Obey Obama's Health Regime or Pay the Price
New "wellness" carrots may soon become a stick.
“One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project, most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.” —Ronald Reagan
“We have to pass the [ObamaCare] bill so that you can find out what is in it.” —former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2009
Well, Democrats did indeed pass ObamaCare — on a party-line vote in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, after months of threats, arm-twisting and open bribery. Over the last half decade or so we have found out what was in it. We now know that the “in it” amounted to a giant, teeming, fetid cauldron of government-mandated, top-down, force-fed, command-and-control socialized medicine where government bureaucrats, rather than doctors and patients, get to decide what kind of treatment you get. In other words, exactly what we warned before Democrats even introduced it.
By every objective measure, ObamaCare has been an unmitigated (and predicted) disaster. Contrary to Obama’s promises — “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” (a necessary lie according to ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber), or it would “bend the cost curve down,” or save the average family $2500 annually in health insurance premiums (ObamaCare costs have skyrocketed) — the reality is that his disastrous signature legislation has added trillions to the national debt, driven health care costs through the roof, made health care more unaffordable, and reduced access to doctors. More than half of the ObamaCare co-ops have gone bankrupt and failed, and the nation’s largest insurance providers are pulling out of ObamaCare.
On the bright side (if you are a fan of big government), ObamaCare has created jobs for thousands of government bureaucrats, empowered the IRS to intrude into the most intimate aspects of your life, added tens of thousands of pages (more than 20,000 pages in just the first three years after passage) of new federal regulations, and placed the federal government in charge of your health care.
What could possibly go wrong?
Glad you asked! Because, as they say when hawking snake oil on the “As Seen On TV” commercials, “But wait; there’s MORE!” Now the government is once again trying to penalize every American who does not get on board with the Left’s idea of good health policy.
In 2012, liberals mocked Justice Antonin Scalia for bringing up broccoli during oral arguments in the lawsuit challenging the individual mandate (NFIB v. Sebelius). Justice Scalia noted that if the government’s argument regarding the legitimacy of the individual mandate could apply to health insurance, then surely the same argument could be applied to food, which is a more immediate need for every human than health insurance.
Said Scalia, “Could you define the market — everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food, therefore, everybody is in the market; therefore, you can make people buy broccoli.” Solicitor General Donald Verrilli tried to dismiss the comparison as inaccurate, yet now we see Scalia was exactly right. For if the government controls health care, and therefore is responsible for health care costs, then it has an obligation to keep costs down, which it will accomplish by dictating the diet and exercise choices of every American, and do so in very unexpected, intrusive ways.
The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) finalized last month new regulations for employers in an effort to get America’s tens of millions of employees to comply with the federal government’s vision of health — discounts for people joining “wellness programs.” Not only that, but you must share weight, blood pressures, illnesses and medical records. If you refuse, no discount for you — and, worse, your premiums will probably go up.
With ObamaCare, the federal government can now force Americans to buy a product (health insurance) whether they like it or not. It can compel Americans, under threat of a financial penalty, to follow its declared regime for diet and exercise. It has already disrupted employment dynamics through the individual and employer mandates, which has led to higher unemployment and more Americans forced to work part-time. And government has tried to force Christian-owned businesses to fund abortion, and Catholic nuns to provide birth control.
These are not the things that occur in a free country. These are the things that happen in countries where the people are slaves to their government. Yet the political Left assures us it knows better than we do what is good for us, and that their compulsion is for our own good.
Or, as C.S. Lewis perfectly describe such situations, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”