Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Obama’s Old Deal and Democrat Logic

Thomas Krannawitter and Kaitlin Buss examine Hillary’s Obama’s Healthcare take-over in the pages of Investor’s Business Daily today. The eagerness with which so many seem to meet his call for "change" must be sobered, they argue, by a slap of reality. The reality doing the slapping here is not only the Constitution (and, these days, we have judges for that little obstacle) and the economic realities that face all Utopian schemes. It is the reality that, in truth, there is nothing, NOTHING, new about Obama’s call for a right to healthcare.

Nevermind change we can believe in. The truth is that, for Democrats, this is not really change at all. It’s the same tired, dusty old rhetoric they’ve been spewing for more than half a century. Indeed, FDR outdid Obama (in more ways than one, of course) but even in this. That’s because, as Krannawitter and Buss remind us, FDR called not only for a right to quality "healthcare" but for a right to "good health." Between the two, I think I’ll take the latter . . . won’t you? I mean, if they’re in the business of giving such boons to humanity, I guess I ought to sign up to get mine. But why is Obama such a piker? It seems he isn’t as ambitious in his call for change as we’ve been led to believe. It’s doubtful that he has suddenly been chastened by humility since he has also claimed (just a couple weeks ago) that his election will stem the rising tides of the oceans. I mean, that’s some brass . . . So why does he seem like such a chiseler in comparison to FDR?

Since all the pundits seem convinced this week that Obama is going to walk with the election, I’m going to try and get into the spirit of the thing and think the way the Dems tell me I should. I don’t want just good healthcare . . . I want him to guarantee me good health like FDR said he would do. Failing that, I demand an explanation as to why he does not respect my right to good health. And, in fact, Peter Lawler’s recent posts suggest that perhaps Obama should start thinking about guaranteeing me a right to eternal (or, at least, very long) life. And I don’t want to be disappointed in a love that lasts this long either . . . so how about some guarantees there too? What? You can’t promise these things? Oh . . . I see, it’s because I’m a woman, right?

Discussions - 2 Comments

Part of what I find frustrating about the parameters of debate on healthcare is the assumption that extending coverage is some sort of panacea--no one on either side of the aisle ever raises the question if full coverage will result in any discernible impact on health, especially for those who don't have access to coverage because they lack financial means. From what I undestand, there is a mountain of generally accepted empirical evidence that extending coverage to those who can't afford (who are also those who are the least healthy) doesn't actually improve their health at all since their maladies tend to be behaviorally induced (poor eating, excessive drinking, smoking, avoiding exercise). This means that at the heart of the health (vs insurance) problem is the issue of personal responsibility, which is hard to incentivize with tax breaks.

If government finances healthcare, you can be sure that there will be a kind of quasi-fascist impulse to impose health through regulation. That is, these bad behaviors will be forcefully discouraged. Don't you already see the tenuous intellectual connections they're making between our personal health and the "health" of the planet . . . if we're fat, we use too many resources. (Obama actually mentioned something about this in one of his speeches.) We leave a larger carbon imprint, etc. Nevermind the smoking (though I see Obama's quietly taken it up again) . . . that's already got a vast army of ardent activists against it. Of course, we're all probably sucking too much air--not dying off soon enough, etc. And that uses resources . . . especially if you are ill and need equipment to live. Do you see where this can lead?

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