Why Socialist Health Care Fails in Principle
They say that politics is the art of the possible. If that’s true, when you gull support from credulous people by making promises you a) don’t believe in; and b) have no intention of keeping, your failure to keep them isn’t betrayal. It’s an exemplary demonstration of political artistry.
Led by Paul Ryan, the GOP’s elitist faction leadership is right now in the midst of just such a demonstration of the fine art of political prevarication. And they have received loud applause from President Donald Trump. Beyond singing hymns of praise to their performance, however, he is threatening to deploy the political capital lent to him by the voters in the last election to wage a war of political reprisal against conservative legislators who persist in opposing what they rightly apprehend to be the “Obamacare Preservation Act”.
The facts and logical analysis that justify such conservative opposition are well summarized in an article by Daniel Horowitz, published this week at conservative review.com. Keenly aware of the deceptive optics still at work in the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the GOP’s so-called repeal bill, he accurately points out that
Given that RINOcare keeps almost all the critical price-hiking regulations in place and then gets rid of the individual mandate, premiums will go up, not down. CBO projects that before 2020 premiums will rise by 15-20% because healthy individuals will utilize the reprieve from the individual mandate and leave the market. Thus, not only will this bill result in 24 million more uninsured, but it won’t lower premiums as we predicted. That is what happens when you don’t repeal Obamacare but immediately repeal its funding mechanism.
Now, CBO does project that post 2020 premiums will go down by 10%, but we will never make it to that point. Again, the timeline is very important here. If this bill does not bring immediate relief, and in fact exacerbates the death spiral, the private market, along with GOP political capital, will be dead by 2020. The new regime will never be in place, especially not during the reelection of President Trump. We will either have a massive bail out or a single-payer system by that point.
I urge my readers to read Mr. Horowitz’s article. Research and ponder the facts and reasoning he presents. They offer good insight into what motivates the sincere conservatives President Trump is threatening with dire consequences. It compels us to consider the likelihood that the so-called Obamacare repeal/replacement being advanced by the GOP’s elitist faction leaders in the House actually preserves Obama’s great leap forward toward the consolidation of European-style socialism in the United States. President Trump’s support for this result may surprise some people who voted for him; but only because they took his campaign “sales puffery” at face value. They didn’t bother to research his repeatedly expressed admiration for the British/Canadian style socialist health care model.
Mr. Horowitz aptly concludes his article by reminding his readers of what “Republicans in Cleveland spelled out very clearly in the party platform…”:
In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.” It must be removed and replaced with an approach based on genuine competition, patient choice, excellent care, wellness, and timely access to treatment.
The Trump/Ryan bill’s apologists will insist that it’s impossible to fulfill the GOP’s platform promise. “Popular” elements of Obama’s socialist government health care takeover have to be kept in place. Paul Ryan said in his statement on the CBO’s report, “It is about giving people more choices and better access to a plan they want and can afford.” But the GOP platform didn’t promise better health care as a gift of government. It promised “genuine competition’. As the U.S. government’s Defense procurement process continually demonstrates, the only competition encouraged by inherently politicized government regulations involves waste, cost overruns and busted budgets.
The simple fact is that neither President Trump nor the GOP’s elitist faction leaders any longer believe in the genuinely competitive economic approach that respects and conforms to the requirements of free enterprise. Though they may come to it in different ways, they seem all of them to embrace the view that economic prosperity must these days inevitably be the gift of government. They are no longer willing to trust in “genuine competition” rooted in the responsible exercise of individual freedom.
The career politicians don’t trust it because it doesn’t serve to build their empires of political power. Lifelong corporate magnates don’t trust it because they know all too well how much of their success they owe to their own canny and ruthless exploitation of government projects and programs. Their own success thus leads them to believe that “free enterprise” is a myth, a lingering vestige of the dark ages of America’s self-deceived past. To be sure, it can be useful when playing upon the heartstrings of voters still minded to take comfort in that national self-deception. But the future belongs to the tough-minded realists determined to get things done with and for the powers-that-be.
This arrogant cynicism prevails amongst our elites mainly because it suits their pride and ambition to forget that the development of America’s material strength resulted from the heart and will of people who advanced beyond the reach of government largess; people who sought out challenges and dangers that depended on responsible individual choice. And they did so when the chief reward for taking such risks was the opportunity to face greater dangers, do harder work, and trust even more faithfully in a future they themselves would not live to see.
These days this seems to the elitists like heroism beyond the reach of ordinary Americans. Yet a great majority of our ordinary folks still display this heroism every day, despite fiercely destructive elitist opposition. They rise to the challenge of passing on to their children the heart and character needed to carry the enterprise of decent liberty beyond what they themselves achieve.
The most objectionable characteristic of present day elitists is their deep contempt for this, the first and most fundamental economic enterprise. They have substituted material self-aggrandizement for moral and spiritual self-preservation, as the defining vocation of our humanity- the power of wealth and forceful government for the power of responsible love and mutual self-sacrifice.
With tragic irony, this abandonment of moral and spiritual humanity lies at the root of the present health care challenge. It is the reason we are failing to deal with it. Since the ancient inception of the medical profession, it has necessarily been rooted in the human capacity for moral and spiritual commitment to the good of others, the self-same root as human family life. So, with medicine as with parenting, motives of material profit are not enough. Both true parents and true medical professionals answer to a standard that demands a transformative gift of self, which no purely material satisfaction can induce or repay. Trust either enterprise to the profit motive, and the results will destroy the trustworthiness of the undertaking.
Because contemporary socialism implements a purely materialistic understanding of economics, the government policies that result from it can never adequately allow for the kind of freedom such enterprises require. It is the freedom to believe that true worth and dignity derive from qualities of mind and spirit only the human soul can preserve, measure or produce. In practical terms, this freedom can only exist in a context where success is secured by nothing more tangible than one person’s ability to trust and be trusted by another. Socialist government control is antithetical to the true existence, not to mention the real efficiency, of such enterprises, for it is predicated on producing with material force (money or government coercion) what can most assuredly be trusted only if and when it is given freely, from the heart, and for the sake of God.
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