The moral arguments against it are overwhelming, and need to take center stage.
Note: This column was published at Pajamas Media and teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.
Slowly but surely, the nation is waking up to the likelihood that the unwieldy state-run health care concoction known as ObamaCare will likely not achieve the cost savings the President and his supporters have promised.
That’s a nice development, but it’s not enough. In fact, at some point, and I believe we are there, it becomes a distraction.
Though a relevant consideration, cost is among the least of ObamaCare’s problems. Leading the argument against ObamaCare with cost considerations sells the American people short, and betrays a moral insecurity that, if not addressed, will cause some future form of ObamaCare to sneak in — if not now, in the not very distant future.
ObamaCare’s supporters would love opponents to stay focused on cost, because, despite plentiful help from the Congressional Budget Office debunking the administration’s weak claims, the absence or presence of potential savings is not directly provable. As long as the focus remains on cost, important points about fundamental human rights that would be stripped away and handed over to the tender mercies of the state won’t get heard. That must change.
The moral insecurity emanating from ObamaCare’s Washington-based opposition (vs. many of us in the heartland, who see evil’s attempt to visit itself upon us for what it is) seems to revolve around two bogus ideas.
The first is that Obama and the statists in Congress somehow occupy the moral high ground because they promise to “insure” everybody.
But ObamaCare isn’t about insurance. If it were, every American would be insured shortly after it takes effect. But The CBO estimated that even when implemented, only 16 million more Americans would be insured, barely a third of the alleged total of uninsured. ObamaCare, as IBD and many other editorialists have noted, is really about (eventually) eliminating insurance and devolving the entire system into a single-payer arrangement — something Obama himself enthusiastically supported in 2003 before he became concerned with electoral viability.
Health care should first and foremost be about whether those who need treatment get treatment. And guess what? In this country, those who need treatment not only almost always get treated, but they also almost always get treated timely. It is against the law for hospitals to turn away patients requiring emergency medical treatment regardless of whether they can afford to pay.
Yes, there are many who are not insured and who cannot afford medical care. And yes, they often delay doing something about very real medical problems until they become more serious. That is a real problem. But the answer, while elusive, most certainly should not involve jeopardizing the viability of everyone else’s medical coverage and access to care, as ObamaCare indisputably does.
The second explanation for Beltway opponents’ moral insecurity is that our conservative elites seem not to believe that the American people will respond to moral arguments.
If they’re taking their cues from alleged religious “leaders,” their reluctance is understandable. Many Catholic bishops appear to support state-run care as long as abortion services are somehow excluded. Even worse, sadly and scandalously, many Catholic organizations which should know better, including Catholic Charities USA, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the Catholic Health Association, have been outspoken campaigners for ObamaCare, even as it appears that abortion coverage remains in the statists’ plans.
But the moral arguments against ObamaCare are so easy, and so easily understood, that I can summarize them in the three points that follow.
First — Virtually without exception worldwide, state-run health care has led to rationing of care and long waits for even critical services. This has led to many needless deaths and disabilities, along with greatly diminished quality of life for many who eventually do receive care. Obama and the Congressional majority have presented no evidence indicating that serious rationing will not occur under its plan. In fact, under its progenitor known as CommonwealthCare aka RomneyCare in Massachusetts, serious rationing under the guise of fixed per-patient budgets is already on the horizon. How can any compassionate person claiming to have his or her moral bearings even consider supporting this almost certain result?
Second — Virtually without exception worldwide, state-run health care has led to denial of care on age-based and so-called qualify of life criteria. The Obama administration and Congress already opened the door for this abomination in the stimulus bill passed in February when it included funding for “comparative effectiveness research.” Michael Barone has accurately portrayed this attempt at final solutions that override doctor-patient decisions as “worse than junk science—it’s inherently deceptive.” How can someone claiming to have his or her moral bearings even consider supporting this?
Finally — The Obama administration is stacked with czars, Cabinet officials, and others who are enthusiastic supporters of the first two items, and who have frighteningly ghoulish outlooks on life and humanity. Take John Holdren (please). Many of these same people and others with similar “philosophies” would take responsible positions within ObamaCare’s maze, and would no doubt stay on as long as possible regardless of who controls the White House or Congress. How can someone claiming to have his or her moral bearings even consider allowing these people anywhere near the nation’s health care system?
That wasn’t difficult, was it?
If ObamaCare is opposed on clear moral grounds, it could go down to a crushing, argument-over defeat. If argued on cost alone, it will more than likely be back to haunt us. I say we bury it once and for all.