The question has been asked here on this site, and on others what will become of the state of health-care if Obama-care falls. I’ve heard the gnashing of teeth among those who think we need some kind of health-care reform, and while I agree, I doubt most would agree with my own prescription. Cold-hearted. Selfish. Greedy. These are all the terms that would be used by statists to describe my own visions of health-care reform. Even a few alleged conservatives can’t quite bring themselves to endorse my view because at heart, they’re not free market capitalists. You shouldn’t be surprised, as there are many self-proclaimed “conservatives” who are really nothing of the sort, and who would just as readily inflict and impose their vision of “fairness” as any left-wing socialist radical. The difference is that they claim to be motivated by other ideas, or beliefs, but what remains universally true is that to impose them, they too must destroy liberty. I oppose any such plan, plot, or program, irrespective of the source, and I think it’s time we had this little talk lest there be some confusion: I don’t support government involvement in any aspect of healthcare. None.
The first thing one must know about the free market is that it is destroyed the moment government becomes involved. If you want to destroy innovation, efficiency, and industry within any segment of any market, introduce government as a buyer. This is because government is a terrible consumer because it is not spending its own money, but instead yours. It’s also because the government has undue leverage in a market where it is not the ultimate consumer. Of course, there will be those of you who will demand to know the fate of the poor, with the stabbing of a pointed finger against my chest, since the poor, by definition, don’t have a good deal of money with which to purchase health services. As ever, those who wish to control others rely upon the poor to furnish the excuse for their power. The question is not “what should we do about the poor,” as Ayn Rand famously observed, but “should we do anything about the poor?” This is where the compassion-fascists show up to berate free-marketeers, claiming that the advocates of this viewpoint are heartless and mean-spirited and greedy. Balderdash!
In order to have any sort of system in which various “necessities” are provided, it is first necessary to obtain them. Once government is placed in this role, it is inevitable, and in fact a prerequisite that the government employ cruelty against others, from whom the necessities (or the money to purchase them) will be taken. Ladies and gentlemen, there is no escape from this, and when I observe statists of either left or right political persuasion making this argument, I remind them first of the inescapable, inexorable moral breech: Government has only force and on that basis, government becomes a murderous villain in the hands of a statist. Pay, or die. There are those who enjoy shading the black and white behind a curtain of gray fog, but the simple, undisguised fact is that for any such program to exist, government must become evil. That’s right, I wrote it: Evil. I take it as an act of evil whenever one initiates force against another, or threatens force, in order to make material (or other) gain. If one is an advocate of a government-funded, implemented, or regulated healthcare system by any name, one must admit from the outset that one is in favor of robbery through an agent.
Call it third-party theft. Call it whatever you will, but when government, on the behalf of some citizens, extorts money from the pockets of other citizens, government has assumed the role of a mafia protection racket. One can dress it up in all the Sunday’s finest of “compassion,” or “brother-love,” but what one is doing is to attack one person for his wealth on the basis that it should be provided to others on the basis of their needs. That’s Marxism, and if one supports this in any measure, he or she is not a conservative. One can claim it. One can prefix it with words like “compassionate” all one pleases, but the simple fact is that to threaten one’s fellow man with injury and death; violence and expropriation; robbery and slavery is as abominable and un-Christian as one can be. There is no mitigation. There is no excuse. There will be a long line of those accustomed to robbing their neighbors who will come forth to claim that they possess some right – yes, they’ll actually claim a right – to do through government what they would never consider doing themselves for fear of eating a shotgun: Robbing their neighbors willy-nilly, and with abandon.
Yes, this is the ugly nature of statism, and it’s why I cannot support any health reform that doesn’t get government out of the health-care business altogether. It is at this point that some will ask me: “But what of veterans?” To the degree veterans have been injured in the performance of their duties, just as with any worker injured or maimed on the job, the employer must carry that cost, and since we are the employers of soldiers, yes, it is proper for us to pay for that healthcare necessary to make them well, to rehabilitate them, and to compensate them for permanent loss/injury. That does not mean we need a vast and inefficient system of providing care to veterans. While it is true that certain afflictions and injuries are not common in the civilian sector, nevertheless, to the degree we can, we should job this out through private providers. Speaking as a veteran myself, and having seen what have been deplorable conditions at VA hospitals when I’ve volunteered my time there, I cannot but think that most of the veterans I saw would have been better served in the private sector.
Everybody else? You’d better figure it out. One has no entitlement, natural or otherwise, to the contents of his neighbors’ wallets. Since the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, too many Americans have adopted the notion that it is okay to steal from one’s neighbors, or to steal from one’s grand-children so long as government acts as the agent and instrument of that theft. To steal remotely, through a third party is no less a theft, but it is at once doubly cowardly. Imagine walking next door to one’s neighbor, and demanding a meal, or an aspirin, or a dollar, or to move in. In any civilized society, one making such demands would be laughed at, and if he tried to obtain his demands by force, he would be short-lived indeed. For many millions of Americans, this has become the all-too-common procedure, except that they have the middle-man of government doing their dirty work, never casting the first thought in the direction of the absolute tyranny they’re inflicting on their neighbors, or dismissively concluding that “everyone does it,” which is not only a falsehood, but also a psychological confession of one’s ill intent.
As Rand explained more eloquently, and succinctly, one can do anything one pleases for the poor, out of one’s own pocket, and out of one’s own sense of charity or compassion, and there is naught but good to be born of that approach, be it food, clothing, healthcare, housing, or education. What one must not do is force others to do one’s will in terms of charity or compassion, because it becomes neither, it breeds contempt, and it is a grave evil of its own in the first instance, for which there can be no ethical justification, despite endless rationalizations born of statist delusion.
I’ve been asked what we should replace Obama-care with, if it’s overturned. My answer is simply: A system in which government has no say, and no money in the distribution or provision of health-care, of any sort, as an entitlement for citizens who have done nothing more than breathed. It is only because of governmental involvement that such shameless thugs as the current dictator of New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, can claim to be acting in the public interest when he bans soft-drinks larger than 16 ounces, or table salt in restaurants, or any of the myriad other tyrannical dicta he puts forth, all “for your own good.” That sort of monstrous conduct by a public official is just the beginning, and it’s also why I wait along with millions of other Americans to see whether the United States Supreme Court will do its duty, or whether it will enable the advance of tyranny.
There are those who argue that Obama-care must be replaced by something, and my answer is that it should be: The US Constitution. There exists no entitlement to the wealth of others, whether that wealth is to be taken in order to finance beans and rice or blood transfusions and open heart surgery. Some will ask where is my compassion, but I maintain that my compassion is with those whose property and wealth is expropriated in the name of the compassion of others. Unless and until the United States returns to the rule of Constitutional law, the country will continue inexorably downward. There is no compromise between good and evil, yet what all of this redistributionism endorses is plainly evil. None of my readers would walk next door and demand from their neighbors such provisions as they might from time to time need, but too many Americans are all too comfortable sending a government agent in their stead. That’s not liberty. That’s not freedom. That’s not right.