Let us assume, for the sake of this post, that President Obama’s attempt to nationalize health care is not A) grotesquely immoral, B) another giant leap towards socialism, and C) a sure-fire way to decrease health care quality for Americans. With this mindset, The Economist has an excellent look at The Politics of Health Reform.
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Posted by Bevan Sabo
Normally, I only link to articles that I (for the most part) agree with. But Peggy Noonan published an WSJ op-ed which gives a great view of the facts of the health care nationalization debate – though I very much disagree with the assessment of those facts.
What has been most unsettling is not the congressmen’s surprise but a hard new tone that emerged this week. The leftosphere and the liberal commentariat charged that the town hall meetings weren’t authentic, the crowds were ginned up by insurance companies, lobbyists and the Republican National Committee. But you can’t get people to leave their homes and go to a meeting with a congressman (of all people) unless they are engaged to the point of passion. And what tends to agitate people most is the idea of loss—loss of money hard earned, loss of autonomy, loss of the few things that work in a great sweeping away of those that don’t.
People are not automatons. They show up only if they care.
What the town-hall meetings represent is a feeling of rebellion, an uprising against change they do not believe in. And the Democratic response has been stunningly crude and aggressive. It has been to attack. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, accused the people at the meetings of “carrying swastikas and symbols like that.” (Apparently one protester held a hand-lettered sign with a “no” slash over a swastika.) But they are not Nazis, they’re Americans. Some of them looked like they’d actually spent some time fighting Nazis.
All of this is unnecessarily and unhelpfully divisive and provocative. They are mocking and menacing concerned citizens. This only makes a hot situation hotter. Is this what the president wants? It couldn’t be. But then in an odd way he sometimes seems not to have fully absorbed the awesome stature of his office. You really, if you’re president, can’t call an individual American stupid, if for no other reason than that you’re too big. You cannot allow your allies to call people protesting a health-care plan “extremists” and “right wing,” or bought, or Nazi-like, either. They’re citizens. They’re concerned. They deserve respect.
…the health-care protesters have to make sure they don’t get too hot, or get out of hand. They haven’t so far, they’ve been burly and full of debate, with plenty of booing. This is democracy’s great barbaric yawp. But every day the meetings seem just a little angrier, and people who are afraid—who have been made afraid, and left to be afraid—can get swept up. As this column is written, there comes word that John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO has announced he’ll be sending in union members to the meetings to counter health care’s critics.Somehow that doesn’t sound like a peace initiative.
It’s going to be a long August, isn’t it? Let’s hope the uncharted territory we’re in doesn’t turn dark.
To me, this seems like the wrong time to be admonishing opponents of health care nationalization to show restraint. So far, there have been no reports of violence, yet we have union members being sent in to “counter” the critics? Sounds like an intimidation tactic to me. To be clear, I’m not advocating violence or obscenity or anything of the like. But let’s not all rush to the sinking side of the boat. The group that needs to be restrained is our socialist Congress and (what appear to be) their thugs. At this point, raising our voices and standing firm against socialized medicine is not just overdue, it’s a moral imperative.
The United States of America is transitioning from a republic to an aristocracy. In a letter to John Adams, Thomas Jefferson once said:
I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
The modern aristrocracy that is forming is not based on virtue or talent. It is an aristocracy of political pull, clout, power – in short, it is an aristocracy of force. The U.S. fought a civil war to purge from itself the last vestiges of fuedalism and aristocracy. It would be a disgrace to return to rule by the few, with a gun as their final argument.
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Posted by Bevan Sabo
At town hall meetings across the nation, liberal members of Congress are being confronted by angry citizens over President Obama’s nationalization of the health care industry. The media is deriding these citizen for debating the plan in an uncivilized manner. Granted, I prefer a calm, rational debate over some of the more sensationalist demonstrations that we’ve seen at events like the Tea Parties. However, this harsh reaction to health care nationalization is a natural response to what many citizens perceive as a threat to their liberties. Investor’s Business Daily has an eloquent take on on the matter:
It is meddling in people’s lives and has no business going into the private places it is invading. Americans have both the right and the duty to stand up to forces that want to subjugate them.
Polite discourse is always preferred, but when liberty is threatened by an aggressive government, civil dialogue is not enough. Voters need to exercise their right to press their representatives and influence legislation.
Lawmakers should not be allowed to hide behind claims that they are being accosted by rabble. If they’re going to put a boot on people’s necks, the people have the right to confront their oppressors.
The writing is on the wall. Politicians are certainly going to hear more angry rhetoric and may even be forced to deal with some civil disobedience. Another possible externality of health care nationalization may be black market health care services. Nationalization (in the guise of “reform”) will bring standardization of care. With standardization, some procedures desired may become cost prohibitive or even unavailable. If this happens, an underground economy for medical care could very well arise. But when has any collectivist government (be it led by a single individual or a mob) taken a look at the economic consequences of its actions? For President Obama’s administration, I think all means lead to a single end: control.
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Posted by Bevan Sabo
The first step is admitting you have a problem:
…before ObamaCare can be beaten back decisively, its critics need to answer this question: How did his plan for a government takeover of roughly a fifth of the U.S. get this far in the first place?
The answer is not that Democrats have a lock on Washington right now–although they do. Nor that Republicans are intellectually bereft–although they are. The answer is that both ObamaCare’s supporters and opponents believe that–unlike Europe–America has something called a free market health care system. So long as this myth holds sway, it will be exceedingly difficult to prescribe free market fixes to America’s health care woes–or, conversely, end the lure of big government remedies.
The fact of the matter is that America’s health care system is like a free market in the same way that Madonna is like a virgin–i.e. in fiction only. If anything, the U.S. system has many more similarities than differences with France and Germany.
In order to defeat socialized medicine (a bad prescription for our nation’s physical and philosophical health), we must first invalidate the premise that we currently have free market health care in America.
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Posted by Bevan Sabo