Writing in Salon, Camille Paglia reminds me of the story of the seven blind men trying to describe an elephant based on the part of the elephant each one held. Discoursing on the healthcare reform bill just passed in the House of Representatives, she describes the pieces of the socialist totalitarianism that the Democratic leadership have embraced, but she can’t bring herself to see the whole the pieces create:
As for the actual content of the House healthcare bill, horrors! Where to begin? That there are serious deficiencies and injustices in the U.S. healthcare system has been obvious for decades. To bring the poor and vulnerable into the fold has been a high ideal and an urgent goal for most Democrats.
And they accomplished that with Medicare — care of the elderly and also younger people who have become too disabled to work after earning enough credits in the system — and Medicaid — the poor and disabled. Pay attention.
But this rigid, intrusive and grotesquely expensive bill is a nightmare. Holy Hygeia, why can’t my fellow Democrats see that the creation of another huge, inefficient federal bureaucracy would slow and disrupt the delivery of basic healthcare and subject us all to a labyrinthine mass of incompetent, unaccountable petty dictators?
Thus the expression, “death panels.”
Massively expanding the number of healthcare consumers without making due provision for the production of more healthcare providers means that we’re hurtling toward a staggering logjam of de facto rationing.
It’s worse than that — a huge number of doctors have vowed to retire or change careers if Obama/Pelosi/Reid “healthcare” reform passes. See below. These are smart, successful people who became doctors because they wanted prosperity, status and were entrepreneurs who can’t stand risk. Doctors are not the kind of people who will stand for the domination and impoverishment this legislation will force on them.
Steel yourself for the deafening screams from the careerist professional class of limousine liberals when they get stranded for hours in the jammed, jostling anterooms of doctors’ offices. They’ll probably try to hire Caribbean nannies as ringers to do the waiting for them.
More jobs created or saved. Woo-hoo.
A second issue souring me on this bill is its failure to include the most common-sense clause to increase competition and drive down prices: portability of health insurance across state lines. What covert business interests is the Democratic leadership protecting by stopping consumers from shopping for policies nationwide?
Good question — why ARE the Democrats are so shy about this when they proudly announced they would never consider tort reform because malpractice trial attorneys donate so much money to them to prevent that very thing? Tort reform is where to start with REAL healthcare reform, along with allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines, training more healthcare professionals and uncoupling the provision of health insurance from employers.
Finally, no healthcare bill is worth the paper it’s printed on when the authors ostentatiously exempt themselves from its rules. The solipsistic members of Congress want us peons to be ground up in the communal machine, while they themselves gambol on in the flowering meadow of their own lavish federal health plan. Hypocrites!
My father is a federal retiree and I expect Congress would take down all federal retirees with them if their ship sinks, so I’m actually fine with that.
And why are we even considering so gargantuan a social experiment when the nation is struggling to emerge from a severe recession?
Your first clue should be the fact that the bill is all about permitting government control of individuals’ lives and allowing a totalitarian level of government intrustion, plus means-testing that punishes success instantly and viciously. The PURPOSE of this bill is to destroy capitalism. It is INTENDED to turn the recession into a perpetual Depression. Read The Road to Serfdom. It is about healthcare reform in name only.
It’s as if liberals are starry-eyed dreamers lacking the elementary ability to project or predict the chaotic and destabilizing practical consequences of their utopian fantasies.
Those are a subset of all liberals — they are the ones who believe what they are told and do not look any farther, so if something is called healthcare reform and they are told it will solve all their problems, they will not believe a word spoken against it and will defend it to the death. They are comparable to the animals in the barn in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Republicans, on the other hand, have basically sat on their asses about healthcare reform for the past 20 years and have shown little interest in crafting legislative solutions to social inequities. The usual GOP floater about private medical savings accounts is a crock — something that, given the astronomical costs of major medical crises, would be utterly unworkable for families of even average household income.
Yes, the GOP really should have owned their solutions and immunized the body politic from totalitarianism dressed as healthcare reform by getting them passed. Oops.