By Bojidar Marinov | Published: April 7, 2010
You and I had a conversation about that bill the other day. You were very emotional. You are a diabetic; you couldn’t afford healthcare under the current “greedy” capitalistic system. In fact, you are uninsurable, and therefore you have to pay for your medication. Your health condition limits your options for employment; and thus, your ability to earn higher income is affected. You earn less than most people, and you have to pay more for your medication. Now, with Obamacare, you firmly believe that you will get what you believe is your right: access to healthcare insurance that is high quality and low cost. The Bill gives you that opportunity.
I will not talk here about your misguided belief about the “greedy capitalistic system.” Of course, common sense and history—if you ever paid attention to those two—should teach you that under a more socialist system you would be not only uninsurable, but unemployable as well. But we’ll leave those general considerations for another time.
I want to help you see the three major misconceptions you have about this matter. May be you will listen to common sense this time.
The first misconception you have about the bill is that the healthcare bill makes you a beneficiary. Dear C.P., you seem to believe that the Democrats in the Congress and Obama are full of compassion to you and that’s why they are fighting this legal battle, concerned about your healthcare. You seem to believe that politics in Washington is not about control and power and money, it is about helping people like you.
I don’t know where you get these ideas about the motives of the Democratic politicians. I will only say this: No, the Bill is not concerned about making you a beneficiary; it is concerned about making you a payer. It says only vaguely that you will get some healthcare. It doesn’t say how much, at what quality, and when. The only sure thing is that you will pay for it. Eventually you may discover that what you get is not worth what you pay for it; but the Bill doesn’t give you the option to refuse to pay for it.
To confirm my words, notice the preparations the Federal Government is making to implement the Bill. Do you hear anything about more doctors, more hospitals, more medicines? Do you hear of any specific steps to improve the quality of healthcare? No. The only specific steps we see from the Federal Government are hiring thousands of IRS agents and buying guns for the IRS. Do tax-collectors cure diabetes? Do government guns provide healthcare?
To give you a better picture, dear C.P., we are being marched to a concentration camp. You voted for it. You are excited because you think it will be better than your small house. They promise you “freedom” (Arbeit Macht Frei, you know). They promise you living space. They promise you regular meals. They promise you “right to employment.” They promise you a place to sleep. But as we approach, we see uniformed men, barbed wire, guard dogs, decrepit barracks, no kitchen, only a nasty dirty bakery. And a stone quarry in the distance.
You say that the new healthcare will be cheaper and affordable for you. This is your second misconception: The healthcare bill will change only one thing. Everything will stay the same, costs, quality, personal responsibility, jobs, payments. Only now you will be added to the list of those who are insured.
But reality is that you can’t change one thing only. What you do in one area will affect every other area. You think in the present system I am more fortunate and you are less fortunate. Insurance companies compete for me and my family, because we are healthy, but they reject your applications because of your “pre-existing conditions.” And you believe this is a privilege that I shouldn’t have. I have privileges over you, how unbearable, ain’t it.
But you forget that with privileges come responsibility. Yes, insurance companies compete to take my money but they don’t necessarily give me all the privileges of using that money. They act as a buffer between me and the doctors. I can’t go to the doctors every day for every little thing and spend their time. I can’t waste resources. The money I pay may never return to me again, if I don’t get sick. And I really don’t want to get sick, and I do preventive medicine, so the money will never return, most probably. But it is not lost. It is used in different ways – it goes to research laboratories, among other things. Those same research labs that are responsible for discovering all kinds of cheaper and better medication for diabetes. I lose this money so that you can have your medicines, see that? And I don’t mind losing it; I am paying it voluntarily, and I won’t try to irresponsibly cheat the system to get my money back. And yes, the system is not perfect, it has its shortcomings, but it is based on voluntary spirit and mutual checks and balances, and eventually it will get better, if we manage to get the government out of it.
What would I do under the new system? Well, I hate being forced to pay. But since I have no chance, now I will start using the system in a most wasteful way. It is not my system anymore, it is a system imposed on me by force. And if it gives you privileges, it gives me privileges too. And I will use them. I will take my three kids to the doctor every day. Every sneeze, every bruise will be an occasion to visit my doctor. And since under the new system the insurer can’t refuse to pay for my kids, I will be able to defund the system much faster than before. My doctor will prescribe expensive drugs for simple colds, and the system will pick up the tab. At the same time, I will find ways to pay less and less into it. A bill of 2,000 pages has at least 2,000 loopholes. And I will use them all. I’ll do everything I can to pay less and use more; why not, it is not my system anymore, I have no responsibility to it, so I’ll screw it every time I have the opportunity. And so will over 100 million other Americans.
What are you going to do? You will find out that a system that promised to help you, has less and less resources to do it. You’ll wait in long lines—like they do in Canada and in the UK—and you may not get enough subsidy for your medication. Higher costs, and lower quality, and longer time for waiting. And no opting out of the system. Meanwhile, I will pay my doctor under the counter, and the black market will restore my free market system. Except that this time you’ll be out of it. Also, if I ever get sick, I will then join the system again. I will have a pre-existing condition, but they can’t refuse to treat me. This will additionally defund the system.
The government will have to do two things then: Force all of us to pay more, or ration healthcare.
To force us all, they will have to hire tens, if not hundreds of thousands of new tax-collectors. Billions of dollars in new expenses every year. Where will the government take the money from? Well, from your employer, for instance. Your employer will have to pay more, and his market will be smaller and smaller. What will he do? Transfer the costs on to you. So now you will earn less money. Oh, you may lobby the government to transfer the costs on him? Sure. But then he will fire you. So now you will earn no money at all. You are a diabetic, a high risk employee, so why should he keep you? He’ll keep the people like me, who are healthy, and who can spend more time on the job without any health-related risks. So now I will have even more privileges than you, because I’ll be a person with a job in a world of more and more unemployed people.
Or may be the government will ration healthcare. Now you are in trouble. You are 55, aren’t you? And you will have to compete for those healthcare rations against my children, who are 10, 13, and 15, and against me and my wife, young, healthy, and productive. So a government panel will determine who of us six gets healthcare. Sixteen to 17 per cent odds for you, at best. May be even less, if we take in account Obama’s views on usefulness of old and sick people. From a government perspective, you have no more than 7–8 years productive life of paying taxes, or voting, or anything else that affects government bureaucrats directly. That’s not a very competitive edge against my family. Why would they go for your vote and not for ours? So here you are, having paid for a healthcare that is rationed away from you.
I will add that meanwhile those of us that resent Obama’s diktat will rally politically against it. We will never surrender. Millions of dollars will go to the political war that could have found a better use. That’s okay with us—we’d rather live without healthcare than be slaves. But more resources withdrawn from productive social use will only hurt the weaker members of the society. You, that is.
Back to our concentration camp analogy, once there, I will do everything possible to be free, or to sabotage the work, because I hate it. In this death camp called Obamacare, there will be over 100 million Americans sabotaging it because they hate it. And it will affect you as much as it affects me, if not worse. And there will be nothing you can do about it. You suffer because of your foolishness.
Then you tell me that I shouldn’t do that; I am a Christian, don’t I have a moral obligation to my neighbor? And this is your third, and most important misconception: that there is no moral difference between voluntary sharing and compulsion. It accomplishes the same thing, you say. Whether I voluntarily help you in your troubles and distress, or I am forced by the government to do it, is the same, you think.
But you are wrong.
As a Christian, I have a moral obligation to those that are in need. I am commanded by my Lord to help them. Yes, Jesus tells me I must show compassion and care for the needy. And Americans, being the people with the deepest Christian roots in the whole world, we give more to charities than any other people. We give voluntarily, not because we are forced to, but because we believe it is right.
But my moral obligation to my neighbor doesn’t extend to thieves. A needy neighbor is needy and I have obligation to help him. A needy thief is a thief and I have obligation to protect my loved ones and my property from him and execute justice on him. Moral obligation doesn’t mean subsidizing evil.
By supporting this outrageous theft of my liberty you have crossed the line from being my neighbor to being a thief. Before the Bill it was you and I against the wrongs of the present system. We could work together to fix it, make it better, gradually, step by step, until you could afford healthcare – or until future patients in your condition could afford it.
But after the Bill it is now you and the Federal government and the dishonest insurers against me. You have joined an evil alliance, trusting the promises of those whom you know you can’t trust. And in every evil alliance there always is a scoundrel and a fool. Since we very well know that the Federal government is a scoundrel – you told me that so many times – guess what that makes you. I have no moral obligation to you. You have broken the bonds of peace that kept our fellowship and preserved our society.
Now that I have less money to give, I will not give as much to charities as before. And if I give at all, I will make sure these charities do not subsidize thieves like you who voted for the Democrats. When you eventually remain without a job, without money, and with healthcare rationed away from you by the same government bureaucrats you trusted so foolishly, I won’t be there to help you. I may be worse than before but I will still survive. Whereas your condition will be much worse than before, and you may not survive. Did you know that lifespans in socialist countries are much lower than those in America?
And it will be your fault. Your foolish gullibility is what will bring all this about.
Let me summarize, my dear C.P.: You are self-deceived. Obamacare doesn’t make you a beneficiary, it makes you a payer. Its promises are vague and non-binding but its requirements are very specific and unequivocal. It will not decrease costs, it will only increase waste and irresponsibility. Because it is now government owned and controlled, it will encourage people to find ways to pay less and use it more – or abuse it. The government will have to force everyone to pay more and to ration healthcare – and you will suffer from both of them. In the end, you will be worse off than before but you will meet no compassion from those that could have helped you because you have destroyed the bonds of peace and community by your support of this theft.
My earnest prayer for you is to wake up, listen to common sense, change your mind and help us repeal this monstrosity. It will be good for your soul and your health.
web link for this article: | http://americanvision.org/2072/aletter-to-a-supporter-of-obamacare/
For more information about the Bulgarian Reformation Ministries, go to http://bulgarianreformation.org/