March 23, 2012 8:40AM

Why Is ObamaCare Unpopular?

Today POLITICO Arena asks:

Was ObamaCare doomed from the start, an unpopular proposal that was unlikely to ever catch on with the public?

My response:

Let’s remember how ObamaCare was passed — without a single Republican vote, and after the “Cornhusker Kickback,” the “Louisiana Purchase,” the Florida Flim‐​Flam,” and countless other shenanigans, including a phony 10‐​year price tag of $938 billion that the CBO now tells us will be $1.76 trillion. And remember too that ObamaCare’s passage was followed by the massive repudiation of the 2010 elections. Is it any wonder that it continues to be unpopular?

But the Supreme Court next week will be looking not at ObamaCare’s unpopularity but at its unconstitutionality — or so 26 states and others have claimed, and for good reason. The Act, if upheld, would effectively end constitutionally limited government in America. A government that can order individuals to engage in commerce is limited only by politics, not law. A federal government that can compel states to expand their Medicaid roles on pain of losing the federal tax dollars the state’s citizens must continue to pay is no longer a government subject to checks by the states.

The American people aren’t stupid. They know a massive power‐​grab when they see it. What makes this power‐​grab special is that it concerns not retirement or education, or the many other areas in which the federal government has usurped constitutionally unauthorized power over the years but that most intimate of human concerns, health care. Bad as our health care system is today, due to government meddling in the past, ObamaCare will transform it into one massive bureaucracy — high costs, poor service — and the American people know it. That’s why it continues to be so unpopular.