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Healthcare “Right” Comes with Responsibility

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 24, 2010 9:22 AM |

Do you hear that large sucking sound? Those are the engines of wealth redistribution humming in Washington.

Let’s stop the bulls&%#! President Obama’s healthcare reform, much like many of his other initiatives, is all about wealth redistribution. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is a topic for another post, but that is how I see it. I said as much in January (“Healthcare Reform to Make You Ill”), and I will repeat today:

Ultimately, the reform as drafted is a massive redistribution program.

The New York Times addresses this redistribution this morning in writing, In Health Care Bill, Obama Attacks Inequality: >>>

For all the political and economic uncertainties about health reform, at least one thing seems clear: The bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday is the federal government’s biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.

Over most of that period, government policy and market forces have been moving in the same direction, both increasing inequality. The pretax incomes of the wealthy have soared since the late 1970s, while their tax rates have fallen more than rates for the middle class and poor.

Nearly every major aspect of the health bill pushes in the other direction. This fact helps explain why Mr. Obama was willing to spend so much political capital on the issue, even though it did not appear to be his top priority as a presidential candidate. Beyond the health reform’s effect on the medical system, it is the centerpiece of his deliberate effort to end what historians have called the age of Reagan.

In this commentary, I am not looking to debate the economic merits or lack thereof of wealth creation over the last 40 years. I am happy to have that debate, though, with whomever would like it at a different time. Furthermore, I am totally empathetic to the needs and wants of the poorest in our society.

Time and again, we hear our political leaders declare that access to quality healthcare is a right, not a privilege. That said, what is the price of that right? Are rights granted without recognition or regard for personal responsibility? I am a firm believer that both rights and privileges are earned. How so? Personal responsibility. I will be the first in line to help the helpless. I will also be the first in line to call out those who merely milk the system.

As Washington enters my home and dictates to me the terms and guidelines for my family’s personal healthcare, I strongly believe I have the right — if not the obligation — to respond in kind. The greatest social program ever devised is known as the two parent family. Washington should be working harder to promote that program so the needs for this healthcare reform along with other wealth redistribution programs are significantly mitigated.

Go ahead and tell me, “LD, you can’t go into other people’s living rooms.” I will respond, “You have some set of balls telling me that while you sit at my kitchen table with my new healthcare plan.”

One final comment. I strongly believe an unintended consequence of this healthcare reform will be a real decline in charitable contributions. That is unfortunate, but when people feel overly taxed, they respond in kind.


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