ObamaCare: Gone Today, Here Tomorrow

by | Feb 1, 2011

In another blow to ObamaCare, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson has declared the new socialized medicine law null and void. Good news? Not really. As with so many decisions that come out of our courts, the government giveth — and the government taketh away even more. This is the problem with a government based on […]

In another blow to ObamaCare, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson has declared the new socialized medicine law null and void. Good news? Not really. As with so many decisions that come out of our courts, the government giveth — and the government taketh away even more. This is the problem with a government based on the premise that rights exist only to the extent government says individuals have them. This is the precise opposite of what the original U.S. Constitution was based on, a Constitution Judge Vinson was supposedly trying to uphold in his decision.

Look at Vinson’s own words: “I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one-sixth of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and regulate this market.”

In other words: The health care market — also referred to as “our”

health care “system” — is the property of government. Government may regulate it as it sees fit — but only sometimes. Worse yet: The fact that medical care is one-sixth of the economic activity taking place in the United States makes it more subject to government control. Why? No answer is given, because it’s taken as self-evident.

This is not rule by any objective standard of the Constitution, nor even any pretense of one. It’s rule by arbitrary “judgment.”

Vinson incoherently attempts to explain why the government is out of bounds by imposing an individual mandate on citizens, while it’s not out of bounds in other cases. He writes, “While the individual mandate was clearly ‘necessary and essential’ to the act as drafted, it is not ‘necessary and essential’ to health care reform in general.” What is “necessary and essential” to health care in general, and by what means or right is government to determine this? No answer is given. Judge Vinson leaves this open to a future Congress to do even more damage.

If you think about it, this is a decision liberals and socialists can live with, at least from a longer-range perspective. OK, the courts are saying that it’s unconstitutional to force people to buy health insurance. Liberals don’t want people to buy health insurance, either.

They want it to be “free” at government expense for everyone. The courts are also saying, “The government has every right, even every obligation, to regulate health care, because it’s a large portion of the economy.”

What this means in practice is: Government may regulate health care any way it wants, so long as nobody (outside of government) has to pay for it. This is the perfect prescription for single-payer, nationalized health care on the Canadian model.

ObamaCare was always a contradiction. It relied superficially (and dishonestly) on the “marketplace” so that it could destroy the marketplace through massive regulation — and deliver everyone into Medicare or Medicaid in a few years’ time, via billions if not trillions of dollars in subsidies. ObamaCare was a way to pass single-payer, nationalized health care without having to call it that. Increasingly, courts are calling ObamaCare on that contradiction. But remember that the contradiction works both ways. Some liberals are unhappy with ObamaCare because it didn’t do what Nancy Pelosi said we should do all along: Simply pass a “robust” and unambiguous national health care plan for everyone. Freedom, individual rights, the rights of doctors, and the national debt all be damned.

If the Supreme Court ultimately upholds the voiding of ObamaCare, but on the same reasoning as Vinson’s decision, then we’re headed for all out government control of health care. The liberals and the socialists will ultimately get what they want, if the reasoning behind this decision is allowed to stand.

The worst part of this decision is not radical or new, unfortunately, but it’s the basis for a totalitarian state of any kind. The words “our health care system” tell it all. The health care “system” refers to what was once, and in some distorted sense still is, a private marketplace where individual doctors and individual patients trade for valuable, life-saving services. The U.S. District court is reinforcing the idea that these individual doctors, patients, and services/treatments are the property of the state. This in turn reinforces the totalitarian view that there are no individual rights, that goods, services and property — and by implication the very lives of individual humans — belong to the collective, which means to the state (meaning: politicians, of all people).

I don’t care if this is what Judge Vinson meant to imply. I don’t care whether he’s a Republican or a Democrat (I honestly don’t know), because at root both of these mentalities are the same. They chisel away at our individual rights, giving some short-range ground to the rights of the individual while at the same time taking away much more.

ObamaCare needs to be voided, but for the right reasons. It needs to be voided because people’s minds and bodies belong to themselves, not to the state. There is no “health care system” which belongs to “us” — meaning politicians and other power-hungry monsters in Washington DC. My health care does not belong to my neighbor, and his does not belong to me. Boundaries, people! We’re each free and responsible for purchasing and securing our own medical care, and we all have an equal right to be free to do so on an open, unregulated market. Without such a free market, by the way, there will be no innovation or competence — and therefore no medical care much worth having.

With “friends” like Judge Roger Vinson, advocates of capitalism and individual rights don’t need enemies. It’s a shame, because we already have so many of them. The biggest losers in all this are anybody who is, or who one day may be, a patient undergoing medical care.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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