Friday, November 27, 2009

Opposition to Obamacare Should be Unconditional

Recently I received a request from a very well intended and concerned individual about the health care debate. She wanted me to promote a provision that would have a "whistle blower" provision as a part of the socialized health care bill. It is a great measure that those who want to protect our health care system should support, but avoid like the plague at this time. Meanwhile it is the type of provision that Obama, Reid, and Pelosi hates and they hope and pray that conservatives pursue such with a passion. The reason for this is simple -- it legitimizes the role of the federal government in the health care debate. Once we concede to this type of discussion, there is no longer a question as to whether there will be a socialized health care program, but what it will look like.

I hear people say, "government spending needs to be lower before we pursue such an ambitious program," or "the number one priority is unemployment and until it is below a certain level, we should not be even discussing health care," or other conditions that some deem necessary before we begin a health care debate. Our view must be different. Our opposition to this health care proposal should be unconditional. There should be nothing the federal government can do to make it worthy of consideration. The reasons for this are numerous, here are just a few:

  • Socialized medicine destroys innovation and will throw our health care into a new Dark Ages.

  • The federal system our republic is built on intended for issues like this to be addressed exclusively by the states and not the federal government. To date states like California, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Hawaii have attempted such programs and they have all been complete failures. Hawaii's socialized health care program almost put the entire state into bankruptcy and had to be discontinued in seven months.

  • Socialized medicine has not worked in other countries and, where applied, is noted for rationing and shortages. The average wait time to see a specialist in Canada after a general physician has noted a health care issue requiring further attention is 17 weeks (approximately four months). This is more than enough time to turn an early detected cancer into one that is inoperable. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, women with breast cancer have a 14 percent higher survival rate in the United States than in Europe. Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Breast cancer mortality is also 9 percent higher in Canada than in the US. Less than 25 percent of US women die from breast cancer. In Great Britain, it's 46 percent; France, 35 percent; Germany, 31 percent; Canada, 28 percent; Australia, 28 percent, and New Zealand, 46 percent.

  • Finally, and most important in my opinion, socialized health care is unconstitutional. Our constitution limits the federal government to 17 specific powers and none of them include health care. The argument that the government is already doing many things beyond the mandate of the Constitution does not justify further expansion. The line must be drawn some where. This is the time and this is the place.

If those who oppose socialize medicine engage in the debate by discussing provisions "necessary" to make it "work," the battle is over and we lose. We must stand opposed to socialized health care and do so without exceptions.

Kevin Price is a syndicated columnist whose articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media. Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at PriceofBusiness.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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