Now for the counteroffensive. The House Republicans are pushing to repeal Obamacare. While they will doubtless succeed in the House and either fail in the Senate or face a Barack Obama veto, their decision to raise and debate the issue is a crucial one. As happened when it passed last year, Obamacare will ignite a national controversy.
But are conservatives prepared to win the debate? When Obamacare was being pushed through Congress by the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Obama and Rahm Emanuel, the right was galvanized. Rallies, demonstrations, town hall forums, television ads, letters to the editor, television commentary all bombarded the nation emphasizing the faults of the bill. But now these voices are stilled, complacent, perhaps exhausted. Or are they intimidated by the liberal spin on the Gabrielle Giffords shooting that we all must lower our voices?
Already, liberal groups and unions are running ads calling on House Republicans not to repeal Obamacare. One such, paid for by Americans United for Change, says:
"Members of Congress know that their health insurance plan can't deny coverage for their kids. Congressmen can rest assured that their insurance plan won't drop their families if they get sick. The Affordable Care Act gave your family the same protections that members of Congress get. But Republicans want to take that protection away from your family. They want to put insurance companies back in charge. Call Congress. Tell them you deserve the same health insurance protection they get. Tell them: Don't repeal the Affordable Care Act. You deserve the same health insurance protections as Congress."
Where is the conservative reply? Where are the conservative voices? Could the opportunity to repeal Obamacare give the left a chance to make their case without an answer?
Voters still oppose Obamacare. The Rasmussen Poll has them backing repeal by 55 percent to 40 percent. But, if opponents of the program rest complacent, those numbers could change quickly.
Republicans need to remind America that the huge increases they are now paying in their health insurance are concrete evidence of the impact of the mandates in Obamacare. They need to point out that the $500 billion in Medicare cuts are coming and that, already, reductions in physician fees are driving thousands of doctors to close their doors to Medicare patients. The Republicans need to explain how Obamacare creates an entirely new entitlement and will swell the deficit.