Carol Platt Liebau at Townhall:
Listen to Democrat Rep. John Dingell explain to a questioner (from the left) about why it will take until 2014 for ObamaCare to operate in all its glory:
At least give him points for honesty, right? That’s a more succinct, straightforward summary of ObamaCare’s effect (and for many of those who supported it, its aim) than we’ve heard from the President.
It may be the mother of all Freudian slips (which is itself a Freudian joke, if you didn’t catch it). “Control the people” could have one of two contexts here, of course; it could mean patient management, or it could be taken literally. It would take quite a while to “control” 300 million people in either sense of the phrase. Of course, in either sense, it’s one of the good reasons why the government shouldn’t be in the health-care business. The private sector is better designed to manage patients.
But of course, the private sector isn’t designed to “control the people” in the literal sense. You have to have government to do that, and people in charge who believe they should be in charge of “control[ling] the people” instead of supporting and defending the Constitution.
Rory Cooper at Heritage:
Rep. Dingell has held his seat in Michigan for over 55 years. That is certainly a long time before he finally achieved his goals to “control the people.”
Robert P. Kirchhoefer at American Spectator:
Many have long said that this health care plan was never about health care at all. Mr. Dingell has confirmed that.
Control the people.
That is not why the huddled masses yearning to breathe free left the oppression of Europe — to be controlled. Control is not an American principle. It is, in fact, anathema to American principles– and so is anyone who believes it.
That reminds me of what I wrote about an even more extreme government-controlled system, the one the Canadian government adopted a few years before I left Canada. Here’s what I wrote in The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey in 2001:
It’s hard to say that the Canadian government guarantees health care, at least in the usual sense of the word “guarantee.” In fact, what the government really guarantees is that if you get health care, you won’t be allowed to pay for it, and it is this guarantee that makes you have to wait to get it. The government also guarantees something else: If health care providers try to set up their own clinics and charge willing patients for medical care, the government will shut them down. When I tell this to advocates of the Canadian-style health care system, some are often unwilling to part with their belief in socialized medicine. I find this strange because I believe them when they say that their motive for advocating socialized medicine is to have everyone covered. Yet, many advocates of socialized medicine seem to prefer that everyone be forced into a rationing system rather than have the government provide some basic minimum and let patients and providers who want to opt out of the system do so. So, what started out as a belief in a right to health care ended up as a belief in preventing people from getting health care. Thus my conclusion that it’s not about rights at all, but about power.