These days the Democrats like to refer to themselves as the "progressive party." That is okay with me, but the question is: In which direction are they progressing? Or, what do they consider to be progress? I'm sure that Hitler, Stalin and Mao thought they were making progress when they converted their countries to tyrannies. Do the Democrats want progress for the people or progress for the ruling class (that is, for themselves)? I'm convinced that it's the latter.
When you consider the policies they are advocating it appears that their underlying strategy is to take from the productive sector of the economy and give to the unproductive sector, which is obviously an insane strategy if taken too far. Each time the government chooses to guarantee a basic need to the people, the people's incentive to produce is lessened. Not only are individuals less inclined to work to earn money to purchase that basic need, but businesses are also less likely to be formed to supply the need. This leads to the government having to directly produce and supply the need. Most of us understand how well that will work out.
The prospect of the government supplying our basic needs is scary enough, but the fallout from that process is the scariest. Once the government assumes the responsibility for supplying our needs it soon realizes that it has to take steps to control our needs. This is being illustrated right now in New York City. Yesterday an assemblyman was on TV trying to defend his plan to completely ban the use of salt in city restaurants. His principal justification? The city, state and federal governments are spending so much money on health-care that it has to take drastic steps to improve the health of the city's residents. (I'll bet Obama cringed when he heard that on the eve of the vote on Obamacare. Brutal honesty is not considered a desirable quality in progressives.) In order to control our needs it has to also control our wants.
A typical response to arguments like these is: But what about the poor, the downtrodden and the disadvantaged? I say, good question! What about them? I say this because so-called progressivism has in the past produced more of these, not less. Unrestrained progressivism will indeed level the playing field; it will make us all poor.
It didn't take President Obama long to break his campaign promise to not raise taxes on people making less than $250,000 per year. The new health-insurance overhaul requires that every American purchase health-insurance. Those who can't afford it will be subsidized by the government. Those who can afford it must purchase it or pay a large fine. You don't think this qualifies as a tax? Well, consider this: The Act puts the Internal Revenue Service in charge of enforcing the requirement. The last time I checked the mission of the IRS was still to collect taxes.
Some might argue that it only becomes a tax when someone is fined for refusing to purchase health-insurance. They might argue that being forced to purchase the insurance doesn't make it a tax because they get something in return for the dollars spent. I beg to differ. Consider the purpose of the requirement being in the Act. It is to force healthy young people, who are not likely to need a lot of health-care services, to contribute to the pool so those people who are more likely to need the services won't have to pay as much for the services. That is, its purpose is to take money from one sector of the population and use it to provide services to another sector. That is a tax, pure and simple.
Since this is a tax and since the Bill originated in the Senate, the Act is unconstitutional. This is the case because all Bills that levy new taxes on the people must originate in the House of Representatives.
When I hear "progressives" lauding the governments' takeover of the health insurance industry they always cite the tear-jerker aspects of the program, such as the supposed guarantee that no child will be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Aside from the absurdity of requiring an insurer to cover a loss that has already occurred, this claim is disingenuous. While a child may not be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, plenty of children will be denied medical care for other reasons, such as further treatment being deemed futile or due to a shortage of doctors or facilities.
Supporters of the health care acts don't want to talk about how the program will be implemented and operated -- how more people will be provided better health care at a lower cost. It's obvious to me that health care rationing will be the answer. No provider of a service or commodity can (for very long) separate the supply of the service or commodity from the cost of the service or commodity. This is true of our previous health insurance and medical care systems and it is true of the new systems. The difference, though, is that our previous systems were self-rationing and the rationing of the services provided by the new systems will be controlled by some government bureaucracy.
Supporters don't want to talk about how the government is going to force people to acquire health insurance when they don't feel they need it. They especially don't want to talk about the fact that enforcement of this requirement, and the collection of the fine for non-compliance, has been assigned to the IRS. The IRS won't be able to collect fines from people they don't know exist. There are millions of people who have never filed a tax return. For people who do file returns, will there now be a proof-of-health-insurance form that must be submitted with the tax return? Will the IRS have access to our health insurance policy for verification purposes? Of course they will.
Supporters don't want to talk about how private health insurers will be quickly replaced by government provided health insurance. The government mandates will necessitate price increases. The price increases will drive people out of the market. The government will step in to cover these people at a lower price subsidized by the tax payers. As tax payers realize they are paying a higher price for health insurance and subsidizing others, they too will drop out and join the government program. And the snowball will continue down the hill getting larger and larger until we have a single-payer system for medical care.
Once the single-payer system is in place, private providers of medical care will quickly be replaced by government provided medical care. Government rationing and price controls will either drive private medical professionals out of business or force them to reduce the quality of their service. The government will recruit and train replacements who will work in government run hospitals and clinics.
If these acts are not repealed or significantly altered within the next two years we will have a medical care system like that of Britain and Canada within about ten years. Where can we go for quality health care?
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