“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy.” –John Marshall
Siege Warfare & Health Care Reform
Smelling what they rightly sense is their own blood in the water from the public backlash against the so-called “public option,” congressional Bolsheviks (i.e., Democrats) have retreated to lick their wounds from the loss of their erstwhile health care reform centerpiece. Or have they?
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) certainly doesn’t think so. Using a tried-and-true leftist tactic — two steps forward, one step back, gaining position under the guise of “losing” ground — Baucus re-grouped by championing his health care bill, the core of which rests on mandatory health insurance and massive Medicaid spending. How massive? Weighing in at $1 trillion, the bill is threefold the total cost of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” programs of the ’60s.
Democrats want to cover everyone up to 33 percent above the federal poverty level (about $30,000 for a family of four), adding more than 11 million new bodies to Medicaid rosters by 2019. The total covered would be 70 million people, or roughly one-quarter of America’s population. Oh yeah: “Everyone” includes illegal aliens, or so say at least 21 House Democrats who signed a statement from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus affirming the same. The Congressional Anglo Saxon Caucus has yet to weigh in.
As an added bonus, those not covered under Medicaid must purchase health insurance (the so-called “individual mandate”) or face fines up to $25,000 and/or one year in prison for tax evasion. You may recall the “individual mandate” as the “not-really-a-tax” tax (an IRS “excise tax,” to be precise), which President Barack Obama lamely defended last week when confronted by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos with his promise not to raise taxes on middle class families “by a single penny.” At $1,900 per person for the tax-that’s-not-a-tax, and not withstanding his creative wordsmithing, Obama would be into most Americans for a couple hundred thousand pennies’ worth of broken promises.
However, since entitlements are leading the charge toward national bankruptcy with the lion’s share of the nation’s $12 trillion debt and $100 plus trillion in existing un-funded liabilities, isn’t it required of citizens to ask whether more entitlement spending is warranted when we can’t even fund existing programs? This question is even more relevant at the state level, where all but two states face either substantial or severe shortfalls. Notably, Medicaid is on average the second largest element of state budgets, trailing only slightly behind K-12 education.
Let’s also not miss the salient lesson from this sordid vignette: The fight for freedom is a constant struggle against siege warfare. In this case, under the guise of health care “reform,” statists would redistribute wealth while accruing power to the government, and if they can’t accomplish their goal one way (the “public option”), they will do it another (Medicaid with the “individual mandate”). The only way to counter this constant siege against liberty is to remain vigilant and vocal against these Trojan horse ruses.
As if to punctuate this lesson, Sens. John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) both promised to raise amendments to the Baucus bill adding — you guessed it — the “public option.”