- The Washington Times - Monday, December 27, 2010

In March of this year, Congress was debating one of the most controversial and complex pieces of legislation in decades - the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare - when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said something very cynical, very condescending and yet also instructive. She said: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

Well, the “fog” has started to lift, but the raging controversy surrounding it definitely has not.

Pulitzer Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman added the most recent log to the fire when he disclosed how government bureaucrats will make medical choices for U.S. seniors if liberals like him and President Obama get their wishes. As Mr. Krugman told ABC News’ “This Week” program last month:

“Medicare is going to have to decide what it’s going to pay for, and at least for starters it’s going to have to decide which medical procedures are not effective at all - and should not be paid for at all.”

Later in the same show, Mr. Krugman added:

“Somewhere down the pike, we’re going to get the real [health care] solution, which is a combination between ‘death panels’ and sales taxes.”

The reason most Americans reject turning over personal medical decisions to the government is that bureaucrats generally can be trusted to show the same level of care and attention to detail that led them to send $18 million from the 2009 stimulus bill to 72,000 dead Americans or another $4.3 million to 17,000 prison inmates or to spend $145,000 to test the effects of cocaine on monkeys or… You get the point.

No, Americans reject Obamacare by overwhelming - and growing - majorities because it was shoved down our throats with noneof the transparency Mr. Obama repeatedly promised, using the kind of partisan politics he assured us would by now be a thing of the past.

We also reject Obamacare because it imposes $500 billion in new taxes, creates 150 new boards and commissions, swells the federal deficit to record levels and forces costly unfunded mandates on the states - many of which are saddled with staggering budget deficits as it is.

Even the special-interest groups that helped strong-arm Obamacare through the liberal-led Congress are buckling under the weight of its new requirements. To date, 34 unions representing 140,000 union workers (including the Service Employees International Union chapter in Cleveland) have asked to be exempted from the law. Meanwhile, AARP, which provided a key endorsement, recently informed its employees that their health care co-pays were going up and their insurance premiums were increasing between 8 percent and 13 percent.

At last count, nearly 225 companies have been exempted from Obamacare - which shows that the legislation is a job-killer. Perhaps worst of all, Obamacare doesn’t even work. It will still leave 23 million Americans without coverage by 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

All of this, and more, explains why a new poll out just this week shows for the first time since the bill was railroaded through Congress in March that a majority of Americans think Obamacare is likely to be repealed. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52 percent of likely U.S. voters think it is at least somewhat likely that the health care plan will be repealed. Just 33 percent view repeal as unlikely.

And of course, many think federal Judge Henry E. Hudson’s recent ruling that forcing all Americans to buy health insurance is unconstitutional also means the legal tide is turning against the administration and its allies on this issue as well.

Thankfully, the fog of which Mrs. Pelosi spoke is lifting just in time for the American people, and our leaders, to see that we are about to head off a cliff - so we can correct our course and avert the clear and catastrophic implications of Mr. Obama’s policy.

It’s been said that “a politician thinks about the next election, a statesmen of the next generation.” With an Obamacare repeal bill moving from sure passage in the House to the Senate, much attention will be paid to the 21 Democratic senators who voted for Obamacare who will face the voters again in 2012. To be sure, they have ample cause to support repeal.

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