The Start of the Debate
Last night, the House of Representatives, the legislative chamber of Congress closest to American popular opinion, voted to repeal Obamacare—the increasingly unpopular law which led directly to a change in the control of Congress just three months ago.
Many will tell you that yesterday’s bipartisan vote of 245 to 189 was an exercise in futility—an empty, symbolic measure. Liberals in Congress, the White House and their echo chamber in the media all insist, as NPR has duly reported, that “this measure will go no further.”
Don’t believe this for a single minute. The vote last night was an important step in the democratic process of protecting and conserving our constitutional freedoms.
Our country, it is increasingly clear, has arrived at a pivotal moment – perhaps the pivotal moment – in its history. Together, we face a choice between two futures. One is a collectivist future where the federal government claims ever increasing shares of our income and grants itself the authority to make decisions affecting virtually every aspect of our daily lives. The other future is built upon the idea that individual freedom trumps government authority, and that in those rare cases when solving a problem requires government, the government that governs best is the one that is smallest and closest to the people. That is the future that we should seek – reaffirming our individual liberty, strengthening private markets, shrinking the size of governments, and making decisions wherever possible at the local level rather than in Washington.
No issue joins this debate more dramatically than the question of Obamacare, and what to do about it. It’s not just about health care. The law redefines our centuries-old understanding of the reach of federal authority, indeed whether there are any limits at all to the government’s ability to intrude upon individuals, families, business owners, physicians and other health providers, and state and local governments. Little or nothing will be allowed outside the new regulatory scheme – no alternative state programs, no individuals or businesses that choose not to participate, no truly private market alternatives.
The debate boils down to one big question: Shall we govern ourselves, or let unelected bureaucrats rule us?