The â€œRightâ€ of Spring
By: Greg Halvorson
How ironic that on the first day of spring, the House of Representatives passed health care â€œreform.â€ When the Senate passed its version on Christmas Eve, 2009, the irony was thick, for I believed the billâ€”The American Affordable Health Choices Actâ€”invented a right not endowed by our Creator. But the passage in spring of this is even worse.
This bill casts a pall. You cannot â€œhelpâ€ 30 million people through coercive wealth transfer. You cannot reject true reformâ€”deductions on insurance policies for individuals, capping legal judgments against doctors, and health savings accountsâ€”in favor of bureaucracy, and pretend to save money. CBO projections for other entitlements show that when politicians make â€œpromises,â€ the result is massive debt. Medicareâ€™s unfunded liabilities approach $90 trillion; yet the president is on message: the bill lowers costs, provides affordable care, increases competition…. This from a man who may tax the Tooth Fairy. Itâ€™s the Tooth Fairy Bill. The difference is that you lose Freedom in exchange for fantastic promises consistent with the notion of pixies with cash.
It gets worse. Lost in the weeds is medicine itself. This bill adds not a single doctor to accommodate those who will gorge at Fed Med. Forget the â€œartâ€ of medicine, forget the M.D. â€œhunch,â€ this bill penalizes doctors for specialist referrals regardless of necessity. Seventy percent of physicians say their income will fall. Forty-six percent may retire. Thereâ€™s a reason Americans have more Nobel Prizes in medicine than the aggregate of other countries. Innovation requires risk, risk seeds reward, ideas bloom in markets. Add coercion and quality will suffer. Cure-rates, too. The foreign king with the valve leak should worry. Weâ€™re it. Heâ€™ll have no place to go.
But, hey, they made â€œhistory.â€ When Madame Speaker brought down the gavel (the same which sealed Medicareâ€™s passage), cheers went up. No matter the polls. This was hubris on steroids. Men playing God.
The Declaration of Independence states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Yet, congressional Dems believe health care is a â€œright.â€ That itâ€™s coercive is meaningless. That Life never needed a CBO score, and Liberty didnâ€™t come with actuarial tables, and the Pursuit of Happiness wasnâ€™t polledâ€”no matter. â€œRightâ€ establishment is for men.
Health care is not a right, health care is a service, and is neither inherent, inviolate, nor unalienable. No one has the â€œrightâ€ to anotherâ€™s talents. Especially when the â€œrightâ€ is subsidized by human labor. ObamaCare raises Medicare payroll taxes, adding â€œinvestmentâ€ incomeâ€”rents, dividends, interest, and capital gainsâ€”to wages; it taxes medical device makers, health insurers, and prescription drugs; it taxes Peter to subsidize Paul, hoping Paul will vote Dem.
Indeed, itâ€™s for power. Barack Obama spoke of â€œfundamentally transformingâ€ America, and has managed, with the passage of this bill, to redistribute wealth, create dependency, and grease unions. The S.E.I.U., headed by Marxist, Andy Stern, â€œorganizesâ€ for Obama. Today, 12% of health care labor is represented. But in Canada, unions are five times as prevalent (63% of workers), so slipped right into â€œchangeâ€ is Sternâ€™s prize.
Ultimately, however, â€œtransformationâ€ is mental. Altering the relationship of government to the citizen will affect who we are. In 2009, Americans gave more than $300 billion to charityâ€”seven times more than Germans, fourteen times more than Italians, and nearly quadruple the French. Charitable giving has risen faster than the growth of the economy for fifty years. These numbers are consistent across demographics: education, income, sex and age.
Why? Why are Americans so generous with their money? The answer lies in fortitude. In self-reliance. The American individual is a bastion of liberty, a Pillar of Commerce, and the most productive worker on the planet. Yoked by Constitutional chains, â€œrulersâ€ havenâ€™t bound him. He takes care of himself, needs not to be taken care of.
But this will end. No politician can say we will rise. This bill destroys wealth, the incentive to create it, and is akin to handing a â€œtrophyâ€ to all participants. Democrats, led by a Marxist, this day (March 21, 2010) spat on Freedom, ground Liberty beneath their boots, and desecrated the Constitution. Winston Churchill said of socialism: It is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envyâ€”its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
Future Americans will have chains on their feet. Outcomes will be â€œfair.â€ This in posterity will stand on its merits. But there is no merit in corruption and shame.