There’s No Welfare in the “Welfare State” (Part 1 of 2)

A reader  wrote me regarding a story published recently in The Wall Street Journal about how the vast majority of people who have signed up for health insurance under ObamaCare were previously covered elsewhere. One survey found that only 11 percent of the enrollees were previously uninsured. In other words, most people simply switched from one private or employer-provided plan to another. The reader asked: “Doesn’t this defeat the supposed intent of the law to expand health care coverage to all of the millions of uninsured Americans?”

This finding supports my long-time assertion that the purpose of Obamacare isn’t to cover the uninsured as much as to force everyone to ultimately be covered by the government. Socialized medicine is not a humane attempt to give everyone medical care; it’s a power grab, pure and simple.

Socialists and fascists in charge of Congress and the White House want government control over medicine, under the flimsy guise of “helping the uninsured.” If helping the uninsured were the real or primary goal, Congress would have simply passed legislation to make it easier for more people to participate in a private marketplace. Instead, government has hampered the health care and health insurance marketplace rather than liberalizing it. Obamacare represents the final nail in the coffin.

Notice that the “Affordable Care Act” stopped short of nationalizing insurance outright, i.e., seizing the industry and taking it over completely. They did not have the votes to go this far. Instead, they passed legislation making it impossible for what remains of the health insurance marketplace to function.

The evidence of this is clear, as millions of people lose their private insurance plans daily. More and more non-senior citizens will be forced to sign up for government insurance (i.e., Medicaid), as evidenced by 89 percent of those in the study/sample the reader cited. These are people who were previously covered by private insurance, and who are now forced to be on some form of government -run or government-subsidized insurance.

The “Affordable Care Act” doesn’t make health care more affordable. All it does is shift people from what remained of the private insurance industry over to government insurance while making the private sector more subject to government control and regulation – as evidenced by the skyrocketing premiums.

And it’s exactly what the architects of Obamacare had in mind. From their perspective, the law is a massive and early success. Their rationalization is to “bring health care costs under control.” Of course, it’s becoming obvious that this is really leftist-speak for moving us even closer to single-payer, government control of all medical practice and expenditures. It was nationalization of health by stealth, achieved in the darkness created by about 50% of Americans who weren’t paying attention. Ironically, they’ll pay attention soon enough, once the federal government runs everything and all medical decisions are made collectively and politically, rather than individually and objectively. [Think: Veterans Administration care for all.]

The shift will go from, “What does it make sense to do medically?” to, “What will the government permit me to do, medically?” Now there’s a prescription for disaster.

The reader went on to write:

“Secondly, I read a number of stories in the news reflecting on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s [1960s] ‘War on Poverty.’ In turns out that in the past 50 years America has spent $20.7 trillion (yes, that is trillion with a “T”) fighting the war on poverty; yet, in that 50-year timespan, the official rate of poverty as measured by the government has only edged down from 19% to 15%.

“It’s also worth noting that many people who are officially classified as poor today enjoy things such as smartphones, air conditioning, cable or satellite TV, computers, microwave ovens, more nutritious food, and other creature comforts that didn’t exist 50 years ago. These innovations and improvements were created by capitalism, albeit in its diluted form in our mixed economy.”

No surprise here. These numbers support the view that unhampered capitalism and free markets destroy poverty, while government only slows the process or even reverses it.

Ironically, as the reader says, today’s “poor” in America would never have been classified as poor 50 years ago. They enjoy conveniences and pleasures that even the rich did not have 50 years ago; no thanks to the “War on Poverty” programs of the 1960s or their money-pit equivalents that have dragged on since. Government did not create smartphones, air conditioning or cable television. Without private property and a for-profit marketplace, and without consumers willing and able to spend money, we would have none of these things. Without all the government taxation, regulation, meddling and redistribution, there would have been even more innovations we may never see.

Government programs only spread wealth around (if even that). They do not create wealth. You don’t make poor people “richer” by taking money from wealthy people (or, more correctly, middle-class people). When the wealthy and the middle class have less money to spend, they naturally have less to invest or to purchase things. Pure and simple, this slows the economy down rather than allowing it to grow, expand and innovate in an unhampered manner.

And don’t think that the people who favor “anti-poverty” programs don’t understand this. They know that what I’m saying is true, although they won’t acknowledge or put it in these objective terms. They’re not striving for improvement in economic conditions; what they’re striving for is power, social approval and whatever psychological motives go with these things – one of which is the hampering of the well-off and the more capable, because it gets in the way of the vaunted notion of “equality.”

Concluded in tomorrow’s column.


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