Friday, January 8, 2010


Recently, I saw this video of Sen. Tom Harkin being interviewed in reference to the pressure Dems are under because of their backroom dealings in order to secure the elusive 60th vote to end the Republican filibuster. While it contained the normal political dodging of the question, I was really shocked by his statement that we are in the process of bringing about a public option, which most assuredly will lead to single-payer health care. I give Harkin points for this interview and others I've listened to, for his honesty. He makes no attempt to disguise his zeal for a government takeover of health care. Unlike most of his Dem buddies he's not a stealth fighter, he's a straight out carpet bomber. Refreshing honesty, however, doesn't make good public policy.

Somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind, Tom Harkin and his fellow true believers have found a new right for all Americans, a right to health care. As he explains it, we are crossing a "line of demarcation" with health care as a privilege on one side and health care as a right on the other. This is a significant statement in that once something takes on the aura of a right, it becomes the government's responsibility to fund it. Harkin has finally come out and said it. Health care is a right.

John Locke, whose writings influenced the Founding Fathers to structure our government as a republic based on the natural rights "endowed by our creator", stated that government exists solely to protect the rights of its citizens. Therefore, government is bound to provide health care. If Harkin's statement is to be accepted, the government will be responsible for ensuring that health care is provided to every citizen or it will be abrogating its responsibility to protect its citizens.

According to the Declaration of Independence, which was based on many of Locke's philosophies, if the government fails to provide universal health care, it is the right of the citzens to "alter or abolish" that government because it fails to protect their rights. That is of course, if health care is a right. Somehow Harkin and his fellow believers have discovered a right that wasn't written in the constitution and they are now in the process of bestowing this on their fellow citizens. Thanks are certainly in order.

Harkin also made a lot of the fact that this was much more of wellness bill than just a mere health care bill. He talks of eating, exercising and other wellness activities. I thank him for looking out for my health, after all, my unhealthful activities would surely burden the system of health care it is my right to have.

So I guess the government mandating that we all follow "healthful" habits is just the next step in the process of the government ensuring that I don't mess up my fellow citizens' right to health care by burdening it with unnecessary costs to give me care I obviously wouldn't deserve because of my selfishness towards the collective. We all need the government to tell us what healthful habits they will require us to follow in order for them to deliver the services necessary to ensure that my right to health care is delivered in the most efficient government manner.

I eagerly await my "Government Reeducation Packet" containing my government mandated shopping list, exercise regimen, mandated reading list of educational government-printed pamphlets, etc., that will get me on the road to being a good citizen of the state with my priorities properly focused on the collective. Get with it, comrades!

Here is Judge Napolitano with a primer on government involvement in health care and other social programs.


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Of course, those dissenters like Tim & DB who come to my blog SWEAR there will be NO "public option" and that this is just us nasty ol' biased NeoCons trying to spread lies and filth!

I am prodded to stand up myself and shout: "You lie!"


Z said...

Hi, L&0..superb post.
Napolitano loses me when he says REPUBLICANS LIKE WAR.
Other than that, he's not bad..

I'm beginning to see Republicans are as 'big gov't' as the Left. I just heard that the RNC is chastising Michael Steele for not being moderate enough. STEELE 'too Conservative'? Are they kidding?
This was REALLY scary to me...they want all this awful moderate pseudo Left stuff, too, apparently..or think that's what they need to win...but win WHAT...Democrat LIGHT?

As a friend emailed today "if the Right goes moderate, it's as if they're saying 'the left isn't totally wrong'....As if. !!

Harkin's telling the truth...many say this bill has very specific public option plans IN IT now and they come up VERY soon...God help us all. America will never be the same again.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for the visit. Harkin is nothing if not honest. He told it like it is. The Dems will bring about a public option soon. When it's brouhgt about it will be tough to kill it. Sad.

I don't promote all of the judge's statements, but he is very close to how I feel about government and its role in my life. I'm glad you see the Repubs as part of the problem.

Both parties are too focused on retaining power and not on doing what's best for the people. Steele is a moderate and I am not happy with him. Earlier I thought he had the mojo, now he's all about keeping power for the party. I'm not a fan.

Harkin is telling the truth. The Dems are stealth bombers. The public option is on the table. God help us. Thanks for the visit.

Donald Douglas said...

Off topic, but thank for sharing the news about RWP. I actually got an e-mail from him letting me know he was in the terminal cancer ward. It's sad.

TRUTH 101 said...

Let me ask you this LaOT. If health care is not a "right" when will you and those that think that demand an end to Medicare. Medicaid. All public aid.

I could go on and on.

When those against national health care in some form or another come out against all the government health programs there are now you will then have some credibility of your convictions.

Tell me LaOt and friends. Will you eliminate Medicare? Departments of Public Health? Medicaid?

MadMike said...

Sorry Bro but I am with Truth on this one and...I am all for Single Payer. I have lived in countries that have it, and have a lot of family living in countries that have it. They wouldn't switch to our wallet raping, back breaking system under any circumstances. There are times when the government can do a lot better than the fat cats in the private sector. This is one of times. I am tired of paying through the nose for inferior health care.

Caroline Kras said...

L&O teach,,,Well, it seems we have some more "It's an entitlement." I'm sorry, but I feel we should have programs in place for people who just cant afford it. call it what you want. it is not an entitlemen, but charity from government. Why should we make you feel good to take money or services paid for others , not yourself,,, Unless you are incapable of doing so, then it is still not an entitlement. It is a gift of help when you need it.... Believe me when it comes in a bundle as an entitlement It is something that is not earned people learn to accept it as an entitlement...I know I worked there and issued these entitlements and that's the way it came down...entitlement...BS the money was from my taxes and expected to be given to those less fortunate. I can remember as a child when we (my parents) would not accept anything from others because it was insulting to accept charity that was for people who were less fortuntate than they were... when charity was administed locally it was given to the needy because the person giving the monies was local as was the person applying for this charity.....Not so anymore It's an entitlement..I worked and retired...part of my retirement package was medical, but the medical could not be used until I used my medicare which I was compelled to have prior to attaching my reirement benefit, SOOOOOOOOO Medicare is not free but it use to be volintary whereas medicaid was the safety net for the poor and disabled at state level,,,,Social Security was something originated by FDR with it's own trust fund. It was originally for your retirement then came SSI this was for people who didn't work, they had to have some income even thought they didn't work enough quarters to qualify for Social Security..They Then had to take care of the disabled,,,sooooooSocial Security Disability came into being I believe all this mess came under Title 19 of the Social Security Act.....Now Medical for all..Government will be telling us what to eat and how much we can eat. It will dictate what heat we can keep our thermostate for maximum comfort according to Government standards and I could go on. This is what you want????Every aspect of your life will be examined and you will be cared for by big brother...No Thanks....I ramble....stay well.....

Law and Order Teacher said...

Truth, MMA,
I would advocate the end of all government social care. The problem is that once a government program is enshrined it is nearly impossible to dismantle it. Medicaid, Medicare etc., are all grossly mismanaged and will be forever as long as government has a hand in it.

That's the problem with this proposal, once it's here and government has ensconsed it, it will be nigh on to impossible to a) keep it running, b) get rid of when it fails to run properly and it will.

There are certain things that government should do, military, police, fire, protection issues. As of social welfare, it's terrible at it and always will be. Government is a one size fits all entity and medical is inherently individual centered. Expediency and efficiency are not a long suit of government.

We would be much better off as a people and a government if we had stayed with providing services called for in the constitution rather than finding things for government to do.

Thanks for the visit. Good day sirs.

Thanks for your well thought out post. I agree with much of it especially the control that government is getting over us.

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

That is of course, if health care is a right. Somehow Harkin and his fellow believers have discovered a right that wasn't written in the constitution


Limiting "rights" to what is written in the Constitution is a dismal thought. Doesn't get us too far beyond that dismal Hobbesian state.
I think this narrow view also overlooks the fact that there was a great deal of dissension among the figures in early American government which forced the Constitution to contain some fairly vague language.

Locke never provides any reasonable means to resolve conflicts of interest. He may have been an early influence but he was a very limited philosopher.

Myself, I think rights are what we as a people decide they are. Since we have come under the sway of Libertarians and Randians who have no concept of a culture or nation outside the separate millions of pinpoints of individual action all somehow guided by farcical notion that the "market" in either goods or ideas can be both just and self regulating, we have indeed moved closer to Hobbesian barbarity.

Yes, the right will destroy the nation and our culture in their pursuit of individualism

Ducky's here said...

The problem is that once a government program is enshrined it is nearly impossible to dismantle it. Medicaid, Medicare etc., are all grossly mismanaged and will be forever as long as government has a hand in it.


Facts not in evidence. Utterly irrational and unsupported statement.

Ducky's here said...

There are certain things that government should do, military, police, fire, protection issues. As of social welfare, it's terrible at it and always will be.


In the last half of the twentieth century the American military fiascos have been far more inefficient and useless than social programs.

You'd be hard pressed to find any American war outside WW II that wasn't poorly executed and imperialist.
Heck, even in WW II we were not the main player and if it hadn't been for the Red Army we never would have defeated Hitler.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Great, informative piece. And loads of good video... Public Option does seem to teeter now in the House...yes? Great post.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I have to admit it, LAOT, I, too, am an advocate of 100% coverage. I don't, however, agree with the Dems on how to get there. My approach would be to 1) provide vouchers, 2) get rid of the "you can't buy health insurance over state lines" laws, and 3) create independent health boards to set minimum standards of coverage/help to resolve disputes (something that will hopefully reduce malpractice claims). This way we can increase competion, not completely destroy an entire industry, get everybody covered, and, yes, improve the regulatory/oversight process. I guess you'd say that I'm somewhere in between you and Mike on this one

Law and Order Teacher said...

As usual thanks for the visit. Hobbes was an advocate for an absolute monarchy due to the inherent greed and evil he saw in humans. The constitution hardly measures up to that standard.

The constitution seeks to limit the power of government leaving power to the people. The constitution was a large jump even from the Articles of Confederation which left the power to the states with a very weak federal government.

The Constitutional Convention was nearly a bust as most representatives showed up with the express intention of amending the Articles. The framers had every intention of limiting government power as much as possible.

The 18 enumerated powers are pretty specific with the exception of the elastic clause which has been stretched out of all proportion. The language in the constitution is ambivalent in some instances, but very direct in others.

Those of the loose construction school claim rights not specifically prohibited in the text to therefore not be excluded to government. Strict constructionists, as I am, interpret the constitution as written.

In other words, as the 9th and 10th Amendments say, those powers not enumerated in the constitution are reserved to the states or the people. These were added to assuage doubts some representatives had that people would one day read into the constitution rights that were not enumerated.

As proof of mismanagement I offer that those programs are in massive debt and have trillions pending in payouts once the baby boomers retire. The Dems themselves have made the startling admission that they are including $500 million in Medicare fraud that they intend to collect as money to pay for the health care bill. Where has the government been in permitting fraud on this scale.

As for the military, I can't take the part of military fiascos as those are in the eye of the beholder. What I will say is that the military, police and fire are absolute government functions fall under the general welfare etc.

As for the Red Army, I would remind my friend that the USSR at the beginning of the war had a Nazi-Soviet Pact that allowed German oppression in Poland and Soviet oppression in Finland. The attack by the Germans in June 1942 brought the Soviets into the war. After that they fought a desperate defensive struggle of survival.

Stalin consistently begged the Allies to attack and regain France to lessen the pressure on his troops. Without aid from the Americans the Soviets resistance would have dried up.

D-Day forced the Germans to devote much of there available resources to stop the Allied advance. Hitler's forces were divided into to many fronts and they were defeated. I think you give too much credit to the Soviets.

As for rights, the Founders were very specific that we were possessed of natural rights "endowed by our creator." Locke's philosophy informed the D of I and mainly Montesquieu's imformed the constitution. I have a problem with the congress bestowing rights on Americans that simply don't exist according to the constitution.

Thanks again for your visit.

I don't know if the bill can be defeated, but we can hope. Thanks for the compliment and the visit. Please stop by again.

There is a lot we agree on. I too want portability such as car insurance. As for vouchers, I could go on a tax credit applicable only to health insurance. As for a government board I have problems there, but with a lot of transparency I might be persuaded. We have some common territory. Thanks for the visit.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Good stuff, LAOT. I just wanted to add that the health board I'm talking about wouldn't exactly be a government board/agency. It would be an independent structure, more a long the lines of the FED. Not exactly without controversy, mind you, but it just might be necessary.

Ducky's here said...

Couple things Law and Order

1. Laissez-faire capitalism ultimately puts kapital in the position of a monopoly oppressive force. The far right pursues policies to move us toward oligarchy and monopoly power while decrying it at the same time. I see this as their most serious doctrinal weakness.

2. "Natural rights" is not a widely accepted idea. If you look at nature you see what your rights are without an organized civilization, a short brutish life and a violent death.

3. America incurred the lowest per capita casualties of any major participant in WW II(significantly lower than Canada). Our military history is a lot less than we pump it up to be.
As a wise man said:"When facts hit myth, something has to give and in the case of WW II what had to give was the role of the Russians."

MadMike said...

I have read and reread this post and the attendant comments. All make good points but I am 100% with Ducky on this one. If the government didn't offer medicare there would be millions and millions of seniors dead or in the poorhouse. There is no way there would ever be an insurance program that wasn't based purely in profit.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks again for your comments. I reread my comment from last night and I noticed a lot of typos, most notably I said 1942 instead of 1941. I didn't take the time to edit. That's what I get for trying to do homework at the same time.

Natural Rights: I'm not sure what widely accepted means. For our purposes it was widely accepted by the Founding Fathers who were responsible for our founding documents.

As for per capita injuries, I think that may have been the product of several things. First, the early war was very much one-sided in the favor of Germany.

It was much better equipped and trained than either France or GB. Many injuries were inflicted as a result of badly mananged military operations by the allies. The Germans had the war in their hands at the very beginning in April 1940 Hitler attacked Norway and Denmark, overwhelmed them and in May attacked throught Ardennes driving French and British to the Channel trapping them near Dunkirk.

Germany could have driven them into the sea but inexplicably halted and moved south towards Paris allowing the Brits and French to evacuate over 300,000 troops across the channel despite air attacks by the Germans.

The beginning of the war was particularly one-sided resulting in a skewed amount of casualties to the Allies. The Soviets were overwhelmed on their western border. Their troops were untrained, ill-equipped and poorly led due to the fact that Stalin had killed most of the senior leaders in the military in one of his many purges.

The Soviets historically take massive casualties in every military engagement. Therefore, the per capita casualties isn't a decisive indicator of the importance or share of a country's military contribution.

Another indication is that the US basically fought in the Pacific theater almost single-handedly and took massive casualties winning that part of the war.

Interestingly, the Soviets didn't declare war on Japan until after the nuclear weapons were dropped. I think the Soviets/Russians learned their lesson in the 1905 war with Japan in which they were soundly defeated. Essentially the Soviets had no navy.

Thanks for the visit and comments.

I'm not completely against government regulation, but I'm very suspicious of any government entity that isn't transparent and open in its dealings. Your point is well taken.

I appreciate your willingness to listen. I would say that we are on different thought paths here although I respect your point of view. Thanks for the visit.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

The comments below were some of the most cogent and measured I've read on the internet; it was a pleasure to read them and take them in consideration.