Americans horrified by the new health care laws are all asking the same question: what do we do now? On one level, the answer is obvious: we need to elect people committed to repealing the health care bill, and then embracing an entirely different approach to improving our health care system by returning power to the people. That election process really does begin today, culminating in November, and then again in November 2012 when the stakes go even higher for the Presidential election.
Yet Thomas Miller of AEI has a few additional ideas of what can be done even before the November elections:
(1) Stop the reconciliation bill coming up in the Senate this week. Several successful “Byrd rule” procedural challenges could strip key provisions out of the bill—although an initial ruling by the Senate parliamentarian late Monday night on the deal to delay the effects of a “Cadillac” tax on very high-cost insurance plans suggests the process remains wired for the majority. The Senate Republicans still hope to sink the rest of the bill by removing portions of its net budget savings and other House-favored changes. A host of Republican amendments also could stretch out this latest war of attrition and (if we want to be optimistic) result later in a House-Senate stalemate in a conference committee before the promise of a quick fix is abandoned.
(2) Challenge and slow down early stages of the final law’s implementation at various chokepoints. The health legislation remains fundamentally unworkable. Forcing it to run a multi-year gauntlet of critical comments and questions in the rulemaking process, rigorous administrative procedure requirements, and a tsunami of legal challenges to its statutory provisions should start the hemorrhaging.
The legal aspects of this will be particularly interesting. While it will be an uphill battle, as Nicole Kurowara writes on IWF’s blog, there is hope that the judiciary will reclaim its proper role as the true defender of individual liberty and enforcer of the concept of limited government.
Perhaps the most important thing that anyone can do is to remain engaged. One big battle was lost, but the war over health care is far from over.