Jane Chastain is a Southern California-based broadcaster, author and political commentator. Despite her present emphasis on politics, Jane always will be remembered as the nation's first female TV sportscaster, spending 17 years on the sports beat. Jane blogs at JaneChastain.com. She is a pilot who lives on a private runway.More ↓Less ↑
Obamacare, Hillarycare, national health care, universal health care and single payer are all euphemisms that have been used for socialized medicine.
Why all the euphemisms? It’s because socialized medicine has been an abject failure and has never been able to deliver on its advertised promise of better health care for less. In fact, the hallmark of socialized medicine is just the opposite. It delivers less quality health care and the costs skyrocket with every passing year until … rationing is imposed.
Some of you are under the notion that we dodged a bullet with Obamacare, that the so called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” left the president far from his initial goal.
No so! This country has been going down the garden path to socialized medicine for quite some time, but Obamacare speeds up the process and seals our fate.
Do you remember, in the run-up to Obamacare, there was a large outcry because the Democrats attempted to lower the age of eligibility for Medicare, a program that is due to explode, a program that everyone knows is going broke and a program from which the Democrats plan to raid a half a trillion dollars?
Pelosi, Reid and company backed away from expanding Medicare’s rolls and instead raised the eligibility for Medicaid. The end result was the same. Our government, which is going deeper in the hole every day, is now insuring another 18 million people. It was the old bait and switch. You take 18 million people or so from column “A,” Medicare, and instead add 18 million people from column “B,” at the other end of the spectrum. The march toward total government control over health care continues. Was anyone paying attention? Where was the outcry?
The march toward socialized medicine began in 1965 when Medicare and Medicaid were established as amendments to the Social Security Act. The very name Social Security is a misnomer. Do you know anyone who exists solely on Social Security that has any quality of life? However, many spend every dollar they earn, then retire, believing that they can live on this pittance from the federal government.
Medicare was established to insure that the nation’s elderly had health insurance. In 1965, was there a shortage of companies providing private insurance coverage? No, but the argument was that most people’s health insurance was tied to their employment. This was true because employer-based health insurance was “tax free.”
The obvious solution to this problem was to take away this incentive and give the tax advantage directly to individuals. Then, responsible people would have purchased their own health insurance, which would have stayed with them for the rest of their lives.
Instead, the government took over control of the health care of senior citizens and, as the costs began to rise, Uncle Sam began squeezing down the reimbursements to doctors and hospitals and squeezing out the benefits.
Medicaid was established to insure the poor but has continue to expand to cover various classes of individuals. By the time the new Obama threshold kicks in, it will take in individuals earning up to $15,694 per year and a family of four making $31,920 per year – but that is just the beginning.
Most children in these families are already covered by the federal government. In 1997, after beating back Hillarycare, the Republican-controlled Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and passed the S-CHIP program, which put the children of lower-income working families in a government-run program.
If you can’t expand government-run health care any other way, “do it for the children.” How disingenuous! S-CHIP was sponsored by John Kasich in the House and Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy in the Senate. There was no need for this program, as children’s health insurance was readily available and cheap.
Under Obama, S-CHIP was expanded to cover another 4 to 11 million children in families making up to $88,000 per year. In most states, these families would be considered well-to-do. S-CHIP also covers immigrants and certain adults, including pregnant women. “But if we cover pregnant women, isn’t it heartless to dump them once they give birth?” The drumbeat to expand government-run insurance continues.
Before the passage of Obamacare, the federal government already had control of 48 percent of the health care in the United States. Unless this bill is repealed and repealed soon (which is unlikely), it is only a matter of time before the government has absolute control of all health care.
Once the government has absolute control of your health care, freedom is an illusion.