It appears that the clock is ticking toward a Christmas Eve vote on the U.S. Senate’s healthcare “reform” bill. As I see it there are three primary reasons not to like this monstrosity.
1. It’s unconstitutional.
Before Congress passes any legislation, it should first ask itself: “Does the Constitution allow this?” Apparently this doesn’t even cross their minds anymore.
The Constitution gives Congress absolutely NO authority over healthcare. As I’ve written before at length, the often pointed-to general welfare and commerce clauses do not give Congress free rein to meddle in every aspect of the American peoples’ day-to-day lives.
When this onerous bill does pass, expect numerous court challenges to the new law. Since it is mainly liberals pushing for this government takeover of the medical industry, it is ironic that one of their favorite Supreme Court rulings, Roe v. Wade, may help hasten its downfall. It’s hard to reason that the doctor-patient relationship is shielded by some sacred right to privacy from government intrusion when an abortion is being performed, but not when a colonoscopy or hip replacement is.
Whatever parts of the bill that the courts don’t swat down, the states may be willing to mop up themselves. As reported earlier, many states are set to pass laws nullifying the new healthcare law. The Tenth Amendment Center, which tracks state nullification laws, expects 20 to 25 states to consider such legislation in 2010. If enough states dig in their heels in resistance, they may be able to smother the new healthcare reform in the cradle, as they did with the Real ID law.
2. We can’t afford it.
The U.S. government is currently over $12 Trillion in debt. That is $39,435 in public debt for every man, woman and child in America. The future benefits that the government has already promised to American citizens for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicare drug benefits (with no way to pay them) amounts to $106 Trillion. That’s $346,049 in unfunded liabilities for every living soul in America. The Chinese and the rest of the world are growing weary of financing our debt.
No organization that is that far in the hole should be starting any massive new entitlement program. In November the Congressional Budget Office figured that the Senate healthcare reform bill would cost $849 billion over the next decade. One thing we should learn from previous government spending programs, whatever they say it may cost, the actual price tag will be much, much higher.
3. It won’t work as advertised.
As Don Racheter, PhD points out in a recent Institute Brief for the Public Policy Institute at Iowa Wesleyan College: “Those who favor a ‘public option’ (read government-controlled medicine) are ignoring all the problems in the Social Security Disability program, Veteran’s Hospital system, Medicare, and Medicaid and want to extend these failed government regimes to the rest of us. Those pushing for more socialized medicine refuse to acknowledge that things controlled by government (such as the Post Office, Amtrak, government-run schools, etc.) continue to decline in quality while costing more and more. In contrast, products produced in the competitive private sector (I-pods, cell phones, computers, etc.) continue to improve in quality and decline in price.”
In another brief Racheter rightly concludes that we need “reforms that involve choice, competition, and consumer-driven plans, rather than more coercion, control, and central planning. And let the states be ‘laboratories of democracy’ which try different plans to see what works – and what doesn’t – before we legislate a ‘one size fits all’ plan from Congress.”
He continues: “Indiana seems to have had success with a reform plan which includes an insurance pool for small businesses, tax incentives for employers who offer health-care insurance, free preventive care, a health-savings account, and annual insurance coverage from a private company. Texas has been doing tort reform since 1995 which has resulted in lower medical malpractice rates and more doctors starting to practice in the state. Massachusetts, on the other hand, has had a plan in operation since 2006 which mandates everyone buy a state approved health-insurance plan or pay a fine. The Indiana and Texas plans seem to be accomplishing their goals, while costs in Massachusetts continue to rise without accomplishing universal coverage. So why are all the plans currently being considered in Congress using the latter approach rather than the former?!” Good question.
Someday, when our soon-to-be enacted healthcare plan fails, we’ll need to spend even more money (that we won’t have) to “rescue” an unconstitutional travesty that never should have been. If our children or grandchildren don’t revolt and hang us, they don’t deserve the title “Americans.”