Sunday, November 17, 2013

Too Subtle?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Concerns about ObamaCare

I sent this to my hometown newspaper in response to a recent letter to the editor. - BRC

A recent letter writer had numerous “Questions concerning Obamacare” which I thought deserved a few answers. Firstly he asked, “Why do you opponents of Obamacare NOT WANT HEALTH CARE FOR EVERY American?” While Obamacare deals mostly with insurance and doesn’t actually PROVIDE HEALTH CARE to anyone, I won’t split hairs with the writer. Like most decent Americans, I think opponents of Obamacare (such as myself) want all Americans to have healthcare, food to eat, water to drink, clothing, shelter and love, but we may disagree as to whether it’s the proper Constitutional role of the Federal government to provide any of those.

Many of us agree with James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” who wrote in Federalist Paper No. 45: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined… [and they] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” Sure the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare (and just about every other Federal power grab since the 1930’s) was constitutional. Should we be surprised that an appendage of the Federal Government has more often than not ruled in favor of increasing the size, scope and power of the Federal Government? Just because the Federal Government seeks constant unrestrained growth, like cancer, doesn’t mean the states and the people must support it.

The letter writer continues, “Every senior citizen has Medicare so why shouldn’t the rest of our citizens have it?” Medicare is already bankrupting the country. Last year the Medicare trustees reported that Medicare would insolvent by 2024. The Medicare actuary projected the long-term unfunded liability (future debt) for the program at approximately $36.9 trillion. The non-partisan CBO projects ObamaCare will cost $1.7 trillion in the first decade. (The actual cost will be much higher.) The U.S. is already $17 trillion in debt and borrowing about $96 million an hour on the backs of our children.  Being past broke seems like a good reason not to start a massive new spending program.

Also, Medicare and other government distortions in the medical market are largely to blame for high medical costs to begin with. More of the same will only drive prices higher.

The letter writer asks, “Did you know that (Obamacare) was copied after the Republican plan implemented in Massachusetts in 2006? Did you know that the governor at the time was a Republican named Mitt Romney?” Yes!  Did you know that Romney lost the presidential election? Did you know that many fiscal conservatives, paleo-conservatives, Constitutional conservatives, and libertarians who may not have liked Obama stayed home in droves or voted third party because they couldn’t stand Romney (and/or McCain)? Both parties have played their part in racking up huge deficits, eroding liberty and expanding government.

More importantly, just because a state (like Massachusetts) may try something doesn’t mean that the Federal government may do it (and vice-versa).  If you can wipe the boot prints off it you’ll see that the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Contrary to modern interpretation, those words mean something. Healthcare (and education and a thousand other things that the Federal Government intrudes upon) are not powers that were “delegated to the United States by the Constitution.”

“Under Obamacare,” the writer continues, “insurance companies can no longer refuse to cover people with pre-existing conditions; they must cover kids on their parents insurance until age 26; it stresses preventative care such as free mammograms and colonoscopies[.]” This is exactly the sort of meddling that will drive insurance premiums higher, hurting everyone. According to a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase insurance rates for young men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for young women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. We’ve already heard about many people losing their coverage and employers cutting workers back to part time to avoid Obamacare costs. Some help.

Lastly, the writer says, “I’m a Christian also and I happen to believe that the Jesus I worship would want health care for all Americans.  So tell me my Republican friends, what do you think the Jesus you worship would do about health care in America?” I can’t speak for Jesus, but I should think He would want people to help their sick neighbors out voluntarily through Christian good works and charity.  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, New International Version) [Emphasis added.]

I think that people delude themselves if they believe they are doing the Lord’s work by sending “hither swarms of Officers”  to coercively take money from its rightful owners or by saddling our unsuspecting children with obscene levels of debt in order to fund government social programs which are always inefficient and often harmful.

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