Friday, February 29, 2008

Mandatory Medical and the Welfare State

Over at left-wing blog Talking Points Memo, the highest-rated reader blog currently is ObamaCare: American Incrementalism. It's a fine analysis of the difference between Hillary Clinton's socialized medicine plan and Barack Obama's socialized medicine plan. The difference? The anonymous blogger thinks Americans will swallow Obama's plan, since it's for the children.

For centuries, Americans have proven resistant to governmental provisions of welfare. The quintessentially American ethos of self-sufficiency and independence leads many voters to recoil from the very notion that the government should take a prominent role in their lives. Many Americans would prefer to shoulder greater risks and maintain their independence, than to surrender their freedom of choice and gain greater security. But there has always been an important exception to this general rule. Americans feel a collective obligation to care for the vulnerable and the defenseless. When proposals are advanced to care for those believed unable to care for themselves, they have almost always enjoyed tremendous support. Moreover, almost every major expansion of the welfare state has followed the same path - reforms initially proposed to benefit the most vulnerable are gradually expanded to benefit all Americans.
Make no mistake, friends: the left wants all doctoring to be done by the government. Adapting the current system of employment-based medical insurance to that scheme is just the first step.

The current system is the best there is. People come here to be trained, and they come here to be healed. Mandatory medicine will fix that, surely.

It sounds nice: protecting children and making them well. But mandatory medical insurance will quickly become mandatory medical practice; and some procedures, too expensive or inconvenient for the system, will have to be denied.

I just hope Americans are smart enough to see that, not swept along by wishful thinking.

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