How the Grinch Stole Health Care
You know what I am talking about. This is the year that the Democrats "have blown up the American health-care system." The quote is from Peggy Noonan's qualified approval of the Ryan-Murray copout.
You see, back in the golden age of George W. Bush, Democrats were mad as hell. How could the American people be so stupid, they asked, to elect a simpleton and a liar as president? So they came up with a plan. One Christmas soon they would descend from Mount Capitol on the merry and warm-hearted American people in Flyoverville and sneak down their chimneys and take away their health plans. And their doctors and their affordable premiums and deductibles as well. That would teach them to elect George W. Bush!
Of course Barry the Grinch got a bit of a shock on Christmas Day. Because the American people decided that even if they didn't have health care, didn't have doctors, couldn't afford their ObamaCare premiums and didn't know how they would find the money for their ObamaCare deductibles, they still had each other. And life is not really about doctors and benefits and hospitals and teaching the insurance companies a lesson. It is about family and friends and husbands and wives and children and lovers. Yes, and even grumpy old grandparents like me.
So Barry the Grinch saw the error of his ways and decided to give the American people back the health plans he had stolen. He decided to give them back their doctors. He decided to abolish the whole creepy ObamaCare system of subsidies and death panels and Cornhusker Kickbacks.
And everybody lived happily ever after in Flyoverville.
If only. If only the president and his progressive pals could see the error of their ways as easily as the Grinch. Here's a progressive Holiday wish list recently intercepted by James Pethokoukis. No doubt it was mailed to the Peace Pole.
1. Universal health insurance
2. One-year paid parental leave
3. Universal early education
4. Increase in the Child Tax Credit
5. Sickness insurance
6. Eased eligibility criteria for unemployment insurance
7. Wage insurance
8. Supplemental defined-contribution pension plans with automatic enrollment
9. Extensive, personalized job-search and (re)training support
10. Government as employer of last resort
11. Minimum wage increased modestly and indexed to prices
12. EITC extended farther up the income ladder and indexed to average compensation or GDP per capita
13. Social assistance with a higher benefit level and more support for employment
Let's translate the first few items in the liberal wish list from policy-speak into common-sense American.
1. Everybody will be forced to have government health insurance.
2. All employers will be forced to pay for parental leave.
3. Every child will be forced to go to government pre-school.
6. Every worker will be forced to pay higher unemployment taxes.
Et cetera, et cetera.
Notice the common denominator in all these glorious visions? Force. Liberals believe that the way to solve the nation's social problems is with force. But not just any force. We learned that back in the 1980s with the Reagan administration and in the 2000s with the Bush administration. Whenever the Republicans control the presidency liberals turn into raging government skeptics. Everything then was suspect, a cunning trick starve the children and invade peoples' bedrooms. Force is only bad when Republicans do it. When liberals do it, it's just called good government.
Except for one thing. ObamaCare is a complete failure, so much so that the president and health secretary Kathleen Sibelius have to issue illegal administrative decisions every day contrary to "black letter law". But we don't get a peep out of the mainstream media. Not a peep out of your liberal neighbor. Not a peep out of the Democrats in Congress. All we have is Charles Krauthammer writing about banana republic lawlessness and pronunciamientos from the "presidential balcony."
Here's a tip for our liberal friends to explain how the Grinch stole health care.
The reason that bemedaled generals end up making futile speeches from presidential balconies (see Venezuela right now) is that they think that a government can run a society like a general runs an army.
The reason that liberals end up making illegal executive decisions a week before Christmas in the process of blowing up health care is that they think that educated intellectuals can run a society like a college president runs a university.
There is a word for this sort of delusion. It is called "Fatal Conceit." There is even a book about it. Since liberals are notoriously educated and intellectual, you'd have thought they would all have read it. But maybe the website at the non-profit Fair-traded ProgressiveBooks.org is down this week while they fix a security flaw. What a shame.
Christopher Chantrill (mailto:email@example.com) is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his usgovernmentspending.com and also usgovernmentdebt.us. At americanmanifesto.org he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism. Get his Road to the Middle Class.