Examiner Editorial: Health care led by a coercive government

America’s Founding Fathers established a government based on the consent of the governed. They never envisioned a government that runs the lives of its citizens with or without their consent.

Suffice it to say they would turn in their graves if they read the 1,900-plus page health care reform bill the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Saturday.

That American citizens should be fined or even put in federal prison for refusing to purchase government-approved health insurance is as un-American as any idea we can imagine. But such a mandate is the very heart of the bill written behind closed doors by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her privileged pals. If their bill is approved by the House on Saturday, we will be a big step closer to the day when everybody gets their health care insurance through the government or from an approved insurer offering policies that meet meticulously detailed specifications contained in thousands of pages of federal regulations. Welcome to America, land of the formerly free and home of citizens covered by a nationalized health care system crafted by the same government that can’t care for American Indians on their reservations or deliver swine flu shots on time.

It would be one thing if Democrats were simply trying to insure the uninsured, but their bill goes far beyond that modest goal. Democrats believe they must first tighten their regulatory grip on what’s left of the private health care industry, then squeeze with all their bureaucratic might to force costs down by effectively rationing health care. Besides rationing care, the bill adds expensive new mandates on people (compulsory insurance for all), along with costly new regulatory burdens on insurance companies (thus increasing premiums) and on your employer (which will reduce your wages). The Democrats’ bill also creates multiple new layers of federal bureaucracy to look over your doctor’s shoulder.

This plan is doomed to fail, but in failing it will likely inflict severe collateral damage on the quality of your health coverage and your health care. As Medicare staggers toward bankruptcy, Democrats in Congress — led by Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and, of course, President Barack Obama — want another massive, unsustainable, new federal program to save the massive, unsustainable, old federal program. When do we stop the vicious, self-defeating cycle of heaping government fiats upon government fiats to fix problems government creates?

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