A Referendum on Freedom

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said Tuesday that he would float the idea of a national referendum on health care reform when he returns to Washington after the start of his August recess was spent facing down boisterous crowds at town hall meetings.

Now there’s a solution for you. If 51 percent (or higher) of Americans vote to turn doctors into slaves of the state, who either must work for the government or quit, then the nationalization of health care will be both valid and complete. Forget how the doctors feel about this. Forget how the effect of this on doctors and surgeons will inevitably affect patients. Forget that according to the Constitution everyone is supposed to be equal under the law, and once you compromise this for one group of people, then freedom is at risk for everyone. Forget the fact that the bureaucracy, inefficiency, insensitivity and injustice of a government-run system of medical care remains just as real whether a plurality of voters votes it into existence, or it’s imposed on everyone through some other means.

It will be really interesting to see how such a referendum is worded. “Should there be health care for all? Vote YES or NO here.” That will yield one result, for sure. “Should doctors be required to work for the government, and should patients be required to go through the government for all health care billing and decisions? Vote YES or NO here.” That will yield a different result, for sure. Elections cannot change facts, votes cannot change the truth. In a democracy, you can vote away people’s rights. In a democratic republic that upholds individual rights, you cannot. Which one is the United States? We may soon find out.