When President Barack Obama signed into law the historic 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Eagle Forum and the Family Research Council (among other groups who fondly, habitually and inaccurately describe themselves as "conservative") launched themselves into a hand-wringing, tut-tutting, lip-pursing frenzy.
How dare the government -- that bastard! -- interfere in the private medical decisions made by Americans in all their wisdom? The ACA is unconstitutional! It's socialism! It's an attack on Religious Freedom! Also, on Free Speech!
Probably, given enough time, they'd have worked out how "Obamacare" violates the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, as well as Protection from Quartering of Troops, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights -- had it not been for those meddling kids in the United States Supreme Court who (gasp!) ruled that the ACA is really very sincerely and reassuringly constitutional.
Strange, then, that the Eagle Forum and the FRC signed on as friends of the court to support the government's right to violate doctors' First Amendment rights in an 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case. Apparently, "socialism" is OK when it interferes with a woman's right to choose -- it's only not OK when it provides health coverage for low-income Americans.
For those of us who still cling to old-fashioned values -- such as government of the people, by the people and for the people -- the ACA is likely the most important and sweeping piece of federal law in a generation. Now, that's not saying much: The ACA is imperfect -- it includes no public option, and it is far less efficient and cost-effective than the much better single-payer plan. It won't even provide full health coverage for 100 percent of uninsured Americans. Yet, it's the best our Congress, which has been uselessly paralyzed for decades, could accomplish at this point in our nation's history. If nothing else, the ACA is a good start, and it represents the first step toward universal health care for all Americans.
That's what scares the so-called conservatives in the Eagle Forum and the FRC. They worry that, once Americans get a taste of what a modern health-care system is like, we'll start liking it. And they're correct. Already, the ACA has helped provide insurance for Americans who were previously denied due to "pre-existing conditions" -- and the main benefits aren't even scheduled to kick in until 2014.
Until then, these radical anti-American groups will do everything they can to see that health-care reform is repealed. The ACA is a huge loss for them. But, it's a huge win for the rest of us real Americans.
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