Personal Space Wars
The enactment of Obamacare places the fight to defend our freedom right in front of our eyes as it occupies the personal space each and every American inhabits.
"Personal space" was the concept studied by anthropologist Edward Hall in his 1966 book, The Hidden Dimension. Hall divided the physical area surrounding a person into measurable regions: from the 25-foot diameter of the outermost zone of "public," narrowing in to 12 feet of "social," 4 feet of "personal," and finally the innermost "intimate" zone, representing the 1.5 foot area around us. We may be uncomfortable, anxious, or angry when our "personal" space -- the region we feel is psychologically ours -- is encroached upon. Hall described his diagram as a "personal reaction bubble."
Although at times, situations such as the busyness of a crowded airport may cause our personal space to be compromised, the new TSA procedures made the encroachment of the intimate zone, at security checkpoints and in front of everyone else, a required routine. Passengers, in exchange for the freedom to hold a boarding pass, find themselves subjected to uncomfortable examinations with pat-downs encroaching perilously close to their "junk."
If we object to the TSA's invasion, we can always find alternative means of transportation. But ObamaCare, with its all-encompassing mandate-penalty-tax, essentially legislates the care of our bodies under the domain of government. Bureaucrats have already been busy sharpening their pins with 13,000 new pages of regulations, so that when Obamacare fully kicks in, they can promptly pop all of our bubbles. We'll be disrobed, not only in front of our physicians, but essentially, right in front of the watchful eyes of Big Brother. Who, through the voice of a bureaucrat reading from massive manuals, reassuringly tells us: "Hold still -- you'll just feel a little pinch."
To put the 13,000 pages (so far) of ObamaCare regulations in perspective, the ominous Internal Revenue Code takes up about 8,500 pages of very fine print. The complicated rules require many of us to hire accountants just to file our annual tax returns or to ascertain the tax consequences of our business or investment decisions.
The tax code gives accountants the rules for tallying the beans to tax, but doesn't tell the bean-earners how to earn the beans. Obamacare's regulations cannot seriously purport to tell insurers how to insure or doctors how to doctor. Instead, as is common with all programs constructed of red tape, its pages restrict and regulate the things the insurers and doctors already do.
If nothing in life is more certain than two things -- death and taxes -- Big Brother is not content to meddle with only one of them. He wants to be involved in the other -- the personal relationship that exists in the space inhabited by the living person, God, and at times, a doctor. You can almost hear the elastic snap as Big Brother eagerly puts on the latex glove.
Because government, even with its abysmal track record on everything it's ever touched, is still sure it knows best: healthcare is a "right," and Dr. Big Brother must be in on the consultation to make sure everybody gets the "fair shot."
If tax policy impacts the outer edges of our personal reaction bubbles, and healthcare occupies the innermost space -- Chief Justice Roberts essentially confirmed government's power to offer, via mandated taxation schemes, anything else occupying the rest of our spheres that the majority of America's juvenile-minded voters want. Lollipops such as "free health care" might make childish patients temporarily happy, but as Legal Insurrection's William Jacobson noted in his post, "Take Three Freebies and See Me in 2014," "offering free stuff is a powerful political argument -- provided the public doesn't understand the downside." The grown-ups know better: they can taste the bitter medicine through the sugar. Mature thinkers recognize that the license granted by such a ruling further infantilizes our nation's mindset, and may someday require us all, like obedient children, to do more than eat the broccoli.
Chief Justice Roberts, in a "bizarre capitulation," managed to defibrillate the frankensteinish ObamaCare from its unconstitutional deathbed. In so doing, Roberts not only took off Lady Justice's blindfold -- he seemed to wave it as a flag of surrender to a cheering, spoiled crowd. And that white flag is being sewn, by hundreds of busy attorneys, into the shapeless drape of a one-size-fits all hospital gown. One with lots of strings attached, but, unfortunately, none to keep the darned thing shut in the back.
And while progressives rail against conservatives to stay out of other people's bedrooms, liberals applauded Sandra Fluke when she opened the door to Big Brother in exchange for free contraception. But he isn't content to just peek in that crack and interrupt our religious bedtime prayers to hand out only one of the items from all the other great Obamacare stuff that Nancy Pelosi assures us is in there. The ObamaCare nightmare of healthcare redistribution will virtually knock down the walls in our doctor's examining rooms.
Mayor Bloomberg says the government's purpose is to "improve the health and longevity of its citizens." If ObamaCare is to control all the dollars spent in that endeavor, the new regulations, just like the tax code, are likely to be full of complex "ifs, ands and buts" that in reality serve to improve the health and longevity of the bureaucracies it creates.
If the patient doesn't fit into ObamaCare's one-size-fits-all gown, it will probably be the patient that has to be modified, and not the program. An example might be: if you want that heart procedure, you have to stop smoking. Sure, weight can be lost and healthier habits can be learned. But unless ObamaCare discovers a free-flowing fountain of youth, aging cannot be reversed. Graying hair brings with it expensive medical bills, and "death pathway" panels might be seen as the most efficient route to solvency.
We'll soon see whether or not it's possible for Congress to pull the plug on ObamaCare.
So far, millions of dollars have been spent writing ObamaCare's regulations and beginning its implementation. Although those expenditures will be used as arguments against repeal, I bet we could easily find some great, environmentally-friendly uses for all of that paper so it won't have gone to waste. If one copy of the tax code could fit on 80 rolls of toilet paper, perhaps ObamaCare regulations could be recycled into the paper rolls that line the examination tables in our doctor's offices. What a perfect and very personal reminder, when we hear the paper crinkle under our bottoms, of the battle to preserve our personal liberty.
We desperately need to repeal this monster that invades the personal space of our freedom. We must get in the face of our government and loudly proclaim: Don't stand too close to me!