Buy health insurance or go to jail

Remember when president Bill Clinton shouted at an anti-abortion protestor “If you were really pro-life, you would want to put every doctor and every mother, as an accessory to murder, in prison!” Ah, the good old days, when an argument like that would shut your opponent up. After all, he could convince some people of the good of eliminating abortion, but he likely could not convince even a handful if his argument included the incarceration of doctors and mothers who had babies aborted.

Fast forward to 2009.

The democrats have convinced a lot of people that government funded health insurance is a good idea. They’ve even convinced some that making health insurance mandatory is alright. But did you know that Nancy Pelosi’s bill that passed the house last week makes a criminal out of anyone who does not buy health insurance? Yup, decide not to spend thousands of dollars on insurance, and you go to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

“I think the legislation is very fair in this respect,” said Pelosi when asked the question “But madam speaker…I’m just trying to understand…If you don’t buy health insurance, you go to jail?”

Bingo. Welcome to America under far left control. No freedom. No liberty. Strong dependence on government. And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This is precisely the kind of thing conservatives warned about candidate Obama. And it seems no one listened. Just make sure you buy your health insurance. It’s for your own good, you know.

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Freedom

Freedom is so precious it should be protected even if our exercise of it is foolish. Let me explain. If I decide, against good judgment, to not plan for my future, I must be allowed to do so, to reap the consequences of my own foolishness. The government must not step in and try to either spare me of said consequences or reward me for my stupidity. We must not allow the government to legislate “our own good.” (Keeping us from harming one another – yes, keeping us from getting overweight – no.) And we should be especially on our guard when they attempt to do so. Who gave them the right to determine what is good for us? It certainly was not our Constitution. And if they are given such power, who is to stop them from deciding every action in our lives “for our own good”? When that happens, we no longer enjoy freedom, we suffer under tyranny.

One of the biggest ways – if not the biggest – the government gains a tyrannical foothold is through socialization of medicine. It was one of the fundamental changes Hitler brought to Germany before World War II. It gives the government unprecedented power over our daily lives. Since every aspect of our lives is connected to health care, the government assumes a role in those aspects, since they are paying the tab (supposedly) for our health care.

The sad part is, those seeking to rule with an iron fist play much of the general public like a fiddle, making them think so-called health care reform is about “insuring the uninsured,” and “making sure health care is more affordable for everyone.”

Really?

One of the cries of those seeking to socialize medicine in the country is the number of uninsured. “47 million without health insurance!” they lament, ceremoniously wringing their hands. What they refuse to acknowledge is that nearly 10 million of these are illegal immigrants, 14 million are eligible for medicaid and do not apply, and another 17 million make at least $50,000 a year and could presumably afford to purchase insurance, but – and here’s the big point – they CHOOSE not to. (US Census Bureau)

It is the most precious gift in society, freedom is. It also comes with the biggest responsibility. So when I chose to work for a company that did not offer me health insurance, I was assuming risk. But I was young and in good health, and I decided that I would take that risk. If I felt it wasn’t worth it, I could have looked for and taken another job that did offer me health insurance. I CHOSE to work for that company and I CHOSE not to purchase individual insurance. Under the plans in the House and Senate, I would not have had that option. Either I would purchase the government “option” or I would be fined by the IRS. Here’s what that means: if the bill went through, my taxes would be raised by thousands of dollars, and my choice would be eliminated.

A friend, arguing health care with me, said “Well, everyone is required to have auto insurance, so why not health insurance?” Incorrect. Everyone is not required to have auto insurance. I can choose not to drive a car. I can ride a bike, walk, or take public transportation if I wish. If I had a car, I could then sell it and cancel my insurance policy, and save thousands of dollars. If I decide that my financial situation cannot allow a car, I can go without one (and hence the insurance). But I cannot choose to avoid health care. I’d be foolish if I tried. Health care is something we all need. And the bill for the mandated insurance will be much higher than auto insurance. There will be no choosing not to have it, and hence no freedom, if any of these bills pass.

Many people are giving those pushing this plan the benefit of the doubt – that they are at least trying to do right. I disagree. If the goal is insuring those 5 – 12 million who want to purchase insurance but can’t afford it, there are ways to do it at a tiny fraction of the cost of these bills. If the goal is to cut billions of dollars in waste and fraud from medicare (a government-run program), you can do that without a 1.2 trillion dollar bill that forces me to buy insurance whether I want it or not. If the goal is to have a system even better than the one we enjoy now, the solution sure isn’t copying failing systems around the world.

Those behind socialized medicine seek to push it through by deception. “Competition” is the main word you hear in support of this trojan horse. If competition were the goal, the government could knock down state barriers to insurance companies, and let them compete in all 50 states, so that if I can get a less expensive and better tailored plan from Minnesota while living in Texas, I can purchase it. Press liberals on this, and they quickly shift arguments, from competition to “stability.”

Nope, what they really want is control. The elites think they can run society better than society can run itself. They think by controlling our every move, unfairness can be eliminated and utopia achieved. That is what socialist theory really boils down to. But socialism in practice is always a disaster for the people. The United States of America is the antithesis of socialism, and I’d say that belief – in the freedom, opportunity, and responsibility of every man – has worked quite well. Let us not throw it away now over something so unnecessary.