“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic”
– Benjamin Franklin*.
Yesterday we took our biggest step yet towards socialism in the U.S. and also witnessed perhaps the most tyrannical action in 200 years. We haven’t witnessed the end of the republic, but we have witnessed the potential beginning of the end.
Our great country hasn’t come to an apocalyptic end with the passage of Social Security or Medicare nor by the incremental creep of increasing taxpayer funded welfare programs. It won’t from ObamaCare either.
Sadly, if ObamaCare is implemented it will be the middle-class who suffers the most.
Today we ALL share the same great healthcare system. The approximate 87% who have insurance all see the same doctors in the same clinics and hospitals and receive the same high level of care. The waiting room in my doctors office is always representative of a cross-section of our country. Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, young, old, rich and poor. I’ve seen well-known wealthy waiting the same as union laborers waiting the same as people on government assistance. Even the 13% uninsured have access to the exact same hospitals and emergency rooms.
The future will likely include a split healthcare system similar to Canada and the U.K.. A private one for the top 15-20% of wage earners, the wealthy and upper middle class, and a public one for everyone else. The private system will be largely identical to what we all share today. We’ve actually started to see this already. Many doctors and clinics will not see Medicare patients because they can’t afford to provide care for what the government pays. In New York and other heavily regulated states an increasing number of doctors no longer even accept insurance and only see those who can pay out of pocket.
The system for the other 80%? It will still have some great and caring doctors, nurses, and other caregivers. But it will not be able to provide today’s level of care to all comers. It will not be able to afford it nor will enough people choose to work in this lower pay system. Waits for care will increase just as in Canada and the U.K. With scarce resources we’ll begin to see prioritization, likely along the lines of future contributions to society (EG, younger workers will receive priority over those who can’t or don’t work – the older, etc.).
But all is not so gloomy.
There could be some good from this.
Foremost, we might finally see some practical limits placed on the commerce clause of our U.S. Constitution along with some re-assertion of the state’s rights that our founders intended. More on this later.
Second, we may see an awakening of a populace who have become complacent about our creep towards socialism.
Yesterday was a sad day for our country. But I’m still optimistic.
* Widely attributed to Benjamin Franklin though not absolutely confirmed.