Indiana’s Republican primary is not merely the Cruz campaign’s last chance to stop the Trump juggernaut, it will also determine the ultimate fate of Obamacare. If Trump wins Indiana tomorrow, he will almost certainly win the Republican presidential nomination only to lose the general election to Hillary Clinton, who is committed to preserving the unpopular law. Even if Trump manages to eke out a win in November, he will probably be hobbled by a Democrat-controlled Senate that will kill any Obamacare repeal bill. A vote for Trump in the Hoosier State tomorrow, in other words, is a vote for Obamacare.
The Right Prescription
“A man may see how this world goes with no eyes,” as the Bard put it. The leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is an advocate of government-run health care, a proponent of massive tax increases, and hadn’t heard of the nuclear triad until questioned about it during a debate. The probable Democratic nominee is, as William Safire famously put it, “a congenital liar” whose tenure as Secretary of State produced a spate of scandal and skulduggery that would have made Richard III blush. How this world goes, in other words, is straight to Hell in a hand basket.
Shortly following oral arguments in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, with which the Supreme Court consolidated six additional lawsuits challenging the HHS contraception mandate, the Court took a step it hasn’t taken since 1953. It ordered the litigants to weigh in on a compromise solution proposed by the Court itself: “The parties are directed to file supplemental briefs that address whether and how contraceptive coverage may be obtained by petitioners’ employees through the petitioners’ insurance companies, but in a way that does not require any involvement of petitioners beyond their own decision to provide health insurance without contraceptive coverage to their employees.”
Ronald Reagan famously said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: “I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help.” As Obamacare has demonstrated all too clearly, any such declaration from a federal official is indeed cause for alarm. Nearly as scary for conservatives is the word, bipartisan, when uttered by a Republican candidate for office or one of his close advisers. This is why conservatives of all stripes should be unnerved that Sam Clovis, chief policy adviser to Donald Trump, told the New York Times last Friday that any replacement for Obamacare “must be bipartisan.”
Obamacare just turned six and the president is still attempting to convince a skeptical public that his “reform” law is working. On the anniversary of its passage, the White House issued a statement from Obama containing all manner of hilarious claims including the following howler: “Thanks in part to this law, health care prices have risen at the lowest rate in 50 years … premiums for a family with job-based coverage are almost $2,600 lower than if trends from the decade before the law had continued.” As Emily Zanotti pointed out in this space, not even Chelsea Clinton buys that whopper.
Wednesday morning, President Obama’s lawyers will again attempt to convince the Supreme Court that requiring nonprofit religious organizations to acquire government permission to practice their faith unmolested doesn’t place a burden on the free exercise of religion. It may seem self-evident that forcing religious schools, hospitals, and nursing homes to seek special bureaucratic accommodations to freely observe their beliefs obviously creates such a burden. But the apparatchiks who enforce Obamacare’s contraception mandate disagree, and they have spent five years and untold millions in taxpayer dollars in an effort to bend organizations like Little Sisters of the Poor to their will.
If you haven’t already concluded that Donald Trump is the most intellectually lazy man to run for president in the history of this republic, take a minute to peruse the health care proposal he has finally cobbled together and posted on his campaign website. And, rest assured, it won’t take more than a minute to read. Trump’s “plan” consists of seven random nostrums that appear to have been hastily cribbed from conservative and libertarian websites by his various flunkies. And it confirms yet again that neither “the Donald” nor his yes men are willing to do their homework.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the following in a letter to a friend: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be.” This, sadly, is the predicament in which our country finds itself. Tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of people will vote in GOP primaries to nominate a man for president whose contempt for facts and the founding principles of our nation are exceeded only by that which he harbors for his supporters. Ironically, we can’t really blame this on Donald Trump. The real problem is the willful ignorance of his supporters.
If there is any issue on which members of the GOP are united it is Obamacare. Gallup recently found that 86% of Republicans disapprove of the law. Yet Donald Trump has just won two GOP primaries despite his support of its worst provisions. Before Saturday’s South Carolina contest, for example, he announced that he favors its universally reviled individual mandate. In New Hampshire, he studiously avoided denouncing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Trump claims he’ll repeal the law but said yesterday that opposition to national health care was “part of the problem with Republicans.” So, how can he be winning GOP primaries?
The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was more than a tragedy for his family and American jurisprudence. It was a calamity for religious liberty. The Court will soon hear Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, which challenges Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Because Scalia’s death reduces the number of justices to eight, the spectre of a tie vote now looms over the case. If the remaining justices vote as they did in the Hobby Lobby case, the result will be a “per curiam” decision whereby a prior miscarriage of justice by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals will stand.