“THE HEALTHCARE PICKLE” an essay by Cheryl Pass

Today’s Guest Saturday post comes to us from Cheryl Pass of My Tea Party Chronicle. She first published this essay on November 25, 2013.



Why do we find ourselves in this healthcare pickle?  How did the federal government get the idea they could insert themselves into our health insurance industry?   People forget that government is force.  And that it is force at the point of a gun.  A model for the Obamacare law can be found in the federal seat belt law, requiring car manufacturers to install seat belts in every car….just as the Obamacare law requires insurance companies to place Obama’s requirements into your health insurance policy.
When seat belts in cars became mandatory in 1968, there was national debate on whether or not the federal government had the authority to force you to wear a seat belt…or even if the federal government had the authority to force car manufacturers to only sell cars with seat belts installed.  The federal government does not force you to wear a seat belt, and is forbidden by law to do so.  BUT, the power of the federal government doesn’t stop there, even though it should.  What the federal government did regarding seat belts is threaten more legislation to force car manufacturers into installing passive restraints /air bags.  The idea was that if air bags were installed, seat belts would no longer be necessary, quelling the debate.  But the automakers rebelled and said the passive restraints would push the price of cars out of reach for most car purchasers.  The automakers, at the behest of the Department of Transportation, then lobbied state governments to pass seat belt laws, forcing drivers and passengers to be fined if caught not wearing a seat belt.  Supposedly if the automakers did this, the passive restraints would not become mandatory.  But guess what?  The Federal government proceeded to make air bags mandatory anyway. And the cost of cars has escalated greatly, just as health insurance is now.

“While the hundreds of millions of dollars spent in support of seat-belt laws has been a horrendous financial burden to society, the greatest cost is really not money. It’s the loss of freedom. Seat-belt laws infringe a person’s rights as guaranteed in the Fourth, Fifth, and the Ninth Amendments, and the civil rights section of the Fourteenth Amendment. Such laws are an unwarranted intrusion by government into the personal lives of citizens; they deny through prior restraint the right to determine one’s own individual personal health-care standard.”
“While seat-belt use might save some people in certain kinds of traffic accidents, there is ample evidence that in other kinds, people have been more seriously injured and even killed only because they used seat belts. Some people have been saved from death in certain kinds of accidents only because a seat belt was not used. In those cases, the malicious nature of seat-belt laws is further revealed: such persons are subject to fines for not dying in the accident while using a so-called safety device arbitrarily chosen by politicians.”

Sound familiar?  Now replace the car manufacturers with insurance companies and you can see the federal government through Obamacare has mandated what insurance companies MUST provide, selling health insurance policies because of federal force.  As with seat belts, some will benefit, but others will suffer.  The Federal government got away with an unconstitutional law in 1968 regarding cars and your driving choices, and since then Congress has had a jolly old time of it regulating and mandating toilets, light bulbs, insulation, dry wall, paint, and nearly every other product you might want to purchase.  Now it’s health insurance.  The unconstitutional precedent was set to using the force of federal law to mandate what product providers must offer to the marketplace.  In the case of Obamacare, insurance policies, someone(s) in the Federal government decided what the insurance policies must cover and not cover.  But if you have any respect for being American and for the U.S. Constitution, you realize the Federal government has no legitimate role to play in any of these areas of the market.  The prosperity of our nation was created by a free market, and whenever the force of government manipulates that, there are winners and losers.  Mostly losers.  This is what Mussolini did in fascist Italy.  It is also what the debt-laden Europeans have done, to create their own economic destitution. I can give you many historical precedents of failed and failing nations whose governments took this kind of power away from their people.  But that’s a long story and I am told, sadly, that no one wants to hear about it today.
One big difference from the seat belt analogy to health insurance is that now, with Obamacare, the federal government has taken one more huge step into your life by mandating that you purchase that product, a product you may or may not want or need, or can afford.  (You weren’t forced to buy a car, however, if you did, it had to have a seat belt.)
Just as car manufacturers were vilified if they balked at Federal mandates, insurance companies have been vilified if they dare to fight off Obamacare.  So instead, just like the car manufacturers, the insurance companies got on board with the Feds and tried to comply. They had no choice in the matter, not if they wanted to survive.  Now Obama is making them the scapegoat for his failing program as Obama moves closer to his stated goal of single-payer socialist healthcare.  Someone tell me, what can Obama know about your personal healthcare that you would give him the right to dictate to you what you need or want in health insurance?   Same question of DC bureaucrats and politicians.  What is your doctor or hospital going to be allowed to do?  And what choice will you have?

Well,  there is the pickle.  As long as you are willing to give government the power over your personal decisions about your life, what products you buy or offer, the American promise of freedom, economic or otherwise, is shot to hell.  This is a pickle I didn’t “choose” to be forced to eat.

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