President Barack Obama and the legions of the left who helped elect him thought they had a sure thing with a plan to make Americans dependent on Europe-style health care. After all, wasn’t the president’s election a historic game-changer that would clear the way for the transfer state the “progressives” have been longing for? Single-payer health care has always been the Holy Grail among those who think of the people as wards of the government and of the economy as its provisional extension, and Obamacare was to be a giant step in that direction.
But a funny thing happened on the way toward realization of this grand vision. After the interest groups (read: profit-making root of all evil) got on board with the president and the left-led Congress, the people (stupid ingrates!) increasingly balked. As usual, the seers of the left were flummoxed. If the money changers at the temple of government had been artfully neutralized (or just plain overawed by the size of the Democrats’ majorities), and if it’s widely acknowledged that the present system has grave flaws, how could the people have misunderstood their own best interests so badly as to reject the benign hand of the future U.S. Health Service?
Maybe the liberals didn’t see this setback coming because they still believe in the proudest creation of the New Deal, Social Security. But many Americans — particularly younger ones — don’t. In fact, poll after poll has shown widespread doubt that Social Security will be there for today’s workers when they retire, even though Uncle Sam regularly sweeps large amounts out of their paychecks to fund it.
If you don’t believe in Social Security — and if you believe that Medicare, another great coup of the entitlement mindset, is another intergenerational Ponzi scheme — then you’re unlikely to think that a government that’s straining to sustain two massive obligations should be adding a third.
Expensive and maddeningly inefficient at times, the present health care system could certainly stand improvement. But it doesn’t follow that a government solution would provide the only, or best, solution. Imagine how much a leveling of the tax playing field among big corporations on the one hand and small companies and individuals on the other, plus the implementation of a true national health insurance market, would expand access while “keeping the insurance companies honest.” And how much would health care costs fall if “jackpot justice” were removed via tort reform? Yet these three potential cures aren’t even in Dr. Obama’s (or Dr. Pelosi’s or Dr. Reid’s) prescriptions.
Note to the alleged “progressives”: Historic election or not, this is still basically a right-of-center (read: skeptical) country. And though we’re certainly not averse to helping ourselves to a bit of government-brokered “other people’s money” at times (witness the Clunkers program), our manure detectors kick in when we’re promised another major entitlement by a government that has no idea how it’ll cover the promises it’s already made.
Show us how you’re actually going to put full Social Security benefits in the pockets of all current and future workers — while covering elders’ medical care despite ever-lengthening life spans — and we just might buy the idea that you can also guarantee us all “affordable, quality health care” that saves the government money.