As Carrie, Sabrina, Julie and I have written, health care reform as it currently stands is simply bad legislation. Costs will rise. Taxes will rise. Quality will decline. Access will shrink. The American people will be paying for this big-government plan for years to come – as will future generations in perpetuity.

Over at National Review’s The Corner, Mark Steyn has a pretty dismal look at the way this bill fundamentally redefines Americans’ relationship to the government:

If Barack Obama does nothing else in his term in office, this will make him one of the most consequential presidents in history. It’s a huge transformative event in Americans’ view of themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well, the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the Dems wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing. Their bet is that it can’t be undone, and that over time, as I’ve been saying for years now, governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people. As I wrote in NR recently, there’s plenty of evidence to support that from Britain, Canada, and elsewhere.

Although the political landscape looks particularly bleak today for those of us who support free markets, all is not lost. Given these horrific consequences that this legislation will have, this may be the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as the burden of government is concerned.

I have faith in my fellow Americans. I truly believe that there will be an Indian summer of support for the free market once people begin to realize that the government cannot, in fact, do all these wonderful things it has promised (Cover everyone! Regulate everything! Save money!) As individuals realize that they know best how to live their lives, they will come to resent the bureaucratic, centrally-planned system that will soon make those choices for them.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform them.” Thanks to technology and a 24-hour news cycle, citizens ARE informed, and ready to act.

Last year’s tea party movement grew as a response to the threat of big government; now that their worst fears have come to pass, their voices – and those of other concerned citizens – are needed more than ever. I have no doubt the American people will rise to the challenge.