There is an old axiom: “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior,” which causes me to ask an obvious question about the “public option” for healthcare: Are there any examples of other “public options” that might be predictive models for what we might expect from another government-run program? And what happens to the field of health care when the same battles that have gone on over religious expression in public schools and other government sponsored activities, break out there?
Our public servants at local, state and federal levels tell us that we cannot invoke the Ten Commandments while we are on public property. We are told that a tolerant culture absolutely cannot tolerate the intolerance of such intolerant absolutes. Our local school boards say that its wrong to pray in class or at a school football game because the First Amendment really guarantees freedom from religion rather than freedom of religion especially when you are on property paid for with your own tax dollars.
So, if the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior why would we think that the “public option” for hospitals would bear any different fruit than the “public option” we have had for education for the past 50 years? If the government funded classroom lacks any sense of moral clarity and refuses to accommodate our inalienable rights of religious liberty and freedom of speech then why would we think that anything different would prevail in a government funded hospital room staffed by nurses and doctors who would essentially be government employees?
Think of it this way: If you can’t speak of God at the curbside of your local courthouse or schoolhouse then why would you think that you would be able to sing a hymn (that would be a sectarian, religious song) at the bedside of your dying grandmother in the public house-of-healthcare?
And, why would a chaplain be permitted to talk about the salvation of Christ with dying patients in the local hospital when that same minister is prohibited from talking about the His existence with healthy students in the local high school?
If a Priest can’t speak of God as the giver of human rights in Ted Kennedy’s public schools then why would the same Priest be permitted to administer last rites to Ted Kennedy at his public hospital? A healthcare system funded by the State would be the experience of our recent past, mean that every thought, word, and deed, therein, must be separated from the Church - Right?
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and f we want to know where government controlled healthcare will lead then all we have to do is to look down the path already trod by government controlled education.
Ideas have consequences and the ideas being debated right now are not new. They have been in play for years and we have a clear predictor of what may lie ahead. Unfortunately the medicine some of our leaders want us to take has not made us well in the past but to the contrary it seems to have made us sick – perhaps even sick unto death.
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