Tuesday, August 12, 2008

H.R. 676-The Battle is Joined

“A political battle is merely a skirmish fought with muskets; a philosophical battle is a nuclear war.”-Ayn Rand

“This issue isn't about ideas, or theories, or philosophy, or idealism. It's about providing healthcare.”-Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

To paraphrase Sean Connery in the movie, The Untouchables: “Isn’t it just like a liberal to bring a musket to a nuclear war!”

Just as was predicted decades ago, the enactment of the government takeover of medicine for seniors would become the springboard for a complete takeover of the entire healthcare industry. Having crippled the health insurance market while eroding the quality and availability of healthcare through Medicare and Medicaid, the socialists are now ready to complete the task. The takeover attempt began officially on January 24, 2007, immediately upon the convening of the new Democratic congressional majority in congress.

But the real battle is just beginning. On July 18, 2008, a town hall meeting-style congressional hearing hosted by two of the bill’s sponsors, Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) and John Conyers (D-MI), took place in Houston. The subject was H.R. 676. Here are the key provisions.

(a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `United States National Health Insurance Act (or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act)'.

(a) In General- All individuals residing in the United States (including any territory of the United States) are covered under the USNHI Program entitling them to a universal, best quality standard of care.

(a) Requirement To Be Public or Non-Profit-
(1) IN GENERAL- No institution may be a participating provider unless it is a public or not-for-profit institution.

(a) In General- It is unlawful for a private health insurer to sell health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under this Act.
(b) Construction- Nothing in this Act shall be construed as prohibiting the sale of health insurance coverage for any additional benefits not covered by this Act, such as for cosmetic surgery or other services and items that are not medically necessary.
(Emphasis was added.)

What this amounts to is the enslavement of the doctors, a destruction of the incentive to invest in healthcare improvements, a violation of the fundamental human right to profit from one’s own productive work, a complete transfer to the state of the individual’s right to make his own healthcare decisions, a ban on the right to purchase health insurance outside of the government plan. In other words, this bill establishes a healthcare dictatorship in America.

To be sure, this is not the only “universal healthcare” plan floating around. But Objectivist Gus Van Horn, who attended the July 18, 2008 town-hall-meeting style congressional hearing, has posted a detailed synopsis of what transpired. He reported:

You may not be aware of this, but in January 2007, John Conyers (D-MI) introduced legislation (HR 676) which will, for all practical purposes, nationalize the medical sector. Last Friday, after having attended a meeting I had heard nothing about until two nights before it was to occur, I was horrified and angered to learn not only that fact, but that a sizable contingent of Congressmen are working feverishly to build support for this bill among various pressure groups while deliberately keeping the voting public -- supporters and opponents alike -- in the dark about its nature.

According to the OpenCongress web site, the bill has 90 co-sponsors. (The Library of Congress lists 78.) Literature passed out on behalf of Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), further claims that HR 676 has the support of 14 "national/international" labor unions, 33 state AFL-CIO federations, 19 "national/state" organizations (ranging from the Hip Hop Caucus to the American Medical Students Association), and thousands of physicians and nurses. (emphasis added)

This particular bill may be the rallying point around which all supporters of “universal healthcare” congeal.

Sylvia Bokor, who also attended the hearing and who supplied the above Conyers quote, said in a letter to the Houston Chronicle:

When healthcare does not deal with ideas, theories, philosophy or idealism, it can only deal with "practice" -- the practice of non-thinking, uneducated, brain-dead zombies who will stick a knife into you without an idea, theory, philosophy or ideal to guide their action. That's what socialize medicine boils down to. No wonder those speakers described themselves as "bleeding heart liberals." That organ, too, is no longer viable, having been bled out. [As reported on the FIRM website]

Another attendee left the following comment on Gus Van Horn’s website:

At one point Conyers spoke about doctors making $1M a year being opposed to 676 because they would have their “goose that lays the golden eggs” taken away. He was almost gleeful as he said this.

As sick as this was, I’m glad I went. It showed me how mean and petty our enemies truly are.

Mean and petty does not begin to describe the evil that lurks inside the soul of one who can make a statement of that kind. Who does Conyers think will be responsible for “providing healthcare”? But “providing healthcare” is not the motive of the socialist crowd. The government, in fact, cannot provide healthcare. Only doctors and pharmaceutical companies and other professional healthcare and health products professionals can do that. That $1M bucks is earned by doctors who actually do provide healthcare. That $1M bucks is peanuts compared to the priceless life-giving benefits provided to us by those doctors. If Conyers and his ilk really cared about “providing healthcare,” he wouldn’t be scheming to strip away the “golden eggs”…the hard-earned rewards…from those without whose vital talents there would be no healthcare for them to take over!

The true motive of the Conyers and the Lees of the world is, in part, power-lust and prestige-seeking. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Ayn Rand discovered the underlying evil behind that “golden eggs” statement. She called it hatred of the good for being the good.

With Obama and the Democrats set to sweep (seemingly) this fall, it appears that they are preparing to throw caution to the wind and go for broke. But with John Conyers declaring that “This issue isn't about ideas, or theories, or philosophy, or idealism,” he is effectively announcing a unilateral retreat from the intellectual battleground.

And therein lies their incredibly juicy Achilles heel. There is a reason why they want to avoid the field of ideas. Collectivism is a vampire that can’t stand the light of an intellectual opposition. Make no mistake, Rep. Conyers did not make an off-the-cuff statement. He meant it. “It's about providing healthcare.” Who would be against that? By keeping the battle on the concrete-bound, emotional level of discourse, the true nature of what is at stake…individual liberty on all matters concerning healthcare…can be conveniently obliterated.

The healthcare battle ahead is a philosophical/moral, not a political, battle. By and large, the GOP doesn’t seem to get it. So the fight will have to be fought at the grassroots. But armed with the right ammunition, this seemingly daunting task is far from hopeless. Letters-to-the-editor, blog posts, on-line forum activism, everyday conversations, letters to one’s congressmen…all can be effective ways to spread ideas.

Whether H.R. 676, or some other “universal healthcare” scheme dressed up with free market-sounding cliches, a sound grasp of the issues involved…especially the moral issues…is crucial to defeating the socialists. So, as Gus Van Horn has done, I am providing a list of resources for those who want to fight for their rights. There is plenty of ammunition here. Nuclear ammunition…of the kind that the Left doesn’t want to hear. A couple of articles are missing the moral component, but are valuable none-the-less in demonstrating concrete facts showing how government-run healthcare just doesn’t work. The list is published below.

The enemy is armed with muskets. We are armed with nuclear warheads…facts, truth, and moral certainty.


We Stand FIRM

Americans for Free Choice in Medicine

The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights

Essays and Articles:

Health Care is Not a Right

Ted Kennedy vs. Universal Healthcare: A Double Irony

Moral Health Care vs. “Universal Health Care”

The Right Vision Of Health Care

FAQ on Free Market Health Insurance

A Moral Outrage

Government Medical Care Always Becomes Political Medical Care

The Grass Is Not Always Greener: A Look at National Health Care Systems Around the World

Health Care in a Free Society: Rebutting the Myths of National Health Insurance


"Universal Health Care: The Wrong Prescription"

1 comment:

John said...

H R 676 will have American Taxpayers picking up the health care cost for all 'RESIDENT" read that as illegal aliens. In Sheila Jackson Lee's supporting documents she states the 'VISITORS" to the USA will be given a National Health Care Card. Will we taxpayers have to pay for their trip to the sates also?
John Faulk
Help me defeat Sheila Jackson Lee