The die is cast: Obamacare will not survive. This is not a prediction of how the Supreme Court will rule on President Obama’s health care takeover, mind you. It’s the harsh reality that if Obamacare does not die a judicial or political death - or better yet, both - it will die an economic death, and if it does, it will take America down with it.
Obamacare’s costs are exploding in the land where budgets already have burst. The $900 billion bargain-basement 10-year cost estimate that Mr. Obama promised for his overhaul recently ballooned to $1.8 trillion. Of course, these are still just estimates, and considering that the government underestimated Medicare’s cost by a factor of 10, who really knows how massive the final price tag will be?
Welcome to the United States of Greece, where our $15.6 trillion national debt has surpassed the size of our total economy. This debt translates to $138,000 per taxpayer, but that’s just getting warmed up. The unfunded obligations of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are at least $50 trillion - probably closer to $75 trillion - which adds another $450,000 per taxpayer. Pony up.
Mr. Obama’s solution to this economic quagmire is to grow the entitlement state still larger. The “smartest guy ever to become president” actually believes that our government is too small. Our entitlement spending is already a stone skipping on the water. It’s simply unsustainable. Obamanomics replaces the stone with a bowling ball.
The Supreme Court justices soon will have their say. Their final ruling is anybody’s guess, but most observers predict that whatever the vote is, it will be close, probably 5-4. For the sake of our Constitution and our country, I hope they overturn Obamacare, of course, but I take little comfort knowing that, after almost 2 1/2 centuries, the fate of our American experiment of self-governance and limited government rests in the hands of any one man or woman.
A judicial death of Obamacare is certainly to be desired, but even this is insufficient to save our republic. In some form or another, nationalized health care will rise again. If Democrats were willing to disregard their own constituents’ wishes when they pushed this monstrosity, surely they’ll keep trying, even if all or part of Obamacare is struck down by the court. The health care takeover must die a political death before we declare it dead.
Most Americans unmistakably oppose Obamacare. The most recent Rasmussen Reports poll shows complete repeal is favored 56 percent to 39 percent, and these numbers have been impressively stable. Political polls are known to rise and fall. Candidates surge and collapse. Issues come and go. Even deeply held opinions such as party affiliation and attitudes on abortion show some degree of variability. But opposition to Obamacare has remained remarkably steady, week in and week out, since even before it became law.
The vast majority of Americans unmistakably oppose the individual mandate to purchase government-approved health insurance. A recent ABC News poll shows 67 percent oppose this government directive. Even a majority of Democrats, 56 percent according to a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, think the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
From the polls to the ballot box, Obamacare became the driving force of the 2010 election. Outraged Americans gave the president and his party a historic “shellacking” from Congress to statehouses to dog catchers. A blue map was painted red in a sea change the likes of which America has not seen since Warren Harding occupied the White House. But our work is not complete.
Obamacare was forced upon America by 219 congressmen, 60 senators and one president. For America to be safe from future would-be authoritarians, their political careers must end. Politically speaking, we should level their cities and salt their fields so that when future generations look upon the barren wastelands that once were promising political careers, it will be a timeless reminder that Americans simply will not tolerate the betrayal of their will.
Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.