows that 58% of American voters favor repeal of ObamaCare. This present trend is meaningless, however, if Americans do not protest in the voting booth this November. Midterm elections typically have low voter turnouts, though there is much at stake in this rapidly approaching election cycle.
Despite public disapproval, prospects for repeal of ObamaCare already appear daunting. The Supreme Court will not strike down the entire law but only provisions that are deemed unconstitutional. Theoretically, to repeal the law with President Obama still in office would require veto-proof majorities which are incredibly unlikely after the 2010 elections. This means the President who takes office in 2013 has to be someone who would sign a repeal and there have to be strong majorities in both chambers of Congress—there must be 60 repeal votes in the Senate, which may prove to be especially difficult.
Many of the more positive provisions of the health care law have already gone into effect, e.g. the ban on pre-existing conditions, the ability for parents to keep their children on their insurance policy until age 26, and a pregnant women trust fund, among other things. The purpose of early enactment of these provisions is to buffer public reaction to the more controversial provisions of the law that will not go into effect until after 2014, such as the mandate and health care rationing through a bureaucratic advisory board. The popular provisions are also strategic, in that ObamaCare proponents will attempt to capitalize when these features are rolled back with the whole bill. For example, if insurance companies drop policyholders with “pre-existing” conditions (which includes pregnancy) in the future, opponents of the law will be blamed and painted as heartless. This is the real picture of what we are up against.
Nevertheless, it is crucial that Pro-Lifers register to vote and support candidates who support repealing ObamaCare, either in whole or in part, particularly provisions that directly undermine the right to Life, such as:
(1) Failure to explicitly forbid public funding of abortion in the health care law. The National Right to Life details the issues:
- Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved temporary “high risk” plans—demonstrating that the law does not prohibit abortion funding—that are intended to cover the elective abortions in Pennsylvania and also in New Mexico. Thanks to the rapid response of the Pro-Life movement, the Obama Administration quickly forced those states to exclude abortions in their plans.
- The non-partisan FactCheck.org noted that the National Right to Life had good cause to be concerned about abortion funding in “high risk” insurance pools.
(2) Any measures or policies that lead to medical care rationing and euthanasia.
- The health care law has established an 18-member “Independent Payment Advisory Board” [Sec. 10320(b)] to make “recommendations to slow the growth in national health expenditures” that can be implemented by the HHS Secretary and other federal agencies. The purpose of the board is to limit private health care spending so that it is below the rate of medical inflation; consequently, the HHS Secretary can and will impose “quality” and “efficiency” measures [Section 10304] on health care providers (including hospices, ambulatory surgical centers, rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies, physicians and hospitals) [Section 3014(a)] which will surely result in rationing of medical treatment and cost-driven euthanasia.
- Recently Dr. Donald Berwick, a fan of the British National Health Service and vocal proponent of medical care rationing, was nominated by President Obama as a recess appointment to be the Administrator of the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services which provides health insurance to over a fifth of the American population; Dr. Berwick will have a key role in implementing the health care law and policies in government insurance inevitably will affect the standards and quality of private insurance.