Healthcare needs personal responsibility

Will 2020 Americans Celebrate the Fourth of July by Repudiating 1776?

By Deane Waldman, MD MBA - 04/07/20

Before the American Revolutionary War, residents of the North American colonies were subjects of the British crown. They were entitled to whatever goods and services the aristocracy allowed. Their living conditions and daily activities were determined by government fiat. They paid taxes arbitrarily imposed by the crown.?

In 1776, the founding fathers of the U.S.A. rejected centralized dominion and replaced it with a structure that took control away from the central government and gave it to the individual. The new Americans were free to make their own choices and accept the consequences of their decisions, good or bad. Without using the word capitalism, the founding fathers created a capitalist system. The new Americans were personally responsible and were entitled to nothing, except an open road.

Entitlement is an integral part of socialism, an economic and political system where the means of production, distribution, and exchange is regulated by the government. The government is responsible for these activities, not the individual. The individual is entitled to whatever goods and services the government allocates.

Policies advocated by the current Democrat party and its presidential standard bearer, Joe Biden, repudiate the U.S. founding fathers' capitalist vision intending to replace it with socialism and entitlement. Is that what Americans in 2020 want?

Democrats proclaim that Americans are entitled to free healthcare, free housing, free education, as well as government protection from grasping capitalist banks and avaricious corporate CEOs. Americans are not entitled to energy derived from fossil fuels, nor to certain private properties, such as private health insurance or excessive income, with "excessive" defined by Washington.

As used by socialist Democrats, the word "free" does not translate as no cost. It means no charge to the individual at the time of service or activity. Their proposed entitlements are very, very expensive, costing trillions of dollars. The money that Washington will spend comes from current tax revenue or borrowing against our children's future.

Democrats' free healthcare plan, Medicare-for-All, will cost Americans $30-40 trillion over ten years. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) cost only $1.76 trillion. The cost of self-styled "free" education is projected as $1.6 trillion. Free housing is estimated at $2.5 trillion. The "green new deal," that claims to eliminate oil and gas, will cost at least $16 trillion, and as a side effect, will eliminate air travel by plane. Combined cost of these free entitlements is more than $60 trillion, which represents 69 percent of the combined total annual production of all nations on planet earth!

A popular slogan in 1776 was "taxation without representation is tyranny." Rebelling colonists wanted to decide for themselves how much tax they would pay and how their monies would be expended. If Americans in November 2020 support free but insanely expensive entitlements, they will elect a government that will more than double Americans' tax burden and will spend taxpayer dollars however the politicians choose, not how We the People want.?

There is a more fundamental issue in the 2020 elections than finance. At stake is personal freedom. The 1776 Revolutionary War, also called Americans' War of Independence, made individuals independent of the federal government, rather than dependent and entitled, as is the socialist ideal.

By accepting government entitlements, what Chief Justice Roberts called "federal blandishments," Americans repudiate the very foundation of our nation: the autonomy of the individual and the personal responsibility that accompanies freedom. Accepting Washington's entitlement mentality restores government tyranny, a word that appears four times in the Declaration of Independence. Entitlements return Americans to a child-like state where Father (Washington) Knows Best, and where totalitarian government chooses our food, housing, education, healthcare, and daily activities. Government becomes the responsible adult taking charge of 327 million American children who are incapable of making the right choices for themselves.

Consider Father Washington's track record, particularly in healthcare. Medicaid and Tricare fail to deliver timely care to their 80 million enrollees: children and veterans die waiting in line for care. Medicare, Washington's medical safety net for seniors, will go broke in less than six years. The Emergency Transport and Active Labor Act of 1986 created the unfunded mandate that is forcing rural hospitals to close. The Affordable Care Act more than doubled the price of health insurance and reduced patients' access to care.

Father Washington promised us multiple "blandishments," but failed to deliver even one. If Americans vote to accept Democrats' entitlement promises, history tells us what will happen. Consider the examples of the now defunct U.S.S.R., today's Communist China, or collapsing Venezuela.

Are Americans ready to give away their hard-won, infinitely precious freedom with personal responsibility in exchange for federal entitlements and government tyranny?

Americans can be entitled or free, they cannot be both. What will they choose on 2020?



Why Read This Article:

Americans can be entitled or free, they cannot be both. What will they choose on 2020?

By Deane Waldman, MD, MBA, author of "Curing the Cancer in U.S. Healthcare"

Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, Pathology and Decision Science, and holds the "Consumer Advocate" position on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, and Adjunct Scholar (Healthcare) for the Rio Grande Foundation.

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