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Which Way Does America Go?

Editor, The Herald:

In a little more than three months, America will face an election, the outcome of which could change the face of this nation forever. Voters will either reject the current administration, as they did the Carter administration in 1980, or they will opt to re-elect Barack Obama, and in doing so will push the country closer than it has ever been to a complete collapse of the social system.

Mr. Obama's signature effort is called Obamacare, but the system of cradle-to-grave health care has been the focus of the liberal left for decades. The late Ted Kennedy attempted to introduce bills to establish such a system innumerable times during his years in the senate. Hillary might have pulled it off in the 1990s had it not been for her attempt to get it done in secret.

Most polls show that America is about evenly divided about Obamacare. So, who, exactly, is in favor of this monstrous law? If you're in your 20s and still living with mom and dad because you can't decide what to be when you grow up, you're for it. If you are able-bodied, but haven't had a job since Ronald Reagan took office, you're for it. If you're over 50 and have a lifetime of work behind you and are looking forward to retirement, you should be firmly against it. Under this law, seniors will be subject to the most severe sort of “rationing” of their health care. For example, if you are 70 and your doctor says you need a hip replaced, your file will be placed in front of a review panel made up of government employees-not necessarily doctors-who will decide whether or not you should get that new hip. Let's say you are overweight, or you're a smoker, or you have had cancer. The board will most likely reject you.

But the law goes further. Suppose you came into an inheritance, and you have 75,000 dollars to pay the doctor and the hospital for the procedure. Are you in the clear? Absolutely not! The law makes it illegal for the doctor to accept cash payments from an individual, and also illegal for a patient to offer payment outside the Obamacare system. Both you and your doctor could end up in a federal prison.

If you operate a small business that employs 2 or 200 people, you should vehemently oppose it. The cost of complying with the law will raise the cost of employing each person up to 20%, and the penalty (or is it a tax) imposed for not complying will break your budget.

Here are some other features of Obamacare that you might not like;

(a). Starting in 2014, the government will have direct access to your financial accounts, and will have the authority to remove funds from your account to meet mandated costs.

(b). Costs for union members will be reduced by government subsidies

(c). Coverage will be provided to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally.

(d). The law requires advance-care planning consultations. Those on Social Security will be required to attend an “end-of-life planning” seminar every five years (death counseling).

(f). And, of course, current and retired members of congress will be exempt from all provisions of the law.

The law is all about providing “free” healthcare to millions who in fact already have it because they're in the Medicaid system. It will also cover millions of young adults who are in perfect health and probably wouldn't visit a doctor for years, especially if they had to pay for it.

All in all, this ill-conceived, hastily-passed law seems designed to bring about the kind of massive social upheaval that was first proposed by two far-left sociologists named Cloward and Piven back in 1966. They wrote a long article, published in the liberal magazine The Nation which outlined a strategy for overloading the public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would collapse the system and lead to a replacement system that would provide a “guaranteed annual income” for all citizens. In effect, taxes for the working class would double and redouble to punitive levels to fund this lunacy.

Last year, a far-left member of the British government proposed a system whereby all personal income would be paid to the government, and the government in turn would decide, on a case-by-case basis, how much each person or family needed to survive. Most people who read about this wacky idea had a good laugh. I have a feeling that Mr. Obama read about it and said to an aide, “how do I get in touch with this guy?”

John Jamieson