Thursday, June 25, 2009

Obligatory Health Care Post

On a very old mug in my cupboard you find the following bromide:
Bradley's Bromide: If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee — that will do them in.
I have used the committee as a metaphor frequently over the years to denote the dysfunctional qualities of nearly everything the government (taken as a "committee of the whole") puts its hands on.

Welfare. Social Security. Energy. Education. Nothing is immune, and so far as I have been able to discern, there is nothing into which the government has injected itself that is administered in any sort of efficient way. Even something as basic as controlling access to our borders has been handled (if, indeed, someone could use the word "handled" in this regard) in such a way as to make the idea of a border completely laughable. "The border?" one might say. "Sure, we've got one. It's over there somewhere," while waving vaguely in a southerly direction.

But this post isn't about open borders. It's about health care "reform" as currently defined by the President. And therein lies the problem.

It isn't defined.

It's a classic political boondoggle. Obama campaigned on health care "reform" and based his campaign on two pillars:
  1. Health care costs are ridiculously high.
  2. Poor Americans aren't covered by any sort of health insurance.
Unfortunately, it's always the knee-jerk reaction of a politician — and particularly a Democrat — to make the government the vehicle through which these issues will be resolved. I say "unfortunately" because, thus far, the government has shown itself incapable of fixing anything that it gets its overreaching hands on.

It is Obama's reach, more than anything else, that scares me about the man. Because he won (a fact he is eager to keep fresh in everyone's mind) he feels he has a mandate to "do" things, and do them quickly. However, as evidenced by the mislabeled "stimulus" program, not everything lends itself to a rapid solution.

Obama's approach to governing is the very sort of "shock-and-awe" tactic that Democrats so derisively sneer at when describing Bush's "failures" in Iraq. The idea here is to stun the voters into believing that only immediate action will save the health care industry and make coverage freely available to every American, regardless of whether they work or not. Then, while those same voters are reeling with a sense of futility, the government will quickly put together the actual legislation that implements Obama's "plan" (which isn't really a plan in the classic sense), so that they can be seen to be "doing something." By the time they do, the average voter will awaken from their campaign-induced disorientation to find that they have been legislated right into another financial black hole, from which there can be no recovery. Or, in other words, we will have a health care system in this country that accomplishes exactly the same thing that "No Child Left Behind" accomplishes for huge numbers of students in America: nothing.

That's right. What we will end up with is a "system" that costs far more per person than any reasonable health plan currently in existence today, but will be freely available to poor Americans because Congress will simply pump money into it whether that money exists or not. It's the American way.

So Bradley was at least partly correct. If we consider Congress and the President to be a "committee," then someone will be "finished off." I just fear that it will be the average taxpayer that is, at the end of it all, finished off.

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