During the push to pass ObamaCare in 2010, leftists ridiculed anyone who likened the legislation to socialized medicine. But socialized medicine—medicine provided by and controlled by the government—was and is the logical end of ObamaCare. And last week, Harry Reid—who as the senate majority leader was instrumental in passing ObamaCare—confessed as much.
While on a Nevada PBS television show, Reid said that ObamaCare is a “step in the right direction” toward more government control of health care, Karoun Demirjian reports for the Las Vegas Sun. Although, judging by the news report, Reid did not fully articulate his ideal health care policy, he praised the so-called “single-payer system”—in which the government is the single payer for health services—and said that eventually private health insurance “absolutely” should be abolished.
Reid is correct that the ultimate goal toward which ObamaCare is merely a step is fully socialized medicine. ObamaCare forces people to purchase government-approved and government-regulated health insurance. By subsidizing insurance and regulating rates, it forces some people to pay for the health care of others. ObamaCare also establishes a bureaucracy to determine which services doctors may and may not offer their patients under such “insurance.”
The purpose of ObamaCare is for the government to control insurance so that it can control health care. Under the sort of socialized medicine that Reid envisions and advocates, the government controls health care directly and (more) completely. Under Reid’s proposed system, the government forces every taxpayer to pay for everyone else’s health care, and the government controls all of the health care that is so funded.
Reid is wrong that ObamaCare is a “step in the right direction.” The proper purpose of government is to protect people’s rights—including the rights of patients to seek the health care and health insurance they want and can afford, the rights of doctors and insurers to offer products and services as they see fit, and the rights of everyone to keep and use their income as they see fit. ObamaCare violates people’s rights substantially; fully socialized medicine would violate people’s rights fully in the area of health care.
Will health care in America become fully socialized? It depends on whether Americans decide to support politicians who aim to make it so.
In any event, we can’t say Harry Reid didn’t warn us.
Creative Commons Image: Brian Finifter