Monday, March 22, 2010

What They Have Wrought

The U.S. House of Representatives—against the will of the electorate—approved the Senate healthcare “reform” bill last night. The breakthrough came when Bart Stupak and his block of allegedly “pro life” Democrats sold their votes for the lemon that is President Obama’s sham executive order, which cannot legally override statutory law.

Barring a last minute GOP Hail Mary in the Senate reconciliation process, Obamacare will become law of the land.

While not a complete government takeover, it expands government into nearly every aspect of American healthcare. Among other things it sends the federal government’s share of national spending on healthcare north of 50 percent, creates a bureaucracy that can intervene between patients and their doctors, and allows the federal government the power to determine what insurance plans must cover. It puts the lie to Obama’s claim that if you like your current insurance plan you can keep it. Under Obamacare if your plan does not meet federal standards… poof it’s not insurance.

The law would exacerbate the problems it ostensibly purports to resolve. Contra to the Democrats and Obama’s claims the measure will increase insurance premiums because the mandates drive up costs, especially on the middle class. Furthermore, when you account for the double counting and accounting gimmicks the Democrat’s plan adds $59 billion in deficits to federal budgets over the next decade. This in an era where the electorate is keenly aware that government entitlements and spending are unsustainable. Obamacare will also increase unemployment and raise taxes.

Democrats crow that this law reigns in the rapacious insurance companies—Nancy Pelosi called them “villains” yet the individual mandate in their plan creates millions of new customers for those very same “villains.” The insurance industry was reigned in only in the sense that they became politically reliable appendages of the state. The bare, ugly truth of Obamacare is that it is the quintessential corporatist bargain. Government allows—even guarantees—industry profits in return for conforming to the ruling party’s political agenda. Let’s not forget the Pharmaceutical industry as well cut a deal last year to hop on board.

Obamacare will also be a boon to K Street. Lobbyists, like Tom Daschle, will feast on all the industry money heaped on their plates to influence the new federal committees, which will decide what treatments and medications are allowed.

What’s worse, though is that Obamacare is another step down the road to serfdom. Obamacare’s governmentalization of healthcare radically alters the relationship of the people to the state, and not in good way. Civil society is the space between the public and private spheres. With Obamacare, the state advances deeper into the private sphere, further turning the notion of civil society on it’s ear. When government assumes power over the countless private interactions and associations of citizens, gone are those “auxiliary precautions,” as James Madison called them, which act as a “sentinel” against state tyranny.

Earlier in the health care debate, Dennis Prager aptly noted that the “the bigger the government, the smaller the citizenry.”

We all just became a lot smaller.


DetectiveDick said...

The Democrats own this Pelosi/Obamacare. Who will inherit the problems and cost? "We the People". Out of this crisis is an opportunity. Now is the time for Ehrlich to challenge Babs. Maryland must have a moderate conservative in the US Senate. Ehrlich is the only acceptable candidate to run against Babs, SHE IS DEFEATABLE.

Bruce said...

Speaking to here in Maryland, I think your team successfully proved that Kratovil is not and does not have a wartime consiglieri. Had Kratovil been smart, he would not have tried to out-Republican his future Republican opponent by needlessly voting against this bill, even on the Shore. Kratovil blinked, and he will get little Democratic activist support to help him with legwork and shoe rubber. They will count him out and go help other Democrats who are not ashamed of the brand. This was his Sekigahara (look it up) and he found himself on the wrong side of the battlefield.

Republicans respect themselves enough to choose the genuine article, not the knock-off. Obama did not siphon off Republican votes in purple states last year by pretending to be a sort-of Republican, but by being a Democrat who respected himself. The bill would have helped the Shore more than most of the State; Maryland's a wealthy state but it's Dorchester and Somerset County that need this help the most. Had Kratovil been smart, he would have explained how the bill would helped the Shore's seasonal vacation and food industry workers and their employers.

Instead, he blinked and wet his pants on the brand, and will probably be writing quitclaim deeds for a living in a year's time.

Mark Newgent said...

Pretty cheeky for Kratovil given that on his campaign site he calls for "universal healthcare."