From The Weekly Standard, Christopher Demuth writes The Silence of the Liberals:

Collaterally, Obamacare is introducing a new form of government​—​improvisational government, characterized by continuous ad hoc revisions of statutory law by executive decree. This is a reversion to a primitive form that long antedates our Constitution and rule-of-law traditions. Transported to the modern world, it leaves the private sector in a state of constant uncertainty and subjection.

Are Americans prepared to part with the illusion that everything related to “health” should be available free or far below cost, and that this can be done without degrading medical practice and risking eventual bankruptcy? Will they distinguish between higher-priced insurance for medical services they don’t need and insurance that leaves them to pay directly for services they do need but are quotidian and noncontingent? Do they understand that competition and innovation are as valuable in health care as in smartphones and coffee shops? Will they recognize that further expanding Medicare and Medicaid, when that is offered as the cure for Obamacare’s failures, is a quack remedy? The conservative reformers are betting that the public, now that it is paying attention, will answer in the affirmative. They may be right, but they need help.

But the most harrowing aspect of Obamacare is that it vests political executives and government administrators with sweeping discretionary power, free of conventional checks and balances. It gives federal officials the authority to set insurance prices without any of the economic and legal standards that govern regulation of public utilities. It gives obscure committees authority to decide on the kinds of medical services doctors and hospitals are permitted to deliver from one patient to the next. It gives political operatives the ability to force private institutions to dispense free birth control pills, and potentially many other things, as tactics of electoral campaigns. It has federal and state officials running “marketplaces” and advertising campaigns and sales promotions​—​all with the style and mindset of business executives, but with coercion as well as persuasion at their command. The unsettling appearance of what I earlier called improvisational government​—​with the president and his subordinates revising Obamacare’s statutory requirements, and even their own implementing regulations, by press conference or web posting​—​is an authentic expression of the statute’s basic ethic, which is the ethic of executive will.


A true liberal should be outraged.