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An Early Christmas Present, Brought to You By The Hill

December 13th, 2009 - 11:33 am

The Hill brings us some cheery sounding news:

“Doubts are growing among Senate Democrats that they will be able to pass the healthcare reform bill by Christmas, although they remain publicly optimistic.”

If the American people do in fact enjoy a respite from this manifestation of what Gov. Mitch Daniels called Obama’s “shock and awe statism,” I hope that it will occasion not just a momentary sigh of relief but also a serious reassessment. Who’s whether Harry Reid will be able to browbeat his recalcitrant colleagues into signing onto the disaster that is Obamacare. But if he doesn’t deliver the goods (if “goods” is the right word), I hope that this narrow escape will have a sobering, indeed, a transformative effect.

Escape from what? From a government takeover of American health care. From an ruinously expensive bureaucratic boondoggle that will reduce choice, impede medical innovation, and drastically expand the role of government regulation in your life.

Many people, I suspect, have lost sight of what the stakes are in the debate over so-called health care “reform.” The current deadlock is an opportunity to step back and ask some basic questions.

I know, I know: you are sick to death of the very phrase “health care reform.” So much has been written and said about it for so long that you just wish they would do something and move on — “they” being not only our duly elected public servants but also members of the commentariat like yours truly who may have had some sparkling things to say about the issue many months ago but have been repeating themselves for what seems like forever now.

Nevertheless if it is hard to ginger up any enthusiasm for the topic of health care reform, it is even harder to contemplate what is happening in Washington without an overwhelming sense of alarm. The Obama administration is not only on the threshold of usurping some 20 percent of the U.S. economy, handing it over to government bureaucrats to oversee, it is also just a few signatures away from utterly transforming medical culture and the way you will be allowed to interact with your doctors. Do you really want this?

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