Most people in America don’t pay attention to what is going on with their own government. It’s understandable that it’s all many can do just to make a living for their families, see to their children’s needs, and try to live their lives in relative comfort and security. Unfortunately, if you don’t pay careful attention to what is going on, that comfort and security can slip away and with it much personal freedom.
Our country has become strongly divided between those who want big government to take care of their lives for them, and those who want as little government interference as possible. By and large, the Democratic Party is the party of large government encroachment while the Republican Party is for smaller, less intrusive government. People think that when the government gives something to them for nothing, it is free — but it isn’t. What many don’t seem to get is that whenever government gives you something, it always comes with a price. Usually that price is less freedom.
When the government pours money into something, like local schools or a particular industry, it ends up controlling that entity. Government becomes like a silent partner, only not so silent. It can tell you how to spend that money, it can tell you what kind of curriculum can be taught in your local school, it can tell you what kind of car you must drive, and, ultimately, if government controls health care, it can tell you what medical procedures you are allowed to have.
Whether it’s a school, or a car company, or an individual, once control is given over to the government that entity or person suddenly becomes dependent on government, not unlike a drug addict becomes dependent on his drug supplier. It is a vicious cycle – the more people depend on entitlement programs and other handouts from the government, the more powerful government becomes.
As we await the Supreme Court’s decision (expected sometime in June) on the constitutionality of Obamacare, America’s first step into socialized medicine, it might be a good time to reacquaint ourselves with some words of wisdom on the subject of socialized medicine by President Ronald Reagan. The following is from a recording he made called Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine:
“One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project…. Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it. We have an example of this. Under the Truman administration it was proposed that we have a compulsory health insurance program for all people in the United States, and, of course, the American people unhesitatingly rejected this.”
Reagan goes on to explain what happens under a government controlled health care system:
“The doctor begins to lose freedom…. First you decide that the doctor can have so many patients. They are equally divided among the various doctors by the government. But then doctors aren’t equally divided geographically. So a doctor decides he wants to practice in one town and the government has to say to him, you can’t live in that town. They already have enough doctors. You have to go someplace else. And from here it’s only a short step to dictating where he will go…. All of us can see what happens once you establish the precedent that the government can determine a man’s working place and his working methods, determine his employment. From here it’s a short step to all the rest of socialism, to determining his pay. And pretty soon your child won’t decide, when he’s in school, where he will go or what he will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell him where he will go to work and what he will do.”
That recording was made around 1961, five years before Reagan was elected governor of California and almost twenty years before he became president. But his words then have never had more profound meaning than they do for us today, at this pivotal time.
There is another quote from Reagan from another speech which I find quite sobering:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Let us all hope that the Supreme Court does the right thing for us this June.