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  Thursday April 17th, 2014    

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Last call for socialized medicine (09/13/2009)
By John Edstrom


     
Reports now have it that President Obama is laying the groundwork to ram a government health care bill through the Senate by an arcane process known as ďreconciliationĒ which will only require a bare 51-vote majority, rather than the time-honored filibuster-proof sixty votes. Even though his party controls 60 seats in the Senate, he canít count on all the Democrats to give him their votes for what is seen by an increasing majority of Americans as an unneeded, uncalled for radical change not only in our health care, but our democratic political system as well.

Passing a major, sweeping change in something as fundamental as health care, (accounting for fully 1/6 of the U.S. economy), by a sleight-of-hand political maneuver which overturns generations of established and accepted Senate practice will be another radical move, breaking the political compact and a crucial Senate rule which the parties have lived by and which this country has been governed by since as far back as 1806. The filibuster has been fundamental throughout our nationís history as a leavener against wide and rapid partisan swings in the law and is a key to the long-term stability of our society.

How can American health care be seen as an emergency justifying such a radical power-grab by a bare majority, in favor of legislation which is opposed by the large majority of Americans, as polls show? Polls also show that 80% of Americans are very or somewhat happy with their health plan, and that 74% rate their health care as good or excellent. And, of the 45 million who are uninsured, approximately 2/5ths are the young and mobile who donít want it, 1/5 have household incomes over $75,000 and would rather pay out-of-pocket, 1/5 are covered by Medicare, and the final 1/5 are not citizens. There are those who fall between the cracks and their problems should be addressed, but certainly not by a radical upending of a system which serves most of us well, by a government-imposed scheme whose precedents are bankrupt failures.

It is certain that health care and medical insurance costs are rising rapidly, and that is something which must be addressed. But who believes that a government takeover (and who believes that isnít what the Democratic left wing is after) of anything will ever cut costs? When has government ever done anything cheaply and efficiently? What social programs does it now run which are not ruinously expensive and barely, if at all, solvent?

Obama is expected to claim that he tried for bipartisanship, but was met only with Washington bickering. Yet the simple, most logical solutions have been given no consideration. Why not let individuals buy their own insurance tax-free so that they wonít lose coverage along with a job? Why not force competition among the insurance companies by allowing policies to be sold across state lines. Currently, as Ann Coulter quips, ďJoe and Ruth Zelinsky, both 88, of Paterson, N.J., are both covered in case either one of them needs a boob job.Ē Clearly, the simplest way to bring down prices would be to allow individuals to buy policies that donít conform to asinine state mandates. And obviously, the reason these simple solutions arenít considered is that a bloated government would be forced thereby to give up control and tax dollars.

So the real emergency operating here is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the socialist left wing of this country to herd all Americans into the cattle car of government-run medicine, increasing the power and wealth of the government elites exponentially, while extinguishing the freedoms of the rest of us in proportion.

J.E.  

 

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