Obamacare-Lite and the Dilemma of Socialism

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton wants to repeal Obamacare, and has pledged to rewrite the recently passed House bill when it comes to the Senate.

Newsmax reports that, “Typically, Cotton has agreed with Trump’s conservative base, but on healthcare, he’s met with mixed reaction when he says he does support repealing Obamacare, while admitting that the law has helped some in his state while hurting ‘many more.'”

Therein lies the dilemma of socialism. Socialism asks the question: “Who should benefit?” The implied premise of the question: Those with the greater needs should benefit. That’s why Republicans in the House chickened out. They could not obliterate Obamacare altogether, despite having explicitly promised to do so for seven years. Why? Because doing so would cut back on the Medicaid expansion that Obamacare mandates. So instead, they went with a lighter version of Obamacare. This way they could say they’re repealing Obamacare, without really doing so. They just made it lighter — and even worse, in some ways, through requiring people who disobey the law to pay fines to insurance companies rather than government bureaucrats. Good grief!

What’s the only way to defeat not just Obamacare, but all of socialism and the welfare-entitlement state devouring our government and economy? Challenge the basic question, “Who should benefit?” It’s not government’s job to pick winners and losers. It’s only the government’s job to protect liberty, private property and individual rights. Shocking as it sounds to some, there is no way to call medical care a “human right” or individual right. Because making medical care a right inevitably means, in practice, forcing one person to pay for it at the expense of another.

And that’s precisely what Obamacare does. Premiums shot up for those who purchase their own health insurance, so that others might get Medicaid for free. Whether those people getting the Medicaid for free need it is not the point. The government has no right forcing some to pay for (through higher premiums or taxes) the medical care of others. The same goes for Medicaid itself and even Medicare, although we haven’t had those debates yet. When those programs become so expensive that the federal government can no longer finance the debt or sustain itself, I suppose we’ll finally have those debates then.

The moment our government started to address questions like, “Who’s in need and how can we meet those needs?” is the moment we went on the path economist Friedrich Hayek called “The Road to Serfdom.” Government should never have gone down this road. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution ever required it. Instead, government should have stuck to protecting individual liberty, life and property. The market would have made health care and health insurance far more rational and sane than government did, just as the market already provides in fields where there’s far less government intervention. And yes, some would always have to rely on charity — just as they do now, anyway. Why is that so bad?

It’s infuriating and frustrating to see both parties fail to grasp the essential and central point about health care. But then again, it’s nothing new.

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