With the Democrats’ health-care legislation having cleared the last legislative hurdle, it is all but inevitable that President Obama will be signing it into law. Is this the end of the road for the debate, or is there a way forward for real reform that puts decisions into the hands of health-care consumers rather than the government? National Review’s panel of health-care watchers weighs in.
It goes to show the lengths to which Pelosi, President Obama, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are prepared to go to take over 17.3 percent of the American economy.
The CBO estimates that the reconciliation bill will cost $938 billion over ten years while reducing the deficit by $124 billion over the same period. If enacted, the plan will likely cost in excess of $2 trillion and result in higher taxes, increased deficits, and rationed care for all Americans. This debate is not about achieving universal coverage at a lower cost; that will not be done under Obamacare. This debate is about an ideological insistence on having the government make decisions about our health care rather than letting individuals make them. Their goal is a single-payer, government-run system called “Medicare for All.”
The Republicans do have ideas about how to make health care affordable, accessible, and of a higher quality. The party must find a strong leader with a clear vision of how to reform our health-care system based on patient-centered solutions. In the 2010 elections, they must make large gains in the House and the Senate. In 2012, a Republican president must be elected so that the repeal process can be consummated.
There is precedent: In 1989, Medicare Catastrophic was repealed, and this can be, too, though no one should pretend that it will be easy. In fact, the repeal of this titanic new initiative will be enormously difficult. We are driving headlong down the road to serfdom, and no advanced democracy that has come down this far has ever found an off ramp.
— Sally C. Pipes is president and ceo of the Pacific Research Institute. She is author of The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care.