Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, on the Obama health care law: “We are giving you a boatload of money. There’s no matching funds requirement; there are no extraneous conditions attached to it. It’s just a boatload of federal money for you to take and spend on poor people’s health care. It doesn’t sound coercive to me, I have to tell you.”
What about the people who are being forced to pay taxes to fund the programs? Under ObamaCare, those who do not have health insurance are entitled to Medicaid. Medicaid is paid for not by Obama, not by Elena Kagan, but by taxpaying citizens. Are they not coerced to pay for these programs? What about the people whose health insurance premiums will go up by 50, 100 or 200 percent — all because ObamaCare imposes regulations on insurance companies unprecedented in the history of American business? Isn’t that coercion? What about those who will lose their health insurance coverage from their employers, since employers can no longer afford the premium? Or those who will lose their jobs, because their employers can no longer afford to pay them thanks to the skyrocketing cost of health insurance? Isn’t that coercion?
It’s true that programs like Medicare and Social Security are paid for with taxes. But at least in principle, if not in consistent practice, these programs are paid for by people who pay into them. This, of course, isn’t really true, because everyone is entitled to Social Security and Medicare benefits whether they ever work, or not. But at least there’s a pretense of ownership and responsibility there.
With ObamaCare, the pretense is dropped. You’re entitled to health insurance and medical care, and one way or another — according to the government — you’re going to get it. The only way government can make all this happen is through coercion.
Maybe you think coercion is OK. If so, you should defend that premise. You should attempt to reconcile that premise with the Constitution of the United States. I don’t know how you can, but you can certainly try. And the onus should be on you to do so. And the same applies to Elena Kagan.
David Harsanyi of Reason magazine notes that Elena Kagan is the same woman who, as Obama’s Solicitor General, argued that banning books would be acceptable if those books were considered “politicking” by a government agency. Perhaps it should not be surprising that she would not consider socialized medicine coercion, if she finds banning of books she deems politically unacceptable to be Constitutional.
Liberals are always crying that they’re “frightened” of conservatives or anyone who dares disagree with them on anything, including ObamaCare. Isn’t the presence of someone like Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court more than a little bit frightening — potentially to anyone, given her views?
Obama caused quite a stir recently when he implied that the Supreme Court really has no business striking down a law it considers unconstitutional. Obviously, he has nothing to fear from Elena Kagan. But he undoubtedly knew that when he appointed her.
Coercion refers to the initiation of force. Only two types of people can initiate force: Armed criminals, or the government. Although it’s wrong in either case, it’s much worse when the government does so. Not just because the government can inflict more widespread damage and destruction than a single criminal or gang, but because government does so under the false respectability of legitimacy.
If a common criminal points a gun at you, he has no moral claim to anything. He’s communicating to you, “I have the power, I’m stronger than you — and that makes me right.” Government, when it forces people to buy health care whether they want to or not, or forces people to pay for the health care of others whether they want to or not, is doing the same thing as a criminal. The only difference is: Government does so under the cloak of “morality.”
When government does these kinds of things, it’s not only hurting its victims; it’s demolishing any rational basis for morality, in the process. This is what has been happening in the growing entitlement state for decades now. ObamaCare takes it to a new low. ObamaCare is kind of like 9/11. On 9/11, everyone said, “How could anyone do something so hideous?” Well, if you had been listening to what Islamic terrorists had been saying and doing for decades, they made it very clear they were going to do something like this. It’s the same now with the entitlement state reaching the point where Supreme Court justices say, “Gee. I don’t see any force here.” And then when medical care becomes reduced to the equivalent of a waiting line at the post office, or a security line at an airport, people will say, “What’s happened to health care?” Coercion destroys everything it touches.
It’s truly incredible that I (or anyone) has to even write these things. The fact that the Supreme Court could possibly even uphold ObamaCare on a 5-4 vote suggests that America is no longer America. The fact that there aren’t protests in the street over Obama’s and Kagan’s comments is proof.
Government is not only forcing people to buy health insurance. Government is forcing people who already have health insurance to provide it for those who do not have it — merely because they do not have it, and for no other reason. If government is entitled to do this with health insurance, then why not with anything and everything else, including food, shelter and clothing? Why is health insurance a special case?
Socialism is a religion. It’s a religion that we are all our brother’s keepers, and that government has a right to enforce this. You might applaud ObamaCare “for providing health care for all.” Dictatorships provide everything for all. By applauding ObamaCare, you’re applauding coercion as well. And when the government eventually bans a book or takes away some or all of your property in a power grab that you don’t like, you’re not going to have a moral or political leg to stand on. As the curtain closes on freedom in America, remember Justice Elena Kagan’s comment that coercion really isn’t coercion…and the fact that almost nobody objected.