11.30.2009 0

The Self-Reliant Citizen R.I.P.

  • On: 12/29/2009 09:32:17
  • In: Conservative Movement
  • By David Bozeman

    The Nanny State will likely consume the autonomous citizen because of its genius for selling itself as the solution to problems it created in the first place. Soon, the ponderous, bloated health care reform bill could well be part of the vaunted ‘third rail’ of American politics that no viable leader will dare touch.

    At a recent Conservative Party gathering in Britain, broadcast on C-SPAN, speakers touted individual initiative and cultural identity. The accents notwithstanding, the comments were as applicable to Boise, Idaho or Bristol, Tennessee — that is until the party’s leader praised their national health care system. British conservative author James Delingpole, writing in Welcome to Obamaland, and others have alerted America to the inferior care of their nation’s government-run system, but as sure as you can buy Mary Landrieu, the ties that bind a citizen to his or her government are reinforced once it provides health care access.

    Anyone tending to a sick child or elderly parent is reliant upon, and ultimately loyal to, whatever entity provides care, however shoddy, however long the wait. With little or no competition, state-run health care will eventually set the standard — what will be left to compare it to? How long before conservative Republicans must assure voters that Obama-care, the pride of our nation, will not only remain untouched, it will be strengthened?

    Government spent much of the 20th Century diluting the doctor-patient relationship. Freezing wages in World War II forced employers to offer non-cash benefits and created a permanent incentive to obtain medical care through employers rather than paying for it directly. Strict licensing of medical schools, onerous regulation of insurance companies, such as dictates on how it can be sold and marketed, strangled the flow of services and jacked the prices up. Then Medicare, enacted in 1965, spends as much time saving itself from bankruptcy as it does saving patients, passing the bill to taxpayers and private companies who must raise their rates.
    And now we are to believe that government is going to solve the very problems it created in the first place.

    According to industry insiders, the costs of complying with strict Obama-care mandates to insure everyone will be passed along to the young and healthy. While that is not uncommon, the free market can lower costs for everyone by forcing insurance companies to compete for customers. It can weed out the greedy and unscrupulous by promoting individual awareness and shining the lights of consumer advocacy and public scrutiny on their methods. Let us not raise rates and taxes (supposedly imposed only on ‘the rich’) but free up those dollars to follow the wider array of options that will surely flourish once big government gets out of the way.

    But big government perpetuates itself by wearing down the resistance of average citizens and lowering their expectations. It robs them of their independence and self-sufficiency, all in the name of compassion. It fosters not cooperation but competition for finite public funds, again, in the name of compassion. Still, it is not too late. We the People can reverse the madness by re-asserting our role, assigned by our founders, as guardians of our liberty, mindful of the words of Ronald Reagan: You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.

    David Bozeman is a Liberty Features Syndicate writer for Americans for Limited Government.


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