By Cal Thomas.
Cal Thomas is a conservative American syndicated columnist and author syndicated in over 550 newspapers and is heard on over 300 radio stations.
Not all revolutions begin in the streets with tanks and guns. Some advance slowly, almost imperceptibly, until a nation is transformed and the public realizes too late that their freedoms are gone.
Such is the revolution now taking place in America. The ’60s crowd has emerged from the ideological grave and is about to impose on this country a declaration of dependence in the form of government-run health insurance and treatment. It matters not what facts are known about this “coup,” because to those from the ’60s – whether they lived in that decade or were born later and adopted its ideology – only feelings and intentions matter, not truth and results.
Why would anyone trust government – which has a difficult enough time winning wars – to properly administer health care? What track record does government have in living up to its economic forecasts and competence in running anything?
But this is about none of that. This is about liberal Democrats realizing their decades-old dream of complete control of our lives. Every move you make, every breath you take, they’ll be watching you. Except, of course, when it comes to terrorists who want to destroy America faster than the liberals do. A different standard is applied to them.
Nowhere in the debate over health care “reform” have we heard a single word from liberal Democrats about personal responsibility, self-reliance and freedom. In fact, the message has come through quite clearly that government will penalize anyone who demonstrates such beliefs, as it attempts to spread your wealth around.
This is how I see health care reform working: If you are a doctor who has spent a lot of money and time becoming a responsible and caring physician, the government will tell you how much to charge your patients and, in fact, whether you will be allowed to treat them at all. Bureaucrats, having given themselves the power of God, will decide whether a patient is worth the cost of treatment, thereby deciding who lives and who dies. Despite the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, somewhere down the line taxpayers will be forced to underwrite abortions in violation of the consciences and faith of the majority. This is the triumph of the humanistic, atheistic worldview. We are all to be regarded as products of evolution in which the fit and the powerful will decide our survival and worth.
When Republicans were in the majority, deficits mattered to Democrats. Now we see that expressed concern was a sham, because if deficits meant something when they were relatively small, they ought to mean something more when we are in hock up to the necks of our Chinese-made clothes.
We’ve only just begun with this. The new breast and ovarian cancer screening guidelines may soon become mandatory as health care rationing kicks in. The unwanted, the inconvenient and the “burdensome” could soon be dispatched with a pill, or through neglect.
Great horrors don’t begin in gas chambers, killing fields, or forced famines. They begin when there is a philosophical shift in a nation’s leadership about the value of human life. Novelist Walker Percy examined the underlying philosophy that led to the Holocaust and wrote: “In a word, certain consequences, perhaps unforeseen, follow upon the acceptance of the principle of the destruction of human life for what may appear to be the most admirable social reasons.”
In our day, the consequences of government seizure of one-sixth of our economy and government’s ability to decide how we run our lives (it won’t stop with health care) are foreseen. They are just being ignored in our continued pursuit of personal peace, affluence and political power.
Opinion polls show a majority of Americans reject this health care “reform” bill. They think haste may waste them in the end. It doesn’t matter. Like members of a cult, whatever the leader says, goes. The facts be damned. The crowd from the ’60s will “seize the time,” in the words of Black Panther radical Bobby Seale, thus sealing our doom as a unique and wonderful nation.
Welcome to the U.S.S.A., the United Socialist States of America.
Here’s the proof:
By Philip Klein on 9.23.10 @ 6:10AM
As President Obama spent Wednesday celebrating the six-month anniversary of the national health care law, his crowning legislative achievement remained deeply unpopular.
Despite repeated claims by proponents of the law that Americans would begin to warm up to it once it was enacted, more than 49 percent of the public currently opposes the law, according to an average of polls compiled by Pollster.com, compared with just 41 percent who favor it. Those numbers are virtually identical to where they stood when Obama signed the legislation in March.
The months since passage of ObamaCare have been marked by the evaporation of one promise after another. Contrary to the rhetoric employed by Democrats when they were ramming the unpopular measure through Congress, further evidence has confirmed that the law will increase costs, raise premiums, and cause Americans to lose their current coverage — even if they like it.
Yet this is no time for opponents of the law to become complacent. ObamaCare boosters are already laying the groundwork to use the failures of the law to advocate a further expansion of the government’s role in health care.
A perfect example is the uproar over recent reports that insurers were citing the new health care law as part of their rationale for raising premiums. In response to the news, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a threatening letter to the insurance industry lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), warning that there will be “zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases.” Sebelius also added that, “I want AHIP’s members to be put on notice: the Administration, in partnership with states, will not tolerate unjustified rate hikes in the name of consumer protections.”
Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jay Rockefeller echoed Sebelius, declaring in a letter to leading carriers, “If an insurer thinks it can blame the enactment of the Affordable Care Act for its rising premiums, it is surely mistaken.”
It’s not hard to see where this is eventually heading. During the health care debate, liberals argued that regulation alone could not rein in the insurance industry, which is why we needed to create a new government-run plan, or so-called “public option.” But the public option ended up getting dropped so that Democrats could corral the votes necessary to move the legislation through the Senate.
As premiums go up in response to ObamaCare, expect to see a lot of Democrats, egged on by their liberal base, make the following argument: “See, we tried to give insurance companies a chance to clean up their act, but they continued their abusive practices. Now we need a public option.” Over time, this can easily morph into an argument for a fully government-run, or single-payer, health care system (which Obama has long described as his ideal).
To prevent this scenario from playing out, it’s important for the law’s opponents to go beyond scoring short-term political points (i.e., “Obama said premiums would go down, and he lied”), and to use this as an opportunity to educate the public on precisely why liberal health care policies have the detrimental effects that they do, and to advocate alternatives.
It’s no surprise that the new health care law, which requires insurers to offer more generous benefits, would make premiums go up. In the pre-ObamaCare health care system, state regulators already created over 2,000 benefits that insurers were mandated to cover, according to the Council for Affordable Health Insurance — and those benefits drove up the cost of health insurance by 20 percent to 50 percent. It’s one reason why coverage in highly-regulated New York costs more than double what it does in neighboring Pennsylvania, according to data from eHealthInsurance.com.
ObamaCare adds a raft of new mandates on top of existing state mandates. The Congressional Budget Office determined that an earlier version of the law would increase premiums in the individual market by 10 percent to 13 percent over where they would be without the law’s passage.
Some of the mandated benefits — such as the “slacker mandate” that forces insurers to allow younger adults to stay on their parents’ policies until the age of 26 — are popular in isolation. That’s why it’s imperative to remind the public that the flip side of having the government require additional benefits is that it will drive up premiums for everybody else.
The alternative to the liberal approach is to shift away from a system that is dominated by government and employers, and toward a system where individuals have more control over their own health care dollars and can choose polices that best suit their budget and medical needs.
While ObamaCare supporters may be on the defensive right now, it’s important to remember that advocates of government-run health care will use any angle to build on their gains — even if it means exploiting the failures of government health care.