You are not going to recognize the USA if the leviathan health-care bill narrowly passed on Saturday becomes law. Here is the Wall Street Journal’s assessment of the possible damage:
The bill is instead a breathtaking display of illiberal ambition, intended to make the middle class more dependent on government through the umbilical cord of “universal health care.” It creates a vast new entitlement, financed by European levels of taxation on business and individuals. The 20% corner of Medicare open to private competition is slashed, while fiscally strapped states are saddled with new Medicaid burdens. The insurance industry will have to vet every policy with Washington, which will regulate who it must cover, what it can offer, and how much it can charge.
Big companies in the health-care industry behaved deplorably—but they got screwed anyway:
We have little sympathy for the insurers, or for that matter most of the other medical providers who signed on to this process only to claim now to be appalled by the result. The insurance lobby—led by Aetna CEO Ron Williams—made the Faustian bet that it could trade new regulations for more new subsidized customers who would face a tax penalty if they didn’t buy their insurance. The Pelosi bill includes the regulation but guts the tax penalty because it’s unpopular. Insurers will thus have to cover more sick people with fewer dollars, as healthy folk opt out of coverage until they are sick.
Nancy Pelosi gave 39 Democrats a pass on voting for the bill—a sign that she knows that her legislation is vastly unpopular out in the country. But this narrow majority may have changed our country beyond recognition:
Unless the Senate has an epiphany of common sense, Americans will be paying the bills for this willful exercise for generations to come.