Archive for November 2009

Tear this (Healthcare) Wall Down!

Celebrations are kicking off in Berlin in honor of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  And this should be celebrated. The Berlin Wall was a symbol, and a potent one, of the lack of freedom and choice in communist Europe. When it fell, it proved that there is indeed a beautiful power in hope –  when that hope is for freedom from tyranny.

And this brings us to healthcare, and the passage last night in the House of the most “sweeping overhaul” of healthcare in our nation…ever.

Here’s a simple analogy. You have a yard that is 85% green and growing, but 15%  is in the shade and doesn’t get the water or sunlight it needs. To fix this, you tear up the entire yard with a bulldozer. And so there is no grass and nothing grows. Only Uncle Sam can plant the seeds now. And the seeds he will plant will be dictated by what’s politically useful and popular, not by what people need or, heaven forbid, want.

Rep. Paul Ryan put it well: “Does this bill mean the government will take over running health care? Yes. But what’s worse, this bill replaces the American idea with a European-style social welfare state.”

Socialism, friends is bad. If you’re under 25, you might just know this in theory. But it is bad. It seems like a good idea at the time, because it means you’ve appointed a middle man.  You’ve “done something” to help, but all you’ve done is passed the buck. You don’t have to take care of anyone. Someone else — Uncle Sam (or his appointed and unelected bureaucracy)– will do it.  When we take the choice and, frankly, burden away from individuals to help or serve other individuals, we have done something dangerous to the fabric of who we are as human beings. We have fed our most selfish whims. We have become something less than human. We are like those who stand by while someone is robbed and cheated, and hold up our hands and say “not my problem” and point to the government.

If you believe  that the best way to ensure everyone has access to healthcare is by making it the law (requiring all but the smallest employers to provide healthcare or pay an 8% fine), jobs will be fewer, and  good healthcare hard to come by. Pharmaceutical innovations will wither. And instead, research funding will be handed out like defense contracts are now, and pulled at whim depending on who is in office. And people will die or be crippled because of it.

It is a testament to our humanity if we wish to help others. We should help our brothers and sisters. We should care for them when they are sick. But this is the role of family and friends. Or if we don’t have those, others who we pay to help us.  And if we have no money, friends, or family — private charity.  And if you think private charities are like char houses, start your own or band with others to do the same.  And there would be more charity if people who had money were free to use it to fund what they wish — churches, local community centers, etc. The point is — it’s not someone else’s job to help someone. It’s YOUR job. The government will be happy to do your job for you for now. But, like Faust,  you will pay in the end.

Comfort can be taken by those of us who cherish freedom and liberty in that the bill passed on a narrow margin — 5 votes.  Would have been 4 had Rep.  Cao of Louisiana not crumbled. But may this socialist healthcare “wall” against freedom and innovation crumble before it’s even had a chance to be built.