“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” — Sir Walter Scott
Last week, we saw the key intellectual and practical architect of Obamacare, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, reminding us on tape that the entire Obamacare house of cards was built on deliberate lies.
But Mr. Gruber’s greatest public service was in reminding us what Obamacare was really all about for President Obama and the left.
The crown jewel of the redistributive state has always been socialized medicine, for one simple reason: If the government controls your health care, the government controls you.
This is why Mr. Obama and the Democrats spent their first year and a half hysterically dashing through the health care weeds when most Americans were crying out for jobs and economic growth. They moved fast and with near-complete disregard for public opinion. And they made sure that their redistributive superstructure was built on a direct infringement of your personal liberty: an unprecedented legal mandate to buy a good or service as a basic condition of living in the United States.
The health care engineers always knew that Obamacare was an epic seizure of freedom from the individual which was then concentrated in the hands of the state. Never mind that in every industrialized nation in which socialized medicine has been implemented, from Great Britain to Canada, horror stories abound of bankrupting costs, patient neglect, life-threatening waiting times and rationing, and above-average mortality rates.
To Mr. Obama and the left, it was never about delivering better, more cost-efficient health care. It was always about seizing evermore control while maneuvering the health care system into one that served “social and economic justice.”
The redistributionists were also keenly aware of the addictive power of entitlements, which are the political equivalent of heroin. And with evermore people dependent, they could then enjoy a built-in justification for growing the program, the spending and the government to support it. The leftists rammed through Obamacare in order to get you to go from your first hit to mainlining it in no time flat.
From the start, the Democrats were united on the objective if not always on process. They could never utter aloud the true objective of Obamacare, so they stuck to a script that would sound palatable to the general public. They attempted to sell socialized medicine as the policy equivalent of Superman: It will contain and lower costs. It will bring down premiums. It will be deficit neutral. It will eventually even save the government money. It will get us to universal coverage. It will improve quality of and access to care. If you like your current health insurance, you can keep it. It’s not a government takeover.
Perhaps they even believed this fantasyland drivel. But they also knew that with their big congressional majorities and Mr. Obama in the White House, they didn’t really need a public buy-in to pass the plan. If the American people came around to support it, great. If they didn’t, well, tough.
In 2009, thousands of Americans packed town hall meetings of members of Congress, demanding answers: If I have insurance now, will I be able to keep it? How is this going to affect my relationship with my doctor? Will government bureaucrats be making my health care decisions based on cost? What do you mean there is an individual mandate requiring me to carry insurance? What if I want to choose not to have insurance? Then I’ll have the IRS on my tail enforcing a fine? When I’m close to kicking the bucket, are you going to kick it for me? How is the country going to pay for this? Isn’t this stripping away more of my freedom to choose my own doctor/hospital/treatment? This is what they have in socialized countries, isn’t it? Why are you destroying the best health care system on earth?
On the rare occasions that Democrats actually confronted their constituents, they never revealed their true motive to build a Euro-style health care system. Mr. Obama gave scores of speeches in defense of his plan, including one before a joint session of Congress in September 2009 during which he made the preposterous claims that it was “not a government takeover,” that “no government bureaucrat would come between you and your doctor” and that it would be “deficit neutral.” All ludicrous lies, and he knew it.
And now, Mr. Gruber has reminded us that “health care reform” was never about “health” or “care” or “reform.” For Mr. Obama, Mr. Gruber, Mr. Reid, Mrs. Pelosi and the left, it was only and always about government power and control. Over you.
The systematic lies were simply the means to achieve the socialist end.
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