09 Jul 2008

Socialized Medicine Sneaking Up on Americans

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The Anchoress aka Elizabeth Scalia warns that Hillary-care (sans Hillary) is not only back, it’s got bilateral support, and we’ll all find ourselves standing in Canadian-style multi-year health-care queues before much longer if we’re not careful.

Some time after Labor Day, many Americans will start to focus on the November elections, and they’ll be surprised to learn that while they were at the mall, government-run health care moved from being a vague idea to an essentially “done deal.” In just eighteen weeks Americans will, with every vote, submit to the idea of the government — that master of mismanagement — having a formidable control over their health care. Logic dictates that the common realities of age and illness — which come to us all — will steadily endow the government with ever-increasing authority over life choices and inevitable intrusions into decisions that should be private.

Once the thing is put into motion, there will be no pulling back. American presidents may peacefully surrender their power, but bureaucrats never do.

It may be too late to wonder — at this eleventh hour — if the free markets, local communities, and our elected officials have really done all they could to develop creative insurance alternatives to the super-sized government “solution” that will quickly affect our economy and slowly erode our freedoms. Will we look back and ask, perhaps naively, why citizens lacking work-connected health insurance could not have simply bought into the same or similar plans that covered state employees? If low-income families found the premiums too dear, might they not then have been able to use a tax-credit or deduction to offset that cost?

After taking the intractable step of handing our choices over to lawmakers and legislators who lately get almost nothing right, will we wonder why we did not encourage professionals and organizations to pool their resources and design flexible insurance plans with affordable rates.

Perhaps we’ll look back and realize that our own hobbies or fraternal associations or cottage industries could have organized and crafted insurance policies into which the similarly situated, but under-insured, might have participated. Could NRA members have purchased health insurance through the NRA, Greenpeace members through a shared Greenpeace plan? Why did we not consider a Southern Baptist health insurance plan that members could pay into? Why couldn’t the Masons, the Elks, the Knights of Columbus, or even large “internet communities” have consulted with insurance companies to create nationwide member health insurance programs and supplementals that were affordable in their spheres?

We cannot say we were not warned.

The liberal holds out to the middle-class voter the happy dream of Bill Gates paying for his gall bladder operation. But that middle-class voter is forgetting the inevitable concomitant feature of the deal: that he gets to pay for all the multitudinous and expensive health care needs of every unemployed person, every citizen of alternative life-style, every wino, every crack whore, every gangbanger, every HIV-infected San Francisco democrat, and that he will get to stand in line with all of them to get his own rationed share of what he is paying for.

State-of-the-art health care is an inevitably scarce and expensive good. It can be allocated in the normal fashion by ability to pay for it, tempered by a certain amount of charity. Or it can be rationed by a government bureaucracy, as was noted back in the 1990s, with all the efficiency of the motor vehicle bureau, all the economy of the Pentagon procurement system, and all the compassion of the IRS.

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One Feedback on "Socialized Medicine Sneaking Up on Americans"

carrie

YOu lost me at HIV infected San Francisco democrat. I am curious and open about the debate concerning socialized medicine but your sweeping generalization leaves me feeling as if there is no need to gather your prospective any further.



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