At the height of the Obamacare rollout debacle in mid-November 2013, Mark Shields said this on the PBS Evening News: “This is beyond the Obama Presidency. This may be the end of liberalism as an instrument of social justice, the major difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties”. Upon hearing this, I remember having the feeling that this was a moment somewhat analogous to the night that Walter Cronkite turned on the Vietnam War and LBJ remarked that “if I’ve lost Cronkite, I have lost the country”.
Wish it were so. Unfortunately, Obamacare lives to fight another round, and my prediction at this point is that, even if the Republicans control all branches of government in January 2017, this program, which will have accomplished almost nothing that was intended, will nevertheless survive as another welfare program providing largesse to 10 million or so people and will be added to that long list of entitlements that will be impossible to roll back.
The worst part of what will remain adds further corrosion of our sense of who we are, not merely because it will damage health care or ultimately result in its socialization, but because it will further undermine the entire notion of the source of our rights as natural rights that come not from government but from our nature and from God.
I absolutely accept “natural rights that come not from government but from our nature and from God.” One silver lining perhaps from ACA: any, even tiny, improvements in transparency in our healthcare system.