(Guest post by Greg Forster)
When Obamacare passed, I lost hope. All the arguments that were being offered at the time for the feasability of repeal seemed to run from flimsy to transparently bogus. And Mark Steyn kept raising the question – has a victory like this ever been rolled back?
But since then some better arguments have been made that a rollback, culminating in repeal, could happen. The best of these is Ramesh Ponnuru’s article in the current NRODT, now generously made available to the world on NRO. Long story short, Obamacare has a long lead time before the corrupting influence of its subsidies on the general populace can be expected to take hold (the subsidies don’t even start flowing for years) and there’s a window of opportunity that can be seized – not for repeal immediately, but to set the stage for repeal. Plus, when the rest of the world’s developed countries adopted their big welfare states, most people saw themselves as the winners and only “the rich” as the losers. Today, most people seem to see themselves as the losers.
The clincher for me, though, was Randy Barnett’s article in yesterday’s Journal on the legal merits of the constitutional lawsuit. My argument last month was that if Social Security (mandatory retirement savings) is legal, then Obamacare (mandatory health insurance) must be. I was ignorant of two key factors, one that I didn’t know and one that I forgot. The one I didn’t know is that the legislative language in Obamacare actually makes the Social Security comparison legally problematic – they didn’t realize until too late that they would need to appeal to the tax authority to protect themselves (funny how hard it is to get everything exactly right in a 50,000 page bill that you have to ram through in a hurry to avoid scrutiny).
And the thing I forgot is that court cases are not decided on the merits. There’s no excuse for a voucher supporter to forget that!
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