- - Thursday, January 2, 2014

Now that Obamacare has gone live, more people than ever are running in horror from President Obama’s health care disaster. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Mr. Obama’s first pick for the high court, had no choice but to block enforcement of the health care law’s requirement that religious groups, whether they want to or not, must subsidize abortions, sterilization and contraceptive devices.

Justice Sotomayor issued an order Tuesday granting protection to the Little Sisters of the Poor, the charitable mission that has tended to the elderly for 175 years. The administration insists that these self-insured Catholic nuns take an active role in an insurance policy that pays for things they consider sins. The sisters are joined by such religiously disparate institutions as East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Colorado Christian University, Hobby Lobby and others who have filed similar lawsuits around the country. People of all faiths understand that if the government can interfere directly with the exercise of religion under Obamacare, there’s no limit to what it can do next.

This is not yet a victory. The injunction is temporary, pending further proceedings, and it’s hard to tell which way the court might ultimately go, given the mercurial attitude of Chief Justice John Roberts toward this health care scheme. That Justice Sotomayor is the one delivering the bad news for the president’s signature achievement casts a pall of reality over the White House.

The left is doing all it can to look the other way and pretend it’s all sunshine, wine and roses. On a recent conference call, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gushed about Obamacare. “It’s worth the trouble,” she said. “It’s going to be a glorious thing. … We’re very proud of it, and our enthusiasm for it … strengthens our determination to make sure it works.”

When Obamacare took effect Wednesday, more Americans than expected found themselves without health insurance coverage. A state-by-state tally by the Associated Press found that at least 4.7 million Americans in the individual health insurance market had received cancellation notices of the policies they wanted to keep, but couldn’t. The Department of Health and Human Services this week triumphantly claimed that 2 million Americans had signed up for Obamacare coverage, either through the federal portal or the various state exchanges. That leaves 2.7 million Americans worse off as a result of Obamacare.

Insurance companies have sent out notices explaining that rates are going up to pay for enormous new costs, not only in premiums, but out-of-pocket deductibles and co-pays, thanks to Obamacare coverage mandates. Far from the $2,500 a year savings in premiums Mr. Obama once promised, the insurance rates for young men are doubling, according to a study by the Manhattan Institute; for young women they’re rising an average of 62 percent.

Rather than admit that this scheme is not making it more affordable or available, but killing health care, the administration pretends everything is fine: Move along, there’s nothing to see here. The American people know better. Justice Sotomayor knows better. Maybe even Chief Justice Roberts finally knows better.