Accuracy in Media

Socialism, dangerously anti-capitalist and anti-free enterprise, does not always force a citizen to choose government for basics.  However, as more and more evidence is gathered, it has become highly probable, perhaps certain, that the Barack H. Obama health plan if enacted as proposed would do just that. No more free choice of medical care: Appointed bureaucrats would control. Everybody would have the same so-called insurance and with it the same bureaucratic control.

Does anybody knowledgeable who believes in the right of an American citizen to choose his or her medical care endorse this proposed state medicine?  For obvious reasons, just the opposite.

American Medical Association.  ” . . .The . . . new public plan threatens to restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers, which currently provide coverage for near 70% of Americans. . . .”

CEO of the Mayo Clinic. ” . . . Medicare has systematically been underpaying for services . . . If more patients are enrolled in a Medicare-like program your very best providers will go out of business or stop seeing patients covered by the government plan . . . .”

National Federation of Independent Business.  ” . . . [T]he private market can meet the challenge and can be held accountable to provide solutions that lead to lower cots and greater competition. . . .”

CEO of Eli Lilly.  Under the “government plan . . . 100 million people [would be] shuttled in overnight; it would limit coverage and delay access . . . .”

CEO of Louisiana Blue Cross Blue Shield.  ” . . . a Trojan horse . . . .”

Should every American be compelled to abandon all medical care or obtain Medicare care only through a plan forced upon him or her and controlled by the Feds?

American medical care by some measurements is the most expensive in the world. Be that as it may, by any measurement it is the most technologically advanced. Cost is consistent with the high American standard of living. Whether as dictator, manager, regulator, second-guesser or otherwise, no advocate of Federal dominance and pre-eminence of medical care has cited a country in which the level of medicine is equal to, much less more sophisticated than, our American medicine.

Notwithstanding historical limits of medical knowledge, it is not surprising that nowhere in the Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, the Constitution, an Amendment to the Constitution or any relevant writing does it hint that the Federal Government directly or indirectly is to practice medicine. The Federal agencies which led to establishment in 1953 (Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration, 83rd Congress) of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, since split into two Cabinet departments, did not envision such activity.  The mad-man rush accelerates, text of June 9, 2009 Commentary following.

Mad-Man Rush Toward Mad-Man Medicine?

By Marion Edwyn Harrison, Esq.  

 June 9, 2009

President Barack H. Obama, bright as he is, obviously does not believe that major decisions should be made at the latest reasonable and non-prejudicial opportunity. The choice of such an opportunity allows the maximum period of time for the evolution, finding and analysis of further facts, of alternatives and of the nature of the problem or opportunity.  Historical examples – and one’s own private, professional and business life – are replete with examples of the wisdom of due deliberation.  The tritely phrased wisdom of “seizing the opportunity” sometimes applies but is conditioned upon the duration of the opportunity.

So much for somewhat cautionary introduction. The issue is the vast, ubiquitous and complicated subject of American medical care. That the present American system is the most advanced and sophisticated on earth is not the byproduct of haste.

The Obama public posture presently is to urge a massive revamp of our health-care system through Federal law, to have final votes in both Houses of Congress before the August, 2009 recess and to have a bill signed into law no later than November.

The consensus of expert economic evaluation rounds off to 18% that portion of the economy relating directly or indirectly to health care.  The proposal the President is pushing – shoving? – would equate to a cost estimated to exceed $1 trillion. The figure, whatever it ultimately may be, is extraordinary and incomprehensible, its risk aggravated by historically unprecedented Federal Government spending and national debt, coupled with a recession the future and severity of which is unknowable.

Expert analysts find that the so-called “reform” – what a normal Washington word, for any kind of proposal! – would be far and away the most extensive since 1965, when Medicare was enacted, a dubious legacy of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Administration (if no other reason than the fact the system is facing economic collapse). 

Long-term observation of the legislative process and a realistic touch in evaluating political implications form a useful background.  They readily combine to remind us that when a proposal is, or is highly likely to be, costly, complicated and controversial, the quicker it can be run through the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Federal Government the less likely objective study will shoot it down or materially amend it.       

Whatever the merits of legislation to “reform” our health care,  serious, scholarly and pragmatic evaluation, in an objective and unhurried tempo, is what we lawyers would term a sine quo non – in other words, essential.

Guest columns do not necessarily reflect the views of Accuracy in Media or its staff.

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