Health Care

By: Eddie Clements

In earlier times, at some point we all became aware that in the USA we live in a rich country where you take care of yourself when possible; it is not done for you. If you want money, you get a job. You want a car or home, you buy it.

If you break an arm, you get a doctor, since we can’t normally set our own bones. To obtain this service, one must pay for it. I even remember when doctors did house calls. Man, THAT was a long time ago.

So in this whole discussion about health care two issues emerge clearly: one, a sea change in our citizens’ views on whose responsibility it is to maintain an individual’s health, and two, exploitation of people’s natural compassion to achieve political gain.

As for the first, the problem of health care has been with humanity since the beginning of time. Once we were lucky to live about two score years. When we were still hunter-gatherers, if you broke a jaw your life was at serious risk. The medicine man was your only hope, some guy with a wild-eyed look and face paint. Now our lives typically span three to four score years, due to advances in medicine, availability of nutrition, protection from the elements – and better medicine men. Indoor plumbing and mass waste disposal (sewage systems) helped immeasurably.

As stated above, we used to obtain things by earning them, through barter or exchange of money. We began to evolve socially to the point where begging became structural, finally to where we are now, that certain services are owed; it is now the obligation of the rich to supply everyone else with their needs. Does this sound familiar, like something in the Communist Manifesto? Different terms, same goal.

The philosophical underpinnings of taking care of the less fortunate, less gifted, and those of poor health by genetics or inadequate means, has become part of the health care debate. Christian belief holds that how we take care of widows and orphans, representing those who are traditionally the most helpless in society, measures a person’s commitment to those beliefs. However, such beliefs are voluntarily arrived at, not mandated by law. Democrats/liberal-progressives wish to codify such beliefs into law, forcing the requisite redistribution of wealth from individuals to the state. Therefore the health care debate is an extension of the redistributionist philosophy, statism made manifest in an ostensible representative democracy.

This brings us to the second issue. The “owing” philosophy has been extended by Democrat politicians/liberal-progressives to health care, as a “right”. The right to life has now been determined to mean a right to healthy life; read: productive life. Produce for the state, which will make determinations about who receives what health care, based in part on one’s ability to keep producing. The playing field will be leveled by preventing anyone for paying for their health care beyond what the state determines it should be. This will make things…fair?

Fairness, you see, is the real object – or so Democrat political opportunists tell us. If one disagrees, one is accused of lacking compassion for those unable to provide adequately for their own health care because of its cost. You heartless rich extremist, you.

Political exploiters decided tax money should be used to provide health care to the aged with Medicare. This was then extended to the poor with Medicaid. Then a federal law was passed during the Clinton administration requiring hospitals to care for patients regardless of their ability to pay. These mandates were put on states, which were not allowed to make their own decisions regarding citizens who lived there. Local politicians are more accountable. By making decisions in far-off Washington, some accountability was removed, while all taxpayers were left footing the bill. A major problem with this approach is the lack of experimentation possible that might extend better care at lower costs. The one-size-fits-all requirement has led to distortions in care at ever-increasing cost.

Then there are the lawsuits. The doctors don’t draw much sympathy for errors, as reflected in jury awards to patients. The cost of these suits is spread over all doctors’ malpractice insurance premiums, including the overwhelming majority of physicians who manage to practice their craft relatively error-free. Added to this is the cost of tests that may be unnecessary, to protect against liability.

Absent in this discussion of single payer, or government run, or socialized medicine, is the damage done by politicians through regulation, mandates to states and refusal to enact tort reform. The press surely doesn’t care about this annoying fact; it gets in the way of the liberal-progressive agenda. Their alleged aim is “compassion” and “fairness”, emotional arguments immune to facts. But the media are either too thoughtless or too intellectually careless to state the true agenda, obvious to everyone but the media: control, with attendant loss of liberty.

Continuing down this road will make a once robust society flaccid. Ingenuity and can-do type know-how will be replaced by efforts to game the system for a handout. Such a nation will not survive long. In fact, with over three hundred million people, less than half financing the larger portion of the population, collapse is more likely to come in episodic upheaval, rather than a gradual decline.

We see this in the current townhall meetings. More conservative but less politically active citizens have been accused by the left for years of being heartless, jingoistic, intellectually empty consumers. They’ve had enough, and stoicism has given way to an overflow of their long frustration. After years of beatings from the media and politicians coming out of the demented axis of evil in New York, Massachusetts, California, and Washington DC, ordinary citizens sound off.

The White House doesn’t like it. Their response reminds one of cheap thuggish tin-pot dictators in a banana republic: “we will hit back twice as hard.”

How dare we question them, the elites? Well, sir, you misrepresented yourself, with media help. You left us no choice.

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