And it is so GD offensive to say that it is. I'll get back to that in a moment, but for the moment, know that our esteemed leaders have passed a bill(s) that puts the government in control of a significant portion of our economy.
Here are the highlights of this oh-so-wonderful legislation: Adults who don't want to purchase health coverage will be forced to purchase it under threat of financial penalty. Seniors who use Medicare Advantage will no longer be able to keep their existing coverage. Insurance companies (who aren't charities, for the record) will not be able to deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions - conditions that are likely to cost the insurance company a lot of money over time. Insurers will be obligated to allow 26-year old, ahem, children to stay on the parent's plan. That's not a typo, folks. I've purchased my own health insurance since I was 21-years old, but apparently kids today just can't get their shit together and buy insurance if it's important to them. And if it's not important to them, as it often isn't to young adults, they will still be forced to purchase insurance - see first point.
Yes, Congress has passed that POS health care bill.
As a libertarian, I am firmly opposed to the government monkeying around with much of anything and I sure as heck am opposed to them expanding any further than they already have in the last several years. Unfortunately, this is the type of stuff that happens when two of our three branches of government are controlled by the same party. Abuse of power is much easier when no one is going to stop you, see? And, in case you think I'm giving a free pass to the abuses of power that occurred during the Bush years with a Republican-controlled Congress, I am absolutely not because they sickened me as well. But those guys were yesterday's news and today's news involves Obama & Co.
Among other atrocities contained in the legislation: Families earning up to $88,000 apparently need help to pay health insurance premiums and they'll get it. Tax increases and Medicare cuts. Childless adults will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014. Individuals earning over $200K (and couples earning over $250K) will be hit with a new Medicare payroll tax. Individuals fortunate enough to have a so-called "Cadillac-plan" for health coverage will have the privilege of paying a new excise tax for their good fortune. Of course, this last bit was scaled back significantly because union thugs opposed it and goodness knows that anyone with a "D" behind their name will walk in lock-step with their union benefactors.
All of this is disturbing enough to me, but the following quote has me seeing red:
"This is the civil rights act of the 21st century."
That verbal excrement was uttered by Representative Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. Rep. Clyburn is a ranking member of the House. A very high-ranking black member of the House. And he had the nerve to say that this health care tripe is akin to securing civil rights for all Americans.
Look, think what you will about the need for health care reform. Think what you will about the civil rights struggle. But understand that they are fundamentally different on the most base level.
Groups of Americans suffered from discrimination, even SCOTUS-sanctioned discrimination. Think about that for a moment. Americans suffered legally-sanctioned discrimination. That was wrong and it is a part of America's shameful past that we shouldn't forget, lest we are doomed to repeat it with another group of Americans. No, I'm not going there. But I probably will at some point in a future post.
Of course, comparing health care to civil rights implies that those who oppose another bloated social problem would also be opposed to securing civil rights for all Americans. You know, the health care opposition are just a bunch rednecks. And, let's face it, in this day and age, there is nothing worse to be painted with the racist brush. I mean, you'll have to go to rehab if you are - a la any number of lame-ass celebrities.
Make no mistake: Health care and civil rights have nothing in common! Rep. Clyburn should be ashamed of using such hyperbole to assuage his own conscience over his vote.
Health care is nothing even close to civil rights. And, if it is, what's the next right we will demand as Americans? Shall we demand that the government provide us a home that meets our standards? Shall we demand that the government provide us with our own vehicles? Shall we demand that the government provide us with our education, up to and including graduate school? Shall we demand that the government raise our children? Shall we demand that the government provide us everything and make all of our decisions? Hyperbole works both ways, Rep. Clyburn.
I'll leave with this gem, "A government big enough to supply you with everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything you have. . ."