The Supreme Court Vindicates the Tea Party
It was December of 2010 when I received a letter from my health insurance company informing me that the rates on my plan were about to increase by a whopping 33% for the new year. Compliance with regulations in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was given as the explanation, along with the gratuitous rising cost of health care. I knew the passage of Obamacare would lead to higher premiums and more expensive treatment, along with a plethora of other nasty things. I was just shocked by how quickly I began to feel the pinch.
Nine months earlier, I had called my representative's office in D.C. (for the first time ever) to make my voice heard on President Obama's healthcare bill. Democratic Congresswoman Betsy Markey had originally taken a principled stand against the bill... until she had a brief, closed-door meeting with an Obama adviser which led her to miraculously change her mind. I spoke to a Markey aid who sounded overwhelmed and exhausted, which wasn't all the surprising. The Capital reportedly received a record number of calls from people like me that day - March 20th, 2010. Constituents from all across the country were outraged by the unprecedented intrusion of the federal government into their lives. We didn't buy the promises repeatedly dished out by the administration either. None of us believed the claims that the bill's implementation would cut our deficit, lower our premiums, and allow everyone to stay on their current plans. Lastly, we knew it wasn't constitutional.
The overwhelming public discontent fueled the Tea Party movement, and though not everyone who opposed Obamacare held up protest signs and waved American flags, we were thankful for those who did.
In the end, our persistence did no good. The bill was jammed down our throats and signed into law under a breathtakingly shady process, even by Washington's standards. For our trouble, people like me were portrayed by the media as being too stupid to understand that Obama's healthcare initiative was for our own damned good. They were appalled that we weren't thanking our president, and because we weren't, they decided that we might just be racists.
Thanks to 26 State Attorneys General who filed a multi-state lawsuit against Obamacare, we got another shot.
This week, people like me have felt a sparkle of hope that there may be some vindication coming our way. The Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare's mandate that every American must purchase health insurance, and things didn't look so great for Obamacare supporters. President Obama's Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli, was filleted by the justices who insisted that the government overreached its authority under the Commerce Clause. Crucial swing-voter, Justice Anthony Kennedy, seemed to lead the charge when he declared that the law was "unprecedented" in its imposition of forcing citizens into purchasing a product. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called the display a "train wreck" for the Obama administration. Toobin was but one of a plethora of analysts who were adamant last week that this would be a slam-dunk victory for the president. The tone of the hearing has left those people completely stunned.
The push-back by the Supreme Court has been very encouraging, but I'm not getting my hopes too high yet. There was a time when I was certain the healthcare bill had been stopped in congress too, but it was resurrected and pushed through by the skin of its teeth.
Still, it's hard not to be optimistic.
The dismantling of Obamacare via a Supreme Court ruling would apply some brakes to the downward trajectory of this country and remind Americans what we're about as a nation. Those of us opposed to the legislation were criticized and mocked by pundits for not understanding the specifics of the 2,700 page bill, even when no one in congress did either. What we did know was that our freedom was under attack. What we did know is that this country couldn't sustain yet another entitlement program that we and future generations can't afford. What we knew instinctively was that Obamacare was Un-American.
By Un-American, I'm not suggesting that supporters of the bill aren't patriotic. Unlike many of my fellow conservatives, I do believe that the desire to extend health coverage to those who can't afford it is based on good intentions. What I'm saying is that we became the greatest, most prosperous country in the history of the world because we've resisted the intrusion of government into our personal lives. While other countries have let heavy-handed government bury them under oppression and dependency, we've cherished personal freedom and it has paid us tremendous dividends. We need to be reminded of this from time to time because far too many of us have forgotten it, or maybe we never quite understood it in the first place.
The plight might seem hopeless at times. We've certainly been sleep-walking down the road of expanding government for far too long. But when there's on overreach the likes of Obamacare, we've found that we won't go down quietly, sitting on the sidelines and being timidly complacent with our own decline. People who've stood up to Obamacare through all the mockery and defamation over the past three years should be proud of themselves, because it seems our fears have been substantiated by the highest court in the land.
If the Supreme Court does decimate Obamacare, it will be interesting to see the political backlash it will have on President Obama's re-election campaign.
Democratic strategist James Carville insists that the defeat would actually help the Democratic party. He believes that it would give his party an opportunity to say that they tried and were obstructed by meddling conservatives who don't want poor people to receive healthcare.
I find that perspective ridiculous, and I doubt Carville even buys it himself. If the Republicans allow such a narrative to be successful, even with the mainstream media promoting it with all of its might, they deserve to lose in November.
All the Republicans have to do is state the truth: At at time when our country was on its knees in the midst of a collapsing economy, closing businesses, and double-digit unemployment, President Obama and the Democrats spent nine months wasting the country's government resources on an illegal bill. They didn't care about its constitutionality and they didn't bother to even read it. Instead... at the very worst of times, they spent an enormous amount of time and taxpayer's money with their ideological pursuit for which more time and tax-payer's money will be required to unravel it.
The Republicans should argue that the Obamacare debacle was merely a preview of more irresponsible decisions Americans would suffer from if President Obama is given another term. They should explain that with four more years in office, the president could very likely be nominating new justices to the Supreme Court - liberal ones that would be more inclined to pass through radical legislation like Obamacare, rather than serving as our last, ethical defense against it.
The Supreme Court is expected to announce their verdict in June. Until then, speculation on their decision will run rampant. What can no longer run rampant is the continued, media-driven insistence that those who oppose President Obama's grand vision of a government-controlled healthcare system are baseless in their reasoning. It's the opposition that was right. They were the ones who took the initiative seriously and understood its ramifications while our elected leaders showed them little respect, choosing rather to blindly tote the party line.
Hopefully, the Supreme Court's decision will be cause for celebration among those of us who resisted Obamacare from the beginning, and a lesson to those in Washington who have no understanding of the proper role of government.