ObamaCare Advocates Won the Battle, But Not the War

Democratic lawmakers have joined with Republicans in raising alarm about a looming ObamaCare-tied tax on medical devices, saying the additional tax is causing “uncertainty and confusion for businesses” and should be delayed.

The previously obscure tax has, over the last several months, emerged as one of the most controversial in the health care overhaul and one of the few with bipartisan opposition. Starting Jan. 1, the Affordable Care Act imposes a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices with the goal of raising nearly $30 billion over the next decade.

But a group of U.S. senators this week revived concerns that the tax could hurt one of the few U.S. industries “that enjoys a net trade surplus.”

Source: FoxNews.com 12/11/12


It’s amazing. Again and again, Congress and the President impose unfunded mandates on business — and then act surprised when the well-being of that business is threatened.

If anyone raises a question about this, he or she is savagely attacked as a “hater” lacking in compassion. But the facts continue to assert themselves just the same. And now that the advocates of ObamaCare have won, and are totally in charge of everything, they must confront the facts of their own law.

How sad that we live in a time when it’s unusual for a U.S. industry to enjoy a profit. How much sadder that the only debate left to have is whether some should still be allowed to have profits, or perhaps nobody should be allowed. In the Senate, that will probably be the debate. The more strident advocates of government medicine will say, “Tough. We don’t care about the medical device industry’s profits. We just care about helping people.” This will morally disarm the people concerned about the well-being of the industry, and (my prediction) this part of the law will therefore be allowed to stand.

What it all boils down to is: Should people make a profit providing health care, including innovating and manufacturing life-saving medical devices? Or should profit be removed from the picture?

A majority seems to believe that profit does not belong in medicine. That’s why ObamaCare stands, and that’s why Obama won reelection.

But if profit does not belong in medicine, then what should replace it? “Care and compassion — and, oh yes, competence too.” OK. Should doctors go to medical school for 10 years and put up with all they put up with in their careers for free, or for minimum wage? Most will say no. But they contradict themselves when they say profit should be removed from medicine. If it’s OK and necessary for health care providers to make a living, why should that living not be profitable?

Advocates of socialized medicine have won the battle. ObamaCare is the law of the land, and it’s not going away. Neither are Medicare and Medicaid. Fine, then. Increasingly, doctors will be working under government directives and salaries. The battle for socialized medicine in America is over, and the socialists won it.

But winning the battle does not mean winning the war. The “war” in this context is reality. All the people who want ObamaCare and government care must live with the deficits, the downturns, the layoffs, and the end of innovation as we know it. Whenever you curb profit, you curb innovation. There’s no escaping this fact.

Remember that medical devices are being taxed for a reason. What reason? It’s profitable to make them. Why? Because they’re valuable, and constantly in demand. They save lives. When we tax or otherwise punish those who make these devices, we’re taxing and otherwise punishing (ultimately destroying) the very thing we want. Michelle and Barack Obama are not going to make new medical devices to extend our lifespans; neither will the hard-working bureaucrats in the Department of Health and Human Services. Only for-profit entities will.

This is not a conflict or contradiction for those who want freedom in medicine, who want to repeal ObamaCare and begin to privatize the bankrupt Medicare. This is a conflict for those who love all these government programs. Watch them squirm as they are forced to confront reality. Of course, they’ll only blame the forces of capitalism and profit. But those things are almost gone, as it is. Who or what will they blame once they’re all gone?

No socialist or communist system in history ever delivered innovation and quality. It’s not going to happen in America, either. This is the war the smug, victorious advocates of Obama’s socialism are losing. Whenever you declare war on reason and reality, you’re always going to lose.


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