Archive for November, 2009

As the Democrat-controlled Congress churns and grinds its inexorable way towards enshrining socialized medicine into the American lexicon and socio-economic structure, I find myself wondering what other “rights” we can expect our Progressive overseers to legislate into law over the next four years?

More than that, I am curious as to how health care became an “inalienable” right guaranteed by the Constitution?

See, here’s the deal. Say I’m too damn lazy or broken down or busy to mow my own lawn. The thing’s looking pretty scruffy, the wife is all up in my knickers because of how it’ll look to the neighbors, and soon I could start making a little extra money running safaris through the back yard. So, I hoodwink one of the neighborhood teens to do it for me. And you know what? I fully expect that I am going to have to pay him to mow it for me.

Say I need my house painted, my car tuned up, or my appendix removed. Do I expect that somehow it’s my “right” to have a freshly pained house? Do I expect that there is “someone” out there who is morally obligated to overhaul my small-block Chevy for me just because I’m a helluva guy? Moreover, what kind of quality can I really expect from someone willing to do it or free? I’m reminded of the old car care commercial that shows the inbred goober playing with the water house, who drools out the statement, “Lemme try, boss. I’ve always wanted to fix a transmission!”

No, in this society, in this economy, I fully expect that having a trained, competent, and experienced mechanic fix my truck is going to cost me a pretty decent chunk of change. To hire someone to paint my house who won’t make a complete nightmare of the job is going to cost me some pretty serious cash. And to have one of my internal organs removed, an MRI of my brain, or a chunk of burgeoning skin cancer excised from my arm are things for which I should reasonably be expected to pay as well, right?

Do I really want my health and life put in the hands of the lowest bidder? There is a very simple and nearly immutable truth which I have seen borne out time and again in this life; whether it relates to cars, or VCRs, hookers or housepainters, the inescapable reality is that more often than not, you really DO get what you pay for!

Is it really realistic that we should expect anything different from our health care providers? Can we realistically expand coverage nearly three-fold without a commensurate increase in doctors and nurses, clinic and hospital beds, all the while promising that it’s going to cost less? Seriously?

I don’t expect to be provided free lawn care as some sort of right. That teenage do-gooder provides a service, he expects to be paid for it. I don’t expect that my right to comprehensive auto maintenance is enshrined in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. And yet, apparently my “right” to a free colonoscopy is immutable and inalienable, right up their with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Wait a sec. “Liberty.” Hmmm. Liberty is a guaranteed right. Can’t argue with that. Synonymous with “Freedom.” What about when my government forces me to spend thousands per year on insurance I may not want or need, or face prison? Is that Liberty? Is that Freedom?

According to Dictionary.com, “Liberty” is defined as:

~ freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
~ freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
~ The condition of being physically and legally free from confinement, servitude, or forced labor.
~ A right or immunity to engage in certain actions (or NOT engage, I would submit) without control or interference:

Notice that you can’t define liberty without using the word “freedom.”

The big tear-jerking heart-string puller in all this is that everyone should have “access” to health care. Newsflash: everyone already DOES have access to health care, they just may not be able to afford it. There is this meme that millions of Americans are being “denied” health care, as in prevented “back of the bus” style from purchasing health care, relegated to second-class status behind the “rich people only” health care system.

Another news flash: The more you pay, the better plan you get. This is not “unfair,” is basic economics. I don’t whine that it’s “unfair” that I can’t buy a Mazerati for what it costs me to finance my Impreza, right?

I’ve been on the outs. I’ve struggled to pay for health insurance, eating hefty co-pays for mediocre coverage. It sucked. That doesn’t mean I had a “right” to anything better, it just meant that that was all I could afford at the time. But it wasn’t any official law, or policy, or armed thug that was “denying” me better health care; it was my paycheck. In effect, the only person “denying” me better health care was me.

Since then, I’ve gotten a better job, so I can afford better health benefits.

I find it tragic that we, as a nation, have developed such an overweening sense of entitlement that we are so readily able to turn such a blind eye to the basics of economic realities in our pursuit of gifts given, not benefits earned.

Governments do not provide freedom. A government merely helps ensure an environment wherein freedom CAN flourish if allowed to. However, true “freedom” is not obtained “from” government, it is instead achieved by those who require it from themselves and others. What so many fail…or refuse…to see is that government can become the enemy of freedom, for the more we require from it, the more it will, in turn, require from us.

True freedom is found in self-sufficiency, in personal responsibility, and moral fortitude. Too readily forsaking any one of those three in exchange for unearned largesse or unwarranted comfort is a certain path towards becoming “subjects” rather than “citizens.