As the reader may recall, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and scores of other prominent “fear mongers” were ridiculed for asserting that recently passed health-care legislation would despoil our health-care system, and that it was truly calculated to augment the federal government’s power and not about health care at all.
The reader may also recall – unless you happen to be very, very young – government programs (particularly entitlements) invariably swell to titanic proportions over time, despite all assurances from politicians that this won’t occur.
An associate of mine has a play opening off-Broadway this summer. It’s called “NICE” after the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. NICE is the body within Britain’s national health-care system that establishes guidelines with regard to who should receive how much and what level of health care. The play centers around four siblings who are forced to confront death and their own personal issues.
One of NICE’s protocols, called the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), is an outline of care for terminal patients. It is from this model Sarah Palin derived her reference to “death panels” when speaking out against Obamacare.
The reason I bring this up now – other than the fact that socialized medicine kills people – is this: Despite the Obama administration being sorely inept at governance (which makes sense, since it is an agent of destruction), it is quite adept when it comes to sleight of hand, or drawing attention to what one tentacle is doing while the significant action is being executed by another.
While such things as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, immigration and so-called reform of the financial services industry are noteworthy, and do underscore important aspects of the administration’s character (or lack thereof), they are also serving to mask behind-the-scenes implementation of new health-care measures and such revelations as Whoops! This health-care thing is going to cost more than we thought, and Gee – this isn’t really going to bring down premiums, after all, is it?
Well, the politicians in Britain didn’t expect to need the Liverpool Care Pathway either; it was developed in the 1990s. The LCP was necessitated by the fact that it became impossible to provide the level of health care available in a free-market system. Thus, health care had to be rationed, and there is no reason to believe that things won’t evolve along the same lines in America – unless one trusts Obama and the congressional leadership for some unfathomable reason.
So, late last year, the Cato Institute’s Michael F. Cannon wrote a piece validating Palin’s concerns of how the implementation of socialized medicine has consistently led to rationing; it was one of many that surfaced expressing the same view. On April 30 of this year, the RAND Corporation reported that Obamacare would drive premiums for twentysomethings up around 17 percent. Even the Congressional Budget Office had already admitted that it would not reduce premiums.
The reason all this is somewhat humorous (if you acknowledge bitter, aft-deck-of-the-Titanic humor) has to do with the fact that some of us saw 30 years ago the end game that is now playing out. We watched as the radicals became professors and community organizers; we admonished that government entitlements would develop into increasingly intrusive programs that would stultify the economy and diminish personal liberties.
We were chided for being silly when we issued our warnings; all we could do was shrug and keep presaging.
Still, most Americans would likely chuckle to hear how far we believe Obama and his cronies intend to take things, or that our president wouldn’t mind seeing circumstances catalyze sufficient civil unrest to necessitate militarized intervention. Inferring that he would simply adore seeing people such as myself, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter lined up and shot would have them laughing uproariously.
The Epsilons among us are already balking when they discover that they still have to open their wallets when visiting the doctor; they think they have free health care now, and it is upon people like this that progressives have depended for the last few decades. This was facilitated by their placing themselves in such stations as public education, entertainment and the press in order to debase Americans’ character and blunt their critical-thinking skills.
Meanwhile, my playwright friend has pointed out the irony in people thinking he made up the government bodies and procedures cited in his play.
The left is still having a fair amount of success labeling people like me as fear mongers. Despite having been right with our various prognostications over the years, all of the above charges are simply laughed off by collectivists in the beltway and a complicit, if obtuse, news media.
For some Americans, this may put a completely different spin on the rhetoric they’ve been hearing from the administration these days, as well as the assurances that the events we doomsayers are predicting won’t come about.
You didn’t expect them to admit they were finally installing that dystopian nightmare regime they dreamed about in their youth, did you?