Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Case For Government Healthcare?--There Is None

A co-worker wrote this, and I have to say I agree with pretty much all of it. The only changes I made were to remove his name (given that I'm anonymous here, I thought I'd make him anonymous too), and some minor formatting to make things look right here on the blog.

Ask any politician to cite government’s constitutional authority to enact national healthcare. They can’t. It doesn’t exist. The federal government can only do what it is enumerated to do. The fact is there are no provisions in the constitution authorizing the state to interject itself into the healthcare decision-making processes of the American citizenry. None!

Then what business does the government have dictating the terms of private healthcare decisions for our selves and for our families? The government has no business doing this. But Democrats, the Obama administration, and the liberal left are poised to enact legislation that will ultimately enable the government to control every aspect of our lives, and to punish those who do not live in accordance with government’s benevolent standards.

But what is the harm in the government ensuring equal access to healthcare for everyone? Isn’t healthcare good? Healthcare is good. But every program the government enacts results in the same: regardless of good intentions the consequences, intended or unintended, are always: higher cost, reduced quality, loss of personal freedom, and destruction of the private sector.

But a national healthcare option is necessary to eliminate the great disparities in quality and cost of care. And only government programs can ensure equality of access. Wrong! Proponents call their proposals reform, compassion for the disenfranchised, and equality. But in actuality, state healthcare programs, like all government social programs, affect none of those ideals, but always result in the opposite: poor quality; high cost; lack of access; inequality; and equal distribution of misery.

The true aim of state run healthcare goes far beyond seeking equality of access. It would allow the ultimate in government control of its citizenry. It would allow the government to assert control over every aspect of our daily private lives – our diets; our exercise habits; our choice of transportation; our lifestyle, our doctor, our medical treatments… everything. And any behavior determined to be unhealthy or unseemly to the state, the state would have the power to punish or tax - in the interest of healthcare, of course. But far more devious, the government would have the power to employ healthcare as a tool for social engineering. Healthcare would be rewarded to those who are in compliance with government agendas and are in the political favor of the state, but denied to those who are not.

A national healthcare program would only make problems worse. As do other government agencies, healthcare commissions would conduct means testing, ration care, and employ “social justice” by race, gender, income, or creed authorizing or denying medical care on the basis of “fairness and equality”. Treatment for the elderly, disabled, or those who could not provide an adequate “return for the government’s investment” would be denied. If an unborn child is determined to be disabled (or otherwise) the panel would likely fund or even require an abortion, or deny prenatal and pediatric care to that child. Governmental health commissions would employ means testing and affirmative action to determine if individuals are worth the government’s “investment”. If not, treatments will be withheld or denied completely. In other words, government-appointed wogs (or death panels) would implement political policy in making life and death decisions for every American forced into a state-run healthcare program.

The political left has pushed for national healthcare for over sixty years. After all, why should the wealthy have better healthcare than those less fortunate, the less fortunate being the young, the old, minorities, etc… The arguments in favor of President Obama and the Democrat’s current healthcare campaign are emotional and can be difficult to refute without accusations of heartlessness. But conservative sentiments among the American electorate have awakened to the dangers of the government healthcare agenda, which they find to be in direct contrast to their natural desire for liberty.

Throughout the summer of 2009 American citizens across the country stood up to the charges of hatred and selfishness and stunned Democrat congressmen and senators via phone, mail, and email campaigns, and at town hall meetings affectively expressing suspicions of their government and displeasure with current healthcare proposals. They do not want higher taxes, lack of choice, social engineering, or government commissions ruining the quality of healthcare they currently enjoy.

Conservatives are clearly winning this debate, and Democrats have responded by evoking class envy and hatred, and charges of greed, anti-Obama racism, and right-wing Nazism – all charges recently leveled by Democrat leadership toward Obamacare opponents. Initially stunned by the anti-national healthcare sentiments expressed at their town hall meetings, Democrat supporters have countered by loading town hall meetings with their own vocal supporters in an effort to mitigate, and sometimes intimidate the affects of the conservative grass-roots message.

The liberal left is losing the debate on national healthcare. Next, they will back away from an all-encompassing healthcare agenda to one of compromise and repackaging – no doubt they will concede for now and settle for something less with the intention of seeking incremental expansion of state control in the future.

The problem in America isn’t the quality of healthcare. The United States has far and away the finest quality of healthcare available in the world, bar none. Accessibility is not the problem. The elderly, the young, the disenfranchised, and even illegal aliens can walk into any emergency room and receive medical attention twenty-four hours a day. Even Medicare and Medicaid are available.

The problem is not the lack of government involvement in healthcare. The problem is too much government involvement in healthcare, which over-regulates the industry and dramatically decreases accessibility and increases costs.

That isn’t to say there isn’t room for reform. Costs could be reduced significantly by implementing true reform. There are many free market ideas employed already that have shown positive results. Reform could begin with the following: 1.) Mitigate the cost of malpractice with tort reform. To put it another way, reign in ambulance-chasing lawyers. Not an easy thing to do, since the Democrats are in the pocket of the American Bar Association; 2.) Health savings accounts similar to an IRA – your money, your savings, you keep it to spend as you see fit for you and your family healthcare needs; And 3.) Point-of-service payment for healthcare - in essence, medical services are paid for by the patient – not by the cumbersome health insurance companies, and definitely not paid for by the government. Such a system could be likened to going to a restaurant and reviewing a menu before ordering a meal. One can shop for a quality product at a reasonable rate. And healthcare insurance would then be used as intended – to mitigate the risk of a major expense, not to cover everyday healthcare costs. With the patient intimately familiar with costs up front medical providers would naturally try to provide the best value at competitive rates.

These are only a few of the possible solutions to reduce healthcare costs. Many other valid solutions are being implemented throughout the country and are lowering the cost of health care without resorting to additional government intrusion. Reform solutions such as these are the result of basic American capitalism, which functions and succeeds through the competitive free-market process.

The healthcare debate is truly life-or-death. There can be no government healthcare, no low-cost government option plan, and no compromise plan. No foothold. Blue Dog Democrats can not be counted on to hold the line. They only claim to be worried about cost, not liberty or principle. They ultimately seek compromise – a lower cost version of the Obama plan, which too will bring about government intrusion and incrementalism. Continue telling politicians No! No! No! No!

The healthcare industry does need reform, true reform, but not this government “reform” plan. Government needs to act in the interest of free market solutions, not further restricting them. The solution will not be found in the Obama plan, what is certainly a blatant government takeover of our most intimate decisions – the personal healthcare decisions of our loved ones and of our selves.

No matter where government run healthcare has been implemented it has proven to be a deadly heartless failure – increased costs, lower quality, less accessibility. Healthcare costs are high. But the solution does not lie in more government. It lies in less government, greater competition in the marketplace, and competitive solutions brought about by the marketplace of ideas.

The lesson to remember is simple. In any debate - every time government ventures into the private sector the result is always the same: higher costs; reduced quality; loss of personal freedom; and destruction of the personal sector.

An ever expanding government minimizes the individual. This is true for public education, the postal service, AmTrack, General Motors, Cash for Clunkers, you name it. It is true for healthcare. And once the state wedges an opening into the healthcare door (even a compromise government option plan) we are on the road to further government intrusion and further loss of liberty. There is no case for national healthcare – none.

Download this and other articles available for distribution on the subject of INDIVIDUALISM Versus the State at ourobamadrama.com

Also, visit reason.com, and heritage.org for other free-market solutions to national concerns.

A Case for Government Healthcare? – There Is None

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