It’s hard not to be depressed after witnessing the House pass a bill that constitutes a tremendous loss of liberty for the country. This legislation means crushing new regulations on our medical system, higher taxes, higher premiums for most Americans, and lower quality of care. Here’s how the Wall Street Journal sums it up:

Mr. Obama and the Democrats have sold this takeover by promising that multiple benefits will follow: huge new subsidies for the middle class; lower insurance premiums for consumers, especially those in the individual market; vast reductions in the federal budget deficit and in overall health-care spending; a more competitive U.S. economy as business health-care costs decline; no reductions in Medicare benefits; and above all, in Mr. Obama’s words, that “if you like your health-care plan, you keep your health-care plan.”

We think all of this except the subsidies will turn out to be illusory, as most of the American public seems intuitively to understand. As recently as Friday, Caterpillar Inc. announced that ObamaCare will increase its health-care costs by $100 million in the first year alone, due to a stray provision about the tax treatment of retiree benefits. This will not be the only such unhappy surprise.

While the subsidies don’t start until 2014, many of the new taxes and insurance mandates will take effect within six months. The first result will be turmoil in the insurance industry, as small insurers in particular find it impossible to make money under the new rules. A wave of consolidation is likely, and so are higher premiums as insurers absorb the cost of new benefits and the mandate to take all comers.

Liberals will try to blame insurers once again, but the public shouldn’t be fooled. WellPoint, Aetna and the rest are from now on going to be public utilities, essentially creatures of Congress and the Health and Human Services Department. When prices rise and quality and choice suffer, the fault will lie with ObamaCare.

Yet this can’t be the end of the story. This has to be the beginning of the push back against government control of our health care system and for reforms like these that will actually improve the system. The good news is that the American public is aghast at what’s gone on in Congress and recognizes that this fundamentally isn’t a proper use of government power.  It’s time to start getting the word about how to return power to patients, instead of thousands of new bureaucrats and IRS agents, and hope that we can put those policies in place before too much damage is done.