• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Power of Public Opinion: A Tried and Tested Force for Full Repeal of Obamacare

    Today, the House of Representatives is scheduled to take a vote—its second—to fully repeal Obamacare. House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) said it best: “We will not flinch from our resolve to make sure this law is repealed in its entirety.”

    Repealing the massive law may seem like a tall order, but the history of health policy shows that it can be done. As research by Heritage Foundation health policy expert Bob Moffit concludes, “Based on Washington’s record of health policymaking, ending or rolling back Obamacare is hardly implausible.” Moffit points to the repeal of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 and President Bill Clinton’s failed attempts at reform in 1994.

    As Moffit explains, the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 was originally enacted with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, but it was repealed one year later. It was the disapproval of the American people that drove the law’s removal. President Clinton’s 1,342-page health reform plan of 1994 was initially so popular that its enactment was considered inevitable, but it later collapsed on the Senate floor. Again, it was the growing opposition of the public that changed the course of health policy.

    Two attempts at reform; both lost public support when the American people found out the actual effects and true costs. Both represented out-of-control costs and new mazes of bureaucracy. Sound familiar? Most importantly, both examples offer important lessons about the power of the American public and the future of Obamacare.

    Moffit states, “In order of magnitude, the level of bureaucracy embodied in [Obamacare] is beyond anything previously attempted.” But as history shows, it’s not just the Supreme Court that can change the direction of the law. The American people still hold the fate of this seemingly endless battle against government-run health care in their hands.

    Currently, 53 percent of likely voters at least somewhat favor the repeal of Obamacare. With such a lack of public support, history may very well repeat itself as the fight for full repeal rages on.

    Grant Hodges is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to The Power of Public Opinion: A Tried and Tested Force for Full Repeal of Obamacare

    1. Adam says:

      Great article! It isvery insightful and shows just how much control the American people can have on the laws passed by Congress and the way in which our country is run.

    2. @JPods says:

      Oil prices illustrate why ObamaCare is unconstitutional. The Federal-Highway Act of 1956 funded Interstate Highway infrastructure in cities that shaped those cities. Interstates are about 0.3% of US roads and account for about 33% of road-miles. Cities sprawled since the 1950's and oil became the lifeblood of America's economy.

      For the vast majority of American, infrastructure mandates buy a car and gasoline to hold a job. Federalist #79: "In the general course of human nature, A POWER OVER A MAN's SUBSISTENCE AMOUNTS TO A POWER OVER HIS WILL."

      Oil is finite. US domestic oil production peaked at 9.6 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 1970. National debt and oil imports have increased in tandem since. Eight Presidents have declared imported oil a threat to national security. Yet in that same period have taxed the people to build infrastructure that mandated oil imports increase from 20% to 50% of needs. Counting "no-fly missions" the US military has been engaged since 1990 protecting access to foreign oil. Trade balance in Jun 2012 was -$48.6 billion.

      If all costs of DOE, DOT and DOD were capitalized into the use of oil, free markets would have adapted to the 1970 Peak Oil decades ago. Instead those costs have been socialized into national debt.

      Debt is the tax on future labor. A child born yesterday has a burden on their liberty and a tax obligation, for which the full power of the Federal government can be used to coerce payment, of $50,548. This is taxation without representation. It is tyranny of the majority. Adults voted for politicians to give us benefits to be paid by debt.

      The current economic hardships will get much worse. Life requires energy. Oil is finite. Buying oil is mandated by Federally funded infrastructure. Self-reliance and free markets can correct this: http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/184086-bill-jamhttp://seekingalpha.com/instablog/184086-bill-jam

      Please consider writing about ObamaCare relative to other Federal commercial monopolies:
      Telephones: resulted in a century of rotary telephones with vast innovation after free markets restored in 1984.
      Transportation: Oil Famine, consequences of a monolithic dependence on a source of energy 50% outside our control.
      Farm policy: Obesity

      What the consequence to health will be?

    3. DarfurWarrior says:

      I understand the need to beat the drums of repeal at this stage of the conflict, but when are we also going to reveal the true reasoning behind this vote? This article is a great start to begin understanding of the legitimacy behind that reasoning.

      This vote, along with the Senate vote will once again force members of Congress to expose to the people who it is they choose to represent. Will it be the People or their Party, if they choose the former they will vote to "Repeal, and if they choose the latter the People will vote them out just as we did in 2010.

      Rather than focusing our efforts of giving a play by play of the same game played out in 2010, perhaps we should focus more on exposing the true hidden agendas concealed with-in this "Declaration of Tyranny".

      Just as they fled from Obamacare in 2010, so they shall in 2012. Our greatest chance to repeal lies in removing as many of its institutors from office in this election as possible, and the best way to do that is to continue driving home the despotic agendas concealed with-in this law and the mountain of regulations that have already begun to follow.

    4. Bobbie says:

      It was wrong from the beginning. The claims to validate are invalid claims. As a person with a costly illness (who's costs government "promised" they'd reduce so far with no effort made but now triple the costs within the last year and a half) I've not been denied insurance. Of course it costs more through the expense of the medicines less the retail costs. I have an illness healthy people in the insurance don't and government didnt carry out their promise to go as far as manufacturing to bring down costs. Why would anyone trust government when it's obviously control they want and make work created?

      When people have illnesses that compromise life's span, the costs to sustain life should be practical and reasonable. Today we make hefty profit for greedy people. You want to live? You'll buy or die! I don't want the control of my health OR my life taken from me and put into the hands of government control.

      I want to afford my own costs and make my own decisions. I can tell my doctor slipped into it. I'm assuming he doesn't care anymore, he's retiring soon. But doctors have to comply with government without the use of the doctors own skills and human compassion.

      I just heard Pelosi say "if this is repealed you'll take away the affordable health care to some???" Obviously the name doesn't identify the truth!!! Isn't subsidizing "affordable health care" an oxy moron?


      There's no reason to trust fed government in your health care. It's dangerous! The government is mandating everyone drink this kool aid! NO THANKS! KEEP THE FEDS OUT!!!!!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.