They may look at passing their health care bill as a move that will be politically costly in the short-term but pay off handsomely in the long-term by helping to fundamentally change American culture and permanently transform American politics. They may see it as tool they can use to invert the numbers from last week's Washington Post poll: to change America into a nation where only 38 percent want a smaller government and 58 percent want a larger one.
Both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill were designed to breed dependency on the federal government among the middle class. Both plans would subsidize health insurance premiums for families making up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
In other words, for example, a family of four making up to $88,200 per year would get money from the government to buy insurance. They would become another class of welfare recipients -- not in their childhood or old age, not in poverty, but in the primes of their lives when they are otherwise making a decent living.
In exchange for this subsidy, middle-class Americans will surrender control over their health care to the government. They will be required to buy the type of health care plan the government wants them to buy and only from health insurance providers the government approves. Government will decide what treatment they can and cannot get.
If Americans surrender their property right in their health care to the government in this way, they will also be giving the government leverage over decisions they will make involving life and death and profound questions of conscience.
Not long after the Bill of Rights was ratified, James Madison wrote an essay insisting that respect for property rights was indispensable to protecting other human rights.
"In a word," wrote Madison, "as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions."
The majority of Americans still know in their bones that Madison was right. They rightly see Obama's health care plan as a threat to American liberty. In louder and louder voice, they are saying no to big government and yes to freedom.
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