MURDOCK: Democrats rise against Obamacare

Resistance to big-government mandate is contagious

The ongoing controversy over President Obama’s universal female-contraception entitlement decree reportedly found Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, former Chief of Staff Richard Daley and five Democratic senators opposing Mr. Obama’s fusillade against religious liberty and economic freedom. It is tyrannical to force faith-based organizations to commit what they consider sins and dictate to insurance companies that they must deliver for free a service - namely, birth-control coverage - for which they normally charge money.

This is the latest example of Democrats rejecting Obamacare - in whole or in part. Here are others:

c Massachusetts’ Democratic Rep. Barney Frank recently co-sponsored H.R. 452, joining Rep. Joe Baca and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, both of California, New York Rep. Timothy H. Bishop, Pennsylvania Rep. Chaka Fattah and 10 other Democrats. This measure, introduced by Rep. David P. Roe, Tennessee Republican, would terminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Dubbed “the real death panel” by its critics, IPAB would commence in 2014. Its 15 appointed members would control Medicare costs, essentially by rationing care. Its recommendations would become federal law unless Congress adopted other means to match or exceed its spending cuts. Alternatively, 60 senators could refuse IPAB’s advice - no small task.

Mr. Frank’s spokesman, Diego Sanchez, says his boss’s opposition to IPAB has been “consistent and firm.” On Jan. 15, 2010, Mr. Frank - along with California Rep. Fortney Pete Stark, Georgia Rep. John Lewis and dozens of other stalwart Democrats - signed a letter to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi spurning “legislation that would place authority for Medicare payment policy in an unelected, executive branch commission or board.”

  • Sen. Ben Nelson, Nebraska Democrat, asked the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office to find replacements for Obamacare’s individual mandate, its most constitutionally dodgy provision. “I never thought the mandate was a particularly good way to do it,” he told Politico.com. Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, also frets about the mandate. “There’s [sic] other ways we can get people into the pool - I hope - other than a mandate, and we need to look at that,” she told MSNBC.

Obamacare’s chief mandate has enraged Democrats across America.

  •  Last spring, for instance, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a friend-of-the-court brief backing anti-Obamacare litigation filed by Florida and 25 other states.

“If Congress can force activity under the Commerce Clause, then it could force individuals to receive vaccinations or annual checkups, undergo mammogram or prostate exams, or maintain a specific body mass,” Mr. Koster’s brief argues in the case, which the Supreme Court will hear in March.

  •  Missourians voted 71 percent to 29 percent on Aug. 3, 2010, to prohibit any law that compels “any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system.” This anti-mandate initiative won nearly 100,000 votes from citizens who did not cast Republican ballots in that day’s primary election. “When 1 in 6 Democratic primary voters decide they want the state of Missouri to defend them from the signature issue of the Democratic Party, you’ve got a recipe for electoral disaster,” RedState.com concluded.
  • On Nov. 8, Ohio voters approved Issue 3, another referendum against the Obamacare mandate. In an election driven by union opposition to GOP Gov. John Kasich’s restrictions on Big Labor’s perks, Issue 3 received more votes than did Issue 2, which scrapped Mr. Kasich’s reforms. While Issue 2 passed 61 percent to 39 percent, Issue 3 did even better, passing 66 percent to 34 percent. All 88 of Ohio’s counties supported Issue 3.
  • Virginia enacted a law in 2010 that protects every resident from “any penalty, assessment, fee, or fine, as a result of his failure to procure or obtain health insurance coverage.” In Virginia’s House of Delegates, 55 percent of Democrats backed this anti-mandate measure, as did 8 of 11 (73 percent) of the chamber’s Black Caucus members.

These and other Democrats underscore something about Obamacare that has been true since it was jackhammered down the throats of the American people. The only thing bipartisan about Obamacare is its chorus of critics.

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

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