Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health Care Hypocrisy

Top-of-the-post update: Well, comment really. The only way to fight this is to point out the fallacy of believing that the government can pass a law making something free. Most supports of socialized health care believe they are extending benefits to those who cannot afford the health care they need. That fallacy is the problem, and that is what needs to be explained to people. Passing a law to make something free does not give people more of what they need. It reduces the available supply while reducing incentives to produce more. That creates shortages, which will eventually wind up killing people, just like it does in every country with government-run health care. (Additional comment: Try askign if we all deserve the same insurance the President has, and point out that that's not what he's offering the "little people".)

Original post below:

Rounding up reactions to President Obama's hour-long infomercial last night, many astute observations were made. Several people highlighted this exchange:

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it's not provided by insurance.

Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn't seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he's proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.

The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if "it's my family member, if it's my wife, if it's my children, if it's my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.

"There's a whole bunch of care that's being provided that every study, that every bit of evidence that we have indicates may not be making us healthier," he said.

Gibson interjected that often patients don't know what will work until they get every test they can.

"Oftentimes we know what makes sense and what doesn't," the president responded, making a push for evidence-based medicine.

Emphasis mine. While Ed Morrisey refers to the first exchange as "hypocrisy", and William Jacobson calls it "fraud", that second exchange is what worries me as much. Here, Obama is using the royal "we", meaning that those people "smarter than us" will determine for us what treatements they think are best. We will no longer be allowed to think and decide for ourselves. Does everyone remember the case of the kid who was forced to go through chemotherapy? Now imagine that he's an adult who wants a treatment that will be denied under Obamacare. If government takes the position of buying everything for us, it has to ration somehow. That's why Obama won't promise to deny his family treatment not authorized under Obamacare, just like he won't send his daughters to public school. The plans of the elites for the public are never the same as their plans for themselves. This may be a good time to remember Tocqueville's warning:

Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things;it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits.

After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

Michelle Malkin asks who's funding the Obamacare campaign.

John Stossel wants to put individuals in charge. (Watch Sick in America)

Jeff Poor points out that the President is doing all the talking in this conversation.

John Galt asks if we really understand the problem.

Update: I've got to include video of Michelle Malkin discussing how the elites are propagandizing in favor of socialized health care.

Update: Apparently, the infomercial was a ratings disaster.

Update: Breitbart headline: "Obama Won’t Pledge to Keep Family on Public Health Plan if They Become Sick"

Update: Reason TV highlights this video:

Update: CATO scholars dissect the Democrats' health care scheme:

Update: Another Reason TV video:

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