On March 21, 2010, our country witnessed a Bolshevik moment, whereby our U.S. Constitution was trampled and utterly violated by those for whom the ends justified the means. If Obamacare is allowed to stand, the American way of life will be changed forever, and not in a good way.
As lawsuits emerge from the states, insisting that our leaders in government comply with our Constitution, the president who promised bipartisanship and bringing America together has created the greatest division in our country since the civil war.
It is an ideological division between those who believe that government’s role is to confiscate wealth from the productive, and redistribute that wealth as the socialists see fit versus those who look to government to protect them from tyranny.
Common sense, basic economics, and history have been abused and ignored for the purpose of advancing a socialist agenda. Those who favor socialism, and government controlling 1/6th of our nation’s economy, argue that ObamaCare isn’t socialism because people will obtain medical insurance from private insurers.
While it is true, that for now, the federal government will not own the “means of production,” the federal government will control private insurers via regulations and price controls (corporate socialism). As more people are insured and utilization of services increase, the cost of providing private insurance, and hence the cost of medical insurance premiums will increase dramatically.
A newly empowered federal bureaucracy under ObamaCare will implement price controls on insurance premiums to control unsustainable increases in premiums. Ultimately, private insurers will be driven out of business by ObamaCare when they are unable to provide medical insurance at a financial loss due to government-imposed mandates and price controls. The inevitable result will be a “public option” (fully socialized medicine) as the only option available.
The history of government involvement in medicine is a history replete with deception and gross underestimation of the costs. When Medicare was passed, people were told if they liked the private insurance they had, they could keep it (§ 1803 of SSA). The result: government destroyed the private insurance market for those 65 and older. Government also promised not to interfere in the practice of medicine or to engage in price-fixing for medical services (§ 1801 SSA). However, government now interferes in nearly every aspect of the practice of medicine for Medicare patients, and government has engaged in price-fixing to a degree that the fees sometimes do not cover the cost of providing medical care. And, the current cost of Medicare is nothing close to what was estimated in 1965. Medicare is going broke.
The ultimate goal of ObamaCare is to destroy the private sector in medicine and make people dependent on the federal government. The sales pitch that government can take from others to pay for everything one needs or desires is, in reality, a cruel assault on the middle class which will never get ahead because of the oppressive taxation that will be required to pay for the socialist redistribution of wealth. It’s hard to overcome the greed of those who believe they are entitled to something for nothing.
And, those who believe that government will not ultimately ration medical care, should take note that the brother of Obama’s chief of staff has already published principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions (Lancet 2009;373:423-432). Those principles for rationing care include “promoting and rewarding social usefulness.” The rationing system that it promotes, known as the “Complete Lives System,” includes an age-based priority for receiving medical intervention. The curve drops off rather precipitously past the age of 50. “Distributive justice” is said to be the appropriate focus of the Complete Lives System.
If our Republic is to survive, Americans must reject the socialist fantasy and economic impossibility of everyone living at the expense of everyone else, and we must return to individual freedom and responsibility. And, we must insist that our U.S. Constitution not be violated.
(Lawrence R. Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D. is editor-in-chief of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons and a board-certified neurologist, who practices in the Buffalo, New York area.)