Saturday, August 01, 2009

Ugly truth surrounds Obama's health plan ~ By Patrice Lewis

By Patrice Lewis Posted: August 01, 2009 1:00 am Eastern © 2009 Right now Obama is stumping hard to get his health care reform passed. Obamacare is backed by most of the liberal Democrats, of course, though the "Blue Dogs" are causing trouble. Obama is crying out for justice for the poor and oppressed. "We can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care," he said. "Not this time. Not now. There are too many lives and livelihoods at stake." I'm not sure why he suddenly considers the matter a national emergency in which every second counts, but there you go. The Republicans are countering with a health care reform plan of their own. House Republican leader John Boehner explains: "House Republicans have offered real reforms that would lower health care costs … our plan roots out waste, fraud and abuse in the system and reforms medical liability rules that cost families millions each year …" Next we hear an eloquent plea by Ted Kennedy, who is dying of the same brain tumor that killed a dear friend of mine. "… quality care shouldn't depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face," Kennedy said. "…we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American … will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." Yes, passions are running high as this crisis is debated in the halls of government as well as in cafés across the land, though crunching the numbers shows that fewer people are without insurance than the government would like us to believe. Yet in all the arguments pro and con, I don't hear the most profound and obvious point of all. Ready? It is not the place of government to supply health insurance. Want another profundity? Health care is not a right. There, I've said it. Why are these points being ignored? Why do we expect the government to supply something as personal as health care? Why should I expect that everyone else should pay for my health care? The fact of the matter is, it isn't the government's business to pay for anyone's mortgage. Or education. Or credit card bills. Or clunker vehicles. And it sure as hell isn't the government's business to pay for anyone's health insurance. All of these things are not rights. In this country, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit (not the achievement) of happiness. We do not have the "right" to health care, to an education or to mortgage relief. These are things we need to do ourselves, using our own ingenuity, resources, abilities, and (for the less fortunate) charity and compassion. In other words, we do not have the "right" to take from others to benefit ourselves. The ugly truth about government health care reform – whether proposed by the Democrats or the Republicans – is that it will add staggering bureaucracy to an already overly regulated industry. Think about your average Veterans' hospital and you'll get the idea. Obviously, it's too late to do anything about Medicaid or Medicare. Those systems (for better or worse) are already in place and millions of people depend on them. (Whether that dependency is good is another subject altogether.) But for crying out loud, why is the government so hot to get its dirty fingers into something as important as health care? [CONTINUE READING for the answer to that question]
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