Mitt Romney, perhaps unsurprisingly, offered some of the harshest criticism of the health care vote of any 2012 Republican presidential hopeful, backing an effort to repeal the legislation; Sarah Palin, meanwhile, warned that November will offer an opportunity for reform's opponents to voice their displeasure.
In a post at The Corner, Romney accused Obama of "brib[ing]" members of his own party to buy votes and vowed that the campaign to repeal ObamaCare "begins today":
America has just witnessed an unconscionable abuse of power. President Obama has betrayed his oath to the nation -- rather than bringing us together, ushering in a new kind of politics, and rising above raw partisanship, he has succumbed to the lowest denominator of incumbent power: justifying the means by extolling the ends. He promised better; we deserved better.
He calls his accomplishment "historic" -- in this he is correct, although not for the reason he intends. Rather, it is an historic usurpation of the legislative process -- he unleashed the nuclear option, enlisted not a single Republican vote in either chamber, bribed reluctant members of his own party, paid-off his union backers, scapegoated insurers, and justified his act with patently fraudulent accounting. What Barack Obama has ushered into the American political landscape is not good for our country; in the words of an ancient maxim, "what starts twisted, ends twisted."
His health-care bill is unhealthy for America. It raises taxes, slashes the more private side of Medicare, installs price controls, and puts a new federal bureaucracy in charge of health care. It will create a new entitlement even as the ones we already have are bankrupt. For these reasons and more, the act should be repealed. That campaign begins today.
Palin, as usual, posted a screed on her Facebook page:
We've been reminded many times that elections have consequences. Yesterday we saw the consequence of voting for those who believe in "fundamentally transforming" America whether we want it or not. Yesterday they voted. In November, we get to vote. We won't forget what we saw yesterday. Congress passed a bill while Americans said "no," and thousands of everyday citizens even surrounded the Capitol Building to beg them not to do it. Has there ever been a more obvious exhibition of a detached and imperious government?
In the weeks to come, we can expect them to try to change the subject, but we won't forget. Don't let them move on to further "transformational" steps while forgetting what Congress just did against the will of the people. Though Obamacare will inflict billions in new taxes on individuals and employers, at least it creates some jobs: the IRS might have to hire as many as 16,000 new employees to enforce all the new taxes and penalties the bill calls for! And that doesn't include all the other government jobs from the 159 new agencies, panels, commissions and departments this bill will create. As the private sector shrinks, we can count on government to keep growing along with the deficits needed to keep it all afloat. (Is this the kind of "change" Americans asked for?)
In the end, this unsustainable bill jeopardizes the very thing it was supposed to fix - our health care system. Somewhere along the way we forgot that health care reform is about doctors and patients, not the IRS and politicians. Instead of helping doctors with tort reform, this bill has made primary care physicians think about getting out of medicine. It was supposed to make health care more affordable, but our premiums will continue to go up. It was supposed to help more people get coverage, but there will still be 23 million uninsured people by 2019.
Though they'd like us to forget, we will remember the corrupt deals, the corrupt process, the lack of transparency, the deceptive gimmicks to game the CBO score, and the utter disregard for the will of the American people. Elections have consequences, and we won't forget those who promised to hold firm against government funding of abortion, but caved at the last minute in exchange for a non-binding executive order promised by the most pro-abortion president to ever occupy the White House.
All along we've said that we want real health care reform, but this isn't it. We mustn't be discouraged now. We must look to November when our goal will be to rebuke big government's power grab, reject this unwanted "transformation" of America, and repeal dangerous portions of Obamacare that will bury us under more Big Government control.
This is just the beginning of our efforts to take back our country. Consider yesterday's vote a clarion call and a spur to action. We will not let America sink into further debt without a fight. We will not abandon the American dream to government dependency, fewer freedoms and less opportunity. Change is made at the ballot box. If we work together, we can renew our optimistic pioneering spirit, revive our economy, and restore constitutional limits.
Stand tall, America. November is coming!