The administration continues to talk about the health care "crisis" and is prepared to spend over one trillion dollars to insure about 16 million people (of their estimated 40 million without insurance). That works out to about $62,500 per person. Why not just buy them a policy at a few thousand a year and save a bunch of money? Because that is not what this is about. I wrote an earlier article about the differences between the liberal and conservative philosophies and how the liberals always think they are smarter than everyone else and therefore want to determine how everyone else behaves and lives. Health care is the ultimate weapon of control. How can that be, you may ask? What is wrong with insuring people who have no health care now? Nothing, on the surface. Let's look a little closer at some of the issues.
President Obama said he wants to remove waste and overcharging by physicians. This is a straw man argument. If the waste was there, why wait five years to go after it? There are already massive amounts of regulation and remedies for physicians who overcharge, in the way of both regulatory and criminal statutes. It is total nonsense to say new programs are needed. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services stated that she wanted to protect physicians from liability if they practiced within (paraphrasing) "accepted standards". There in lies the rub. The entire idea here is that the government will financially twist the arms of physicians and hospitals to dictate care. They keep repeating the mantra that physicians should be in charge of medical care. Physicians will be free to make their own decisions. The only problem is that if the government disagrees, the physician doesn't get paid. Sounds like Chicago in the 1920s. Capone would be proud.
The government in the United States has a several hundred year history of taking good intentions and totally screwing them up. One of the reasons for this is that they try to write centralized regulations for currently about 310 million people. It is impossible to do and consider individual circumstances. Even much simpler issues (drug policy, transportation, weapons, etc.) have varying circumstances in different states. What you end up with is exception after exception added to the rules until you have the United States tax code (which no one, even the Internal Revenue Service, understands).
If a doctor decides a patient needs a drug and the government wants the patient to get another one, no payment. If your doctor tells you that you need surgery and the government disagrees, pay for it yourself. Actuarial tables will be used to determine who gets what. If you are over a certain age, head on down to the Soylent Green plant because you aren't getting anything that costs money.
But alas, it gets worse. Because the government decides who gets paid benefits and how much, it is easy to creep forward in logic. For example, if you engage in a dangerous activity (skydiving, scuba diving, bungee jumping, motorcycle riding, etc.) it is easy for the government to say you have to pay more for premiums because you have to be in the system. Okay. But it isn't a big step to say, if you smoke or are overweight, the same thing applies. There is already use of cigarette taxes to fund stop smoking programs. Hmmm. If you stop in McDonalds, you will pay a surcharge to cover the health care cost of eating a cheeseburger or french fries. There can be a dessert tax. You can get a break depending on what kind of car you drive, what kind of groceries you buy, what kind of hypoallergenic make up you use, if you take vitamins, if you are in a monogamous relationship, or if you limit yourself to two beers at the Fourth of July picnic. But how can we tell who deserves these premium benefits and coverage additions? Well, clearly we have to keep track of what people are doing so the government will know who to benefit. The government can track your vehicle registration, your purchases at the grocery store, your exercise log, your sex partner registration, your fast food purchases, if you bought condoms, or if you ate a second piece of cake at the birthday party. "It's for your own good. I am from the government and I am here to help you".
Government will tell automobile manufacturers what kinds of vehicles they can make (already happening with General Motors). Government will determine which restaurants can stay open and what they can serve by imposing "unhealthy food" fees. Government will tell you which hobbies you can and cannot have and when you need to lose weight. They will tell you that it's okay though, because, once again, it is for your own good. The justification is because anyone who is not liberal or progressive is too stupid to realize what is good for them individually. It is the government's responsibility to make decisions for them. These people actually believe this.
It is easy to take those steps in logic, just like it was easy to go down the path of eugenics in Germany in the 1930's. That didn't work out very well. Is this something we really want to do? Like they said in The Incredibles, "When everyone is super, no one will be". Take anyway people's right to individual decisions about their life, and there is no freedom and some would argue that it isn't a life worth living. We will become cattle. The very basis of this nation's founding will have been killed. This is not about health care. It is about control.