Americans May Deserve ObamaCare

by | Mar 23, 2012 | Healthcare

ObamaCare completes America’s transformation to government-run health care.

One widespread notion about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—known as ObamaCare—is that the law, which turns two years old on March 23, creates a radical health system. President Obama insists that his signature law is a radical improvement. Its opponents, especially conservatives, argue that it’s a radical change for the worse. Both views ignore that ObamaCare is integral to an unmistakable progression in American health care.

The law takes us from partial to total government-controlled medicine. Every president since FDR has advanced government intervention in medicine; Truman was the first to propose a government-run system and medicine as a profession has steadily, incrementally come under government control. LBJ created Medicare, Nixon (and Ted Kennedy) created HMOs and every administration since has ceded to greater government control—particularly Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, who expanded Medicare. Most of this was done with bipartisan support. In fact, ObamaCare is modeled on a law created by a conservative think tank and signed by Obama’s leading Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

Over 100 years ago, medical care was mostly paid for and delivered in private. When a labor shortage occurred in World War 2, businesses competed for workers by offering health insurance, prompting Congress to tax the new benefits, causing a furor. That prompted Congress to declare employers’ health insurance expenditures tax-deductible, which embedded employer-based health care.

In 1965, Congress enacted Medicare. Politicians subsequently piled on regulations, causing costs to skyrocket while most Americans—especially the elderly and employed—were shielded from accelerating costs. Medicine, which had once been private, was distorted by government intervention.

By the end of the century, government-controlled medicine—based on the idea that health care is a right and unopposed on moral grounds—had prevailed. Step by step, America had all but nationalized its medical profession.

ObamaCare integrates disparate parts of state-sponsored medicine. Forcing Americans to carry insurance, which it redefines, ObamaCare forces insurers to cover sick people, controlling terms, prices and treatment—at a projected cost of $1 trillion. ObamaCare completes America’s transformation to government-run health care.

Consumer and producer alike are merged into the system and deprived of choice. If insurers are able to co-exist with new government “exchanges”, they are permitted to set prices only under strict controls. For example, insurers may charge older people exactly three times more than younger people, whom they are also forced to cover until age 26. As the Washington Post concludes: “Insurers will increasingly resemble well-regulated public utilities, with … new constraints on their rates and profits.”

For the first time, the state will control medical treatment for people of all ages, as the health and human services secretary is mandated to dictate what ObamaCare calls “essential benefits”. But what exactly constitutes “essential benefits”? Hospitals are to be punished for providing what the government deems inefficient—but by what standard? Statistics? Algorithms? Political favoritism? The law prohibits “excessive profits”—but why is profit considered immoral, who decides what’s “excessive” and by what right?

As if those who concocted this system know they’ve made something hazardous to one’s health, ObamaCare anticipates its effect and decrees the establishment of an ominous new government entity: the National Center of Excellence for Depression.

Health care dictatorship is doomed to fail. But with national per-person health spending projected to be over 20 percent of the U.S. GDP within a few years—it was 5.4 percent before Medicare—ObamaCare as a house of cards may collapse and cripple the U.S. economy.

Rejected by 26 states and being challenged before the Supreme Court, ObamaCare achieves the opposite of its stated purpose to ensure quality medicine; it is an abomination that threatens every American life, a culmination of America’s history of government-controlled medicine which will shut down our once-exemplary medical profession’s vital organs.

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi infamously declared that Congress had to pass ObamaCare to find out what was in it. On the eve of the law’s second year mark, we know that what’s in it is poison. But we also know that what’s in it—government-controlled health care based on the moral premise that health care is a right—is the end of an insidious advancement which has been a long time coming, and—unless it is opposed on principle and rejected in full—that makes ObamaCare exactly what we deserve.

Scott Holleran's writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Classic Chicago, and The Advocate. The cultural fellow with Arts for LA interviewed the man who saved Salman Rushdie about his act of heroism and wrote the award-winning “Roberto Clemente in Retrospect” for Pittsburgh Quarterly. Scott Holleran lives in Southern California. Read his fiction at ShortStoriesByScottHolleran.substack.com and read his non-fiction at ScottHolleran.substack.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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