The Final Entitlement

The “health care reform” legislation passed last week by Democrats in the US Congress was not meaningful cost reform.  Physicians, pharmaceutical firms, health insurance companies, and lawyers all colluded with their lawmaker friends in Washington and came out big winners.  This, of course, came at the expense of American taxpayers, businesses, and employees.  Democrats who crammed this legislation down the throats of the American people were not serious about reforming health care; they were hell bent on creating one more huge federal entitlement.  Now that the federal government has its foot in the door, can a single payer nationalized health care system not be soon to follow?

The President has announced that the legislation signed into law last week will (1) improve the quality of health care, (2) reduce the cost of medical care, and (3) reduce the size of the federal deficit.   No one in their right mind can believe this.  You don’t put 30 million new people into the healthcare system and save money.  Not to mention the fact that no major US government entitlement program has ever been established that wasn’t wasteful, fiscally unsustainable, or deficit-building.

Social security, established in 1935, was originally passed as a stimulus program (sound familiar) to help get us out of the great depression.  The depression ended sixty-two years ago.  This month, for the first time in its history, more money was paid out to Social Security recipients than was received through FICA taxes.  Bonds had to be sold to cover the cash-flow deficit.  Social Security’s long known fiscal collapse has finally started.

Medicare, another Federal government entitlement, makes Social Security look as sound as an investment in gold.  In 1967 the House Ways and Means Committee predicted that its new Medicare program would cost about $12 billion in 1990.  Actual Medicare spending in 1990 was $110 billion.  Just like Medicare, Obamacare will run at least 10 times the CBO estimate of $940 billion.  Today Medicare’s unfunded liabilities are estimated in excess of 75 TRILLION dollars.

On top of all of the commitments that the federal government has already made (Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, Wall Street bailouts, ownership of two automobile companies, etc.) this massive new healthcare entitlement will literally be the “straw that broke the camel’s back” as far as the US economy is concerned.  That’s why I call it the “Final Entitlement”.

We are living in portentous times.   Obamacare is a job-eradicating, budget-busting, incentive-slaying, cost-bloated, producer-destroying, looter-loving piece of junk. As a nation we’ve been sliding down the slippery slope to European-style socialism.  Obamacare is devastating not only in a fiscal sense, it is also a freedom-wrecker.  For the first time in the history of the United States our government has mandated that its citizens buy something (health insurance) from a private entity.  What a tragic story.  What an abomination of the Constitution.

The discouraging fact is that we are to blame.  For decades Americans have demanded government benefits without being taxed to pay for them.  Politicians, faced with an electorate that believes in the tooth fairy, have obliged us.   There’s only one problem; we can no longer afford it.  If we want to “right the ship” it will take significant cuts to public sector employment, wages, and benefits, just for starters.   Believe me, even more drastic cuts in federal, state, and local programs will become politically palatable at some point.  This era wherein minority voices cry about the sustainability of the environment will soon be replaced by one in which people will legitimately worry about the sustenance of their livelihood.

Let me offer one last comment.  In response to many angry phone calls and threats that were made to senators and congressmen who voted for Obamacare, Presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs said that no elected politician should receive a threat to his “safety or security.”  Government is coercive by its very nature.  When we pass laws, they are ultimately enforced at the point of a gun.  Last week our elected representatives in Washington made a decision that will result in the employment of 16,500 new IRS agents and not one new physician.  The safety and security of millions of us will be intensely affected by that action.

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