Having passed the most significant piece of social legislation in a generation and the most unpopular in the history of the American Republic, the Democrats may be forgiven for not wanting to hear the words “health care reform” for a while.
But, if opponents of health care reform have their way, the Democrats, both in the Congress and in the White House, are going to have to live with disappointment.
The first manifestation of the war to repeal health care reform manifested itself almost before the roll call vote took place. The Republican National Committee has a Web site, entitled “Fire Nancy Pelosi”, which depicts an unflattering portrait of the Speaker against a backdrop of flames. The visitor is invited to contribute money toward a goal of $402,010 for the purpose of unseating forty House Democrats in 2010, ending Nancy Pelosi’ reign as House Speaker. RNC Chairman Michael Steele is the instigator of that project.
Democrats who voted for the bill, especially those in marginal districts, are in for a very rough next few months. Tea party rallies denouncing them and angry confrontations at townhall meetings are likely to become the norm for them. Republicans have good hopes of using the health care reform issue to retake the House and perhaps even the Senate.
Democrats promise to respond with talking points and spin in a coordinated effort led by President Obama himself. The hope is that Americans, once they get their minds right about health care reform, will learn to stop worrying and love it.
In the meantime, the political backlash is not the only trouble health care reform has created. Greg Abbott, the attorney general of Texas, is coordinating an effort by more than 36 state attorney generals to file a law suit against the federal government to get the health care reform law overturned on constitutional grounds. The mandate, for instance, the people must buy health insurance simply for the privilege of living in America is particularly unconstitutional, many analysts believe.
How the law suit from the states will proceed and how quickly is an open question. Will a federal court stay the enforcement of health care reform pending its ultimate resolution in the Supreme Court? Will the Supreme Court strike down all or parts of the health care reform law?
It would indeed be bitter irony if the Democrats pass health care reform, only to see that courts strike it down as unconstitutional. Then they will get the worse of both worlds. They will have passed the thing, angering the American people. Then they will have had the thing struck down, turning their victory to ashes.
Let the war to repeal health care reform begin.
Sources: Fire Nancy Pelosi, Republican National Committee
Obamacare: The Coming Battles, Paul Hsieh, Pajamas Media, March 22nd, 2010
Message on State A/Gs Lawsuit, Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbott, Facebook Page