Warner Todd Huston
Obamacare means an end to liberty and freedom
By Warner Todd Huston
July 22, 2009

It may seem silly, but the singular fact about freedom is that having it means you have the God given right to ruin your own health without government saying you can't, or standing in your way to get the medical care you need to fix your own mess. Obamacare, however, will both tell you how to live (taking away your freedom) as well as withhold from you the medical care you need to fix yourself. In fact, by its very nature, government healthcare has to end up that way.

Do you doubt that statement? Do you think that the benevolent father in Washington would never withhold medical care from those in need just because they are fat, old, or because they smoke or drink too much? Is this just fearmongering on my part as far as you are concerned? Au contraire. It is already happening in countries that have national socialistic healthcare systems and the sad tale of Gary Reinbach (RIP) of Dagenham, Essex, U.K. is exhibit number one.

You see the 22-year-old Reinbach is... or rather was, an admitted alcoholic. At that young age, he drank his liver into oblivion and needed a transplant. But the nationalized healthcare bureaucrats that governed what care Mr. Reinbach was "allowed" to have refused him a liver transplant because others "deserved" it more. So, Mr. Reinbach died of his liver disease at age 22. Killed as much by his self abuse as by a government that refused to treat his ailment.

Did he "deserve" to die? Would you say good riddance to him for being so gauche as to indulge in his freedom to abuse his own liver. Perhaps he got his just deserts when his young life was ended by self-abuse?

But here is the question: who is the government to decide that Mr. Reinbach wasn't "worth" the effort to save his life? Who was the government to sentence him to death? What government has the right to decide that someone cannot change? What right does government have to say who lives or dies based on cost, waiting lists, and assumed worthiness?

Well, you say, that was England. It can't happen here, right? Wrong.

You see, the only way that government healthcare can work is to arrive at definitions, limits, categories, check boxes, regulations, rules, and procedures. And in every instance those regulations and rules will be governed by bureaucrats. Not doctors, not patients, not family members. It will be pencil pushers, paper shufflers, rules-makers that make the decisions who gets what. Those will be the ones that have the power of life and death over every last American once Obamacare is in place.

So, if you fall off a bicycle, should government decide you don't deserve to have your broken arm fixed because you are the one responsible for breaking it and "the people" aren't responsible to pay to have it fixed?

Healthcare denied.

Will your overweight mother be denied heart surgery because she ate herself to that condition?

Healthcare denied.

Will your 2-packs-a-day uncle be told to go off and die without Chemotherapy for his lung cancer because, after all, he smoked himself to that disease?

Healthcare denied.

All of these are certainly possible denials of service by government. All it will take is one busy body Congressman to decide to slip in such a restriction into an appropriations bill one day and, voila, healthcare denied.

Then we have the other question: is it even fair to expect the taxpayer to pay for a guy to get a liver even if he is an admitted alcoholic? Many would spitefully say no. In fact, there are many activists against sugar, fatty foods, transfats, cigarettes, various drugs, even meat, that would vigorously assert that government healthcare should be denied to those that eat or do the "wrong" things, things that might cause them health problems.

So, where does that leave the so-called healthcare-for-all ideal? It leads it into a debate on worthiness instead of access. It leads to coercion instead of freedom. It leads to the destruction of personal decisions and the institution of tyranny.

It leads to the dismantling of America.

But, then again, that is just what most Democrats and their leader in the White House want.

(Cross posted at HealthcareHorseRace.com.)

© Warner Todd Huston


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Warner Todd Huston

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