Following a good showing on his first overseas trip, President Trump returned to the states and called for something that has some on the right scratching their heads. He’s wanting more dollars put towards health care.

One of the things that got the AHCA passed in the House was the decrease in spending on health care. The conservative Freedom Caucus pushed for several additions before voting for it, including the ability for states to opt-out of some of the more liberal points such as pre-existing conditions. However, the reason some gave for finally backing the bill is that it reduces overall spending on health care. What is the President asking for now?

Regardless of whether this was just a Tweet that can be disregarded as rhetoric in 140-characters-or-less or if its a sign that he really wants more money put into health care, the overarching theme is the same. Many in the GOP (and pretty much every Democrat), including the President, are missing the fundamental point that health care can only truly be fixed if the federal government systematically removes itself from the equation.

Obamacare isn’t failing because of subtle details or nuances. It’s failing because the concept behind government-mandated health care is fatally flawed. The differences between the ACA and the AHCA are so small that their cores are essentially the same. Both insert DC into an area where it simply doesn’t belong. By doing so, either will fail whether it has the letter (R) or (D) on its stamp of approval.

We don’t need more money plugged into health care. We need the massive amounts of money that are already pumped into health care focused by a consumer-driven free market. Businesses operate based upon the demands of three forces: government, consumers, and market conditions. Today, government has primacy in the equation by forcing the other two factors to be secondary. Consumers have very little impact in the equation because of mandates in both Obamacare and the current Trumpcare replacement being worked on in the Senate. As for market conditions, they are artificial because of government intervention. They will continue to be artificial if Obamacare is repealed and replaced with a variation of the AHCA.

Nearly everyone on Capitol Hill fears a full repeal for the same basic reason. They know that if it’s done right, it will work in the long term. The Democrats don’t want that because it exposes the long-con they’ve been working in DC for decades, the concept that more government is better. The Republicans don’t want that because they fear it won’t work quickly enough for them to retain power in the midterm elections. The AHCA isn’t designed to fix health care. It’s designed to pretend to fix it while mitigating fallout until election day.

As I stated in a different post:

If we systematically repeal Obamacare, we can have privatized health care once again. A replacement plan that tries to predict what will happen is foolish. Instead, we should repeal, then monitor and analyze the market. Over time, we’ll find the holes that need to be plugged. States, charities, and other organizations can fill most of these holes. Whatever is left, if anything, can fall to the federal government. This way, DC becomes the final safety net instead of being the first line of defense. That’s the way it should be in health care and a plethora of other areas.

The last thing this nation needs is more dollars redirected into health care. Those of us watching our premiums rise despite higher deductibles and worse coverage (which is a vast majority) know that there’s already “more dollars” in health care. It needs to be allocated properly through competition and the push for innovation. We can’t have the best health care in the world as the President hopes unless DC is willing to remove itself from the equation. Until then, the math will continue to fail miserably.

My local Sunday paper had an above-the-fold headline the other day: “Obamacare rate could see big spike in NH next year.” This refers only to my state, where an unidentified government official leaked to the press a document projecting an average Obamacare-exchange premium rate increase of 44%.

The headline could easily have said “another spike.” Obamacare-linked price hikes are old news. Still, I’m glad this wound up on the front page. That indicates that at least one assignment editor doesn’t take big increases for granted.

The story said that the document was stamped Confidential and Draft Only and Not for Distribution. I wish I knew who leaked it so I could deliver my personal thanks. I don’t like being surprised during enrollment season. The principal factor in the projected increase, according to the news report (I haven’t read the actual document), is Medicaid expansion. Without that, the projected increase is closer to 17%.

I don’t want my neighbors covered by Medicaid expansion to get sicker or forgo mental health care or substance abuse treatment. What irks me is that anyone in government or media could be surprised or distressed that expansion actually leads to cost increases and distortions in how health care is provided.

I hope no one’s surprised when the resulting premium increases for my non-Medicaid neighbors leads to changes in their behavior, such as dropping insurance altogether.

Last year’s price spike finally pushed me over the edge and out of the market. In the government’s view, I am uninsured, having opted for a healthshare program that Obamacare benignly tolerates. My husband has retained a conventional policy, and we’re keeping records to see how our costs compare over time.

Ideal? No. My costs are pretty much under my control, right up to the time I’m badly injured or develop a serious medical condition. I would then be at the mercy of my fellow sharers and of the bean-counters in my healthcare providers’ offices. Further, I am waiting uneasily for the Obamacare fans to amend the law so that healthshare programs are no longer penalty-free. Frankly, I think that kind of amendment is likely to come much sooner than any Republican health-insurance reform.

Medicaid is permanently expanded. I believe that. So will there be any health insurance “fixes” this year that would head off a 44% average increase in premiums on my state’s exchange next year? I don’t see how, no matter who’s in the White House. I’m pessimistic about the financial aspect of government health insurance because I’ve seen over the past five years that elected officials can’t even get the little things right.

By “little,” I don’t mean unimportant. I’m thinking of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. That’s the government policy that treats being a woman as a pre-existing condition by calling women’s contraceptives “preventive” care. Business owners who offer health insurance to employees, and who have moral objections to coerced involvement in their employees’ birth control decisions, have had to go to court to escape the mandate.

President Trump’s recent religious-liberty order was tightly limited and it did not undo the mandate. The Little Sisters of the Poor will benefit from his order, because he’s taken a personal interest in their case. Dozens of other mandate challengers are still making their way through the courts, with only these words from the President’s order to comfort them along the way: [cabinet departments] “shall consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate.”

In five years, regardless of the party in power, Congress has failed to repeal the mandate. A Republican president has managed only to tell his people to “consider issuing amended regulations.” The Supreme Court has had the chance to throw out the mandate as a religious liberty violation, and it has not done so.

I can’t trust them to fix even one small but critical aspect of health care policy. I sure can’t trust them to fix the whole thing. Bring on the spikes.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

The fist bumps coming from the GOP after passing the American Health Care Act in the House were plentiful. Republicans around the country were giving each other high-fives for having finally made the first real steps towards repealing Obamacare. Here’s the problem. We haven’t seen the beginning of the repeal of Obamacare. We’ve seen the seeds of Trumpcare being planted. Perhaps the better name for it would be “Obamacarelite.”

This a repeal in name only. Congressman Justin Amash revealed the truth about the AHCA in a Facebook post yesterday (emphases are mine):

This is not the bill we promised the American people. For the past seven years, Republicans have run for Congress on a commitment to repeal Obamacare. But it is increasingly clear that a bill to repeal Obamacare will not come to the floor in this Congress or in the foreseeable future.

When Republican leaders first unveiled the American Health Care Act, a Democratic friend and colleague joked to me that the bill wasn’t a new health care proposal; it was plagiarism. He was right.

The AHCA repeals fewer than 10 percent of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act. It is an amendment to the ACA that deliberately maintains Obamacare’s framework. It reformulates but keeps tax credits to subsidize premiums. Instead of an individual mandate to purchase insurance, it mandates a premium surcharge of 30 percent for one year following a lapse of coverage. And the bill continues to preserve coverage for dependents up to age 26 and people with pre-existing conditions.

I want to emphasize that last point. The bill does not change the ACA’s federal requirements on guaranteed issue (prohibition on policy denial), essential health benefits (minimum coverage), or community rating (prohibition on pricing based on health status). In short, Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions provisions are retained.

The latest version of the AHCA does allow any state to seek a waiver from certain insurance mandates, but such waivers are limited in scope. Guaranteed issue cannot be waived. Nobody can be treated differently based on gender. And any person who has continuous coverage—no lapse for more than 62 days—cannot be charged more regardless of health status.

Consider what this means: Even in a state that waives as much as possible, a person with a pre-existing condition cannot be prevented from purchasing insurance at the same rate as a healthy person. The only requirement is that the person with the pre-existing condition get coverage—any insurer, any plan—within 62 days of losing any prior coverage.

If a person chooses not to get coverage within 62 days, then that person can be charged more (or less) based on health status for up to one year, but only (1) in lieu of the 30 percent penalty (see above), (2) if the person lives in a state that has established a program to assist individuals with pre-existing conditions, and (3) if that state has sought and obtained the relevant waiver. Here in Michigan, our Republican governor has already stated he won’t seek such a waiver, according to reports.

So why are both parties exaggerating the effects of this bill? For President Trump and congressional Republicans, the reason is obvious: They have long vowed to repeal (and replace) Obamacare, and their base expects them to get it done. For congressional Democrats, it’s an opportunity to scare and energize their base in anticipation of 2018. Neither side wants to present the AHCA for what it is—a more limited proposal to rework and reframe parts of the ACA, for better or for worse.

In March, when this bill was originally scheduled to come to the floor, it was certainly “for worse.” The previous version provided few clear advantages over the ACA, yet it haphazardly added provisions to modify essential health benefits without modifying community rating—placing the sickest and most vulnerable at greater risk.

Over the last month, several small but important changes were made to the bill. The current version abandons that fatally flawed approach to essential health benefits (though the new approach includes new flaws), incorporates an invisible risk sharing program, and permits limited state waivers. These changes may slightly bring down (or at least slow down the increase in) premiums for people who have seen rates go up. Even so, the AHCA becomes only marginally better than the ACA.

Many have questioned the process that led up to the vote on May 4. I have publicly expressed my disgust with it. The House again operated in top-down fashion rather than as a deliberative body that respects the diversity of its membership. But it’s important to acknowledge that the bulk of this bill (123 pages) was released on March 6. Only about 15 pages were added after late March. Members of Congress were given sufficient time to read and understand the entire bill.

While an earlier version of the AHCA included a CBO score, the types of changes made to the AHCA in more recent stages render an updated score highly speculative and practically meaningless. For that score to be useful, the Congressional Budget Office would have to effectively predict which states will seek waivers, which waivers they will seek, and when they will seek them. This complex analysis of the political processes and choices of every state is beyond anyone’s capability. I weighed the lack of an updated score accordingly.

When deciding whether to support a bill, I ask myself whether the bill improves upon existing law, not whether I would advocate for the policy or program if I were starting with a blank slate. In other words, the proper analysis is not whether it makes the law good but rather whether it makes the law better. In this case, I felt comfortable advancing the bill to the Senate as a marginal improvement to the ACA. The House has voted more than 30 times to amend (not just repeal) Obamacare since I’ve been in Congress, and I have supported much of that legislation, too, on the principle of incrementalism. If it advances liberty even a little (on net), then I’m a yes.

Nonetheless, the ACA will continue to drive up the cost of health insurance—while bolstering the largest insurance companies—and the modifications contained in the AHCA cannot save it. Many of the AHCA’s provisions are poorly conceived or improperly implemented. At best, it will make Obamacare less bad.

The Framers of the Constitution understood that federalism—the division of powers between the national and state governments—would maximize the happiness of Americans. As long as Washington dictates health insurance policy to the entire country, there will be massive tension and displeasure with the system. I’ve always said, and I will continue to say, we need to start over: Fully repeal Obamacare, let the people of each state choose their own approach, and work together in a nonpartisan manner.

The Congressman is correct when he says that it’s his duty to decide whether or not a bill is an improvement on existing law. However, one should also consider whether it’s possible for the law to be dramatically improved with more effort put towards bigger or smaller changes. In this case, I believe Amash would have voted against the bill if he believed there was a full repeal possible. He and the Freedom Caucus weighed the possibilities and decided that this was the best they were going to get. It was right move from a legislative perspective, but it also reinvigorates the necessity for the Federalist Party to rise.

It’s a shame that small-government-minded representatives are forced to pick between the lesser of two evils. Millions of voters can relate to this circumstance as we’re often faced with picking between Mr. Big Gov or his opponent, Mrs. Bigger Gov. As long as the two-party system holds primacy over all potential challengers, we will always be faced with this obtuse binary choice. The time for change is now.

I don’t make it a practice to comment on potential legislation before reading it. Speculation takes too much bias and rumors into account which tends to sway the reader (and author) in directions before the truth is even known. I’m making this exception because if reports that Vice President Mike Pence has negotiated a deal with the Freedom Caucus turn out to be true, it could be the best move made by the administration on health care since taking office.

Then again, it might be a big nothingburger.

The good news: limited waivers for the states. This means states have opportunities to bypass certain provisions of the AHCA that would allow them to help drive down premiums.

The bad news: essential health benefits carry over from Obamacare. This will limit the decrease (and even perpetuate increases) in premiums for the vast majority of Americans.

We’ll see how it pans out, but here’s the thing. I know many if not most Republicans are in favor of repealing and replacing Obamacare with the AHCA. It would boost morale and take away certain chunks of the oppressive economic burden that Obamacare has placed on us. However, the details are terrifying to anyone who believes in limiting government and defending the freedoms we hold dear. The original AHCA was a repackaged version of nationalized medicine that would push us further down the road towards financial oblivion and what we’ve seen of the proposed changes don’t change that. It would potentially slow down skyrocketing insurance costs, but it wouldn’t reverse them. In essence, it’s not a solution to Obamacare but a way to spread out the ill effects. We will still be paying way more than we were just a few years ago. We will still be ballooning the national debt and making little impact on our outrageously unbalanced budget.

Full repeal is the right way to go. That’s not to say that we need to return to the pre-Obamacare era. Changes need to be made, but those changes should come based upon reactions and analysis once it’s repealed rather than trying to plug all of the potential holes ahead of time. If we repeal Obamacare and allow the free market to guide the government on changes to be made, the end result will be much better. We can already plan for some of the changes such as opening up competition across state lines. We can work with charities, communities, and local governments to fill the gaps and prevent people from falling through the cracks. By repealing Obamacare fully in stages over the next 1-3 years and then watching how consumers, health insurance companies, and markets react, we can make intelligent decisions rather than speculative ones.

Of note is that the Freedom Caucus is supporting the amendments to the bill. We’ll see what that really looks like. Getting government out of health care is the only truly conservative/federalist way of fixing it. If they’re willing to negotiate, I would hope it’s because they believe in the plan and not because they’re feeling pressure from donors and the White House.

Only time will tell and speculation at this point is premature, but it will be interesting to see just how revamped Ryancare 2.0 really is. The bright spot I’ve seen in initial reports is that leftist publications like WaPo and HuffPo seem to hate the idea, so that’s good.

Before answering that question, it is essential to define exactly what rights are.  The only truly valid rights are God-given Natural Rights.  Thomas Jefferson articulated  the most accurate definition of a God-given Natural Right when he stated so eloquently in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

These rights are granted to every single individual directly by God.  George Mason echoed these sentiments when he wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights in  1776

SECTION I. That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Liberty is second only to life when it comes to importance.  Here is how Thomas Jefferson described liberty in a letter to Isaac Tiffany

…rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual

I have always defined liberty as the freedom to do as you wish as long as you do not hurt others or interfere with the rights of others.  It is freedom with the responsibility to not harm others or infringe on the rights of others.  If someone harms another individual or interferes with the rights of another individual then government has the duty and moral obligation to step in, restrain, and punish the individual that caused the harm.   Governments at all levels must leave individuals alone if they do not hurt others.  A large percentage of the founding fathers of this nation believed the only legitimate functions of government are protecting the safety, property, and rights of individuals living in this country.  Forcing individuals to purchase health insurance and interfering in the healthcare marketplace through onerous regulations violates the liberty of individuals and businesses.

The freedom to acquire property, hold on to property, and use property as you wish, are also essential God-given Natural rights.  Income and wealth are both forms of property. The pursuit of happiness mentioned in the Declaration of Independence refers to acquiring,  holding, and using property.  If a government body seizes an individual’s property, or income, and redistributes it to another person, that is a violation of a God-given natural right.

Here is what John Locke, the primary influence for all of the framers of the Constitution, had to say on this subject in his Second Treatise on Government:

the supreme power cannot take from any man any part of his property without his own consent. For the preservation of property being the end of government, and that for which men enter into society, it necessarily supposes and requires that the people should have property, without which they must be supposed to lose that by entering into society which was the end for which they entered into it; too gross an absurdity for any man to own. Men, therefore, in society having property, they have such a right to the goods, which by the law of the community are theirs, that nobody hath a right to take them, or any part of them, from them without their own consent; without this they have no property at all.

John Adams agreed.  Here is what he had to say on this subject in “Defense of the Constitutions of of the Government of the United States:

The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence

Redistribution of wealth for charity and entitlements violates the United States Constitution.  Here are three quotes that proves this:

James Madison Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 3rd Congress, 1st Session, page 170

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.

James Madison Speech before Congress 1794

The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.

Thomas Jefferson 1st Inaugural Address

A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government,

The debate whether healthcare is a right or not first took center stage in this country back in 1912 when Theodore Roosevelt first proposed national health care during his run as president for the progressive party.  It was revived by President Truman in 1945 when he proposed national health insurance.  President Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, establishing healthcare as an entitlement that is provided by the Federal Government.  Ben Shapiro discusses this deeply flawed notion that healthcare is a right in this National Review Article.  Here are the most important passages from this article:

Morally, you have no right to demand medical care of me. I may recognize your necessity and offer charity; my friends and I may choose to band together and fund your medical care. But your necessity does not change the basic math: Medical care is a service and a good provided by a third party. No matter how much I need bread, I do not have a right to steal your wallet or hold up the local bakery to obtain it.

Because medical care is a commodity, and treating it otherwise is foolhardy. To make a commodity cheaper and better, two elements are necessary: profit incentive and freedom of labor. The government destroys both of these elements in the health-care industry. It decides medical reimbursement rates for millions of Americans, particularly poor Americans; this, in turn, creates an incentive for doctors not to take government-sponsored health insurance. It regulates how doctors deal with patients, the sorts of training doctors must undergo, and the sorts of insurance they must maintain; all of this convinces fewer Americans to become doctors. Undersupply of doctors generally and of doctors who will accept insurance specifically, along with overdemand stimulated by government-driven health-insurance coverage, leads to mass shortages.

This article by the Mises institute chronicles the disastrous effects making healthcare a right has had on the cost of healthcare in the United States and the problems caused by this deeply flawed thinking.

Benjamin Weingarten proposes a solution to our healthcare crisis in this Conservative Review Article

If government extricated itself from the system, we would see innovation and falling prices. One can imagine any number of solutions that the market would provide, including one in which people are able to purchase cheap catastrophic insurance and only pay for the medical care they need. They could shop for procedures from menus with transparent pricing. Health care would look more like The Cheesecake Factory than the Soviet supermarket.

For those who could still not afford sufficient medical care in a system of greater options and cheaper pricing, the private sector, faith and community-based institutions, and, if need be, a small and stringently managed government safety net would pick up the slack.

If a government safety net is used it would have to be administered by the States because the US Constitution prohibits the federal government from engaging in any entitlements.

My solution to the healthcare crises is to get the federal government out of healthcare completely and let each state come up with their own unique solution.

As I write this, the House is pushing for a floor vote on the American Health Care Act. It “hangs in the balance” as some mainstream media news outlets are saying, but that doesn’t really paint the picture properly. In reality, it hangs over the GOP’s head in two major ways.

If it passes, things get really interesting in the Senate. There, the GOP cannot afford more than a couple of internal detractors and in the current form, there are more than enough. We haven’t seen the final version, but unless major changes were made, it’s very possible it could pass the House and get shot down in the Senate.

If it doesn’t pass the House, the spotlight is on the Freedom Caucus. President Trump has allegedly threatened Congressman Mark Meadows and others with losing their seats in 2018 if they don’t vote for it. Just as in the Senate, it would take major revisions for most Freedom Caucus members to reverse their publicly stated stance that they will vote against it.

This bill in its current known form is not what conservative/Federalist voters have asked for, nor is it what they were promised. I’ve gone on record as calling it Obamacarelite, RINOcare, Ryancare, and Swampcare. Based upon the latest push by the President, I’m calling it Trumpcare. He didn’t write it, but he’s pushing for it hard. President Obama didn’t write the Affordable Care Act, but he pushed for it just as hard as Trump is pushing for the AHCA.

Here’s the thing. People weren’t dying on the streets before Obamacare. I’m not so naive as to think we can or even should go back to the previous system. In fact, I think the previous system was already too burdened by government regulations. As conservatives who believe in the free market economy, we recognize that the best way to make health care truly affordable for the masses is to get government out of the picture. They need to open it up to competition across state lines.

Some will point out that tens of millions of Americans will “lose” their health care if we don’t pass something. They’d be technically right. However, a large bulk of those “losing” their health care coverage will do so willingly, as should be their right. There are conservatives who point out that it’s not fair for people to not carry health insurance and rely on taxpayers to pay big for their emergency care when they need it, but that’s singular and very shortsighted. The cost to taxpayers to cover uninsured emergency procedures is infinitesimally small compared to the cost we pay for ACA or the cost we would pay if AHCA passes.

What about pre-existing conditions? I have some experience with that, though I won’t bore you with the details. I’ll tell you this: government should be the last line of defense only. With both ACA and AHCA, they are inserting themselves into the front lines for health care. The community, charities, family, friends, and organizations designed specifically for such things will help those who cannot get their health needs met due to not being able to get covered. In a world with GoFundMe, it’s very unlikely that anyone who needs something won’t be able to get it. For those who do, that’s when the government as the bottom safety net can come in and save the day. This level of engagement should be very rare. If there’s minimal involvement by government to simply keep people from falling all the way through the cracks once they’ve failed to receive enough help through all the other options, that’s still a fraction of the cost to taxpayers.

The net result of full repeal would be to allow the consumer-driven market to push competition and make insurance companies beholden to the people. It amuses me when people say, “But repeal will only make the health insurance executives richer!” As Trump would say… “Wrong!” They love having millions of Americans who would never willingly purchase health insurance being forced to buy it by their government overlords.

Get government out of health insurance and premiums will go down for a vast majority of Americans. Allow the free market economy and the crowdfunding power of 2017 (plus charities, family, and community) to help those who need it the most. Government’s only role should be as the absolute last resort. Just repeal it.

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Olimometer 2.52

And if you aren’t inclined or in a position to kick in financially, we will happily accept your prayers

Okay, okay, that was not exactly the holding of Dorothy Ann Finch v. Commonwealth Health Insurance, but that may happen.  The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled, in a 3-2 decision, that a lower court must use strict scrutiny in determining whether or not the state can reduce state-sponsored health care benefits to immigrants.  The lower courts had applied a rational basis standard to the exclusion, meaning that the state only had to demonstrate that it had some interest in excluding immigrants from subsidised programmes.  The Supreme Judicial Court, however, ruled that the lower courts must apply a “strict scrutiny” standard, meaning that the legislation must be narrowly tailored to meet a compelling state interest.

This ruling – this particular ruling – only covers legal immigrants, but the jump to covering illegal immigrants is very small.  (I will also note that the MA courts have also ruled that the state constitution requires abortions to be provided for anyone who cannot afford one, as abortion is a constitutional right.  No word yet on free guns for poor people.) Also note that courts, unlike the legislatures, are not charged with making a budget, or making a budget work; their opinions are not only divorced from, but contrary to, the realities of using limited funds for unlimited needs and wants.

Nothing against immigrants, but the reality is that they can return to their own countries for free or subsidised health care; US citizens cannot go to Canada, for example, and demand free health care.  It is an issue of sovereignty, and of protecting one’s own citizens and allocating resources accordingly, but it remains to be seen whether or not Massachusetts thinks that sovereignty and balancing the budget are fundamental governmental interests.

When the cat’s away, the mice will play.  While Da TechGuy is in Maine with DaWife, I’m running amok on his blog.

In one of my ConConCon posts, a commenter stated that there was a “de facto right to health care” because of the requirement that emergency rooms treat patients.  Now, our intrepid commenter should learn the distinction between de facto and de jure rights, as well as to understand that EMLATA only applies to hospitals which accept funding from Health and Human Services, and only to those who are in the throes of a medical emergency, or women in active labour.  It’s quite a jump from there to free doctor’s visits, liver transplants, contraception, transsexual reassignment surgery, chiropractic work, or prescriptions.

My response to this nonsense about the “right to” something is the same as it has always been: giving people the affirmative, positive right to something means that someone else has to provide that right or face the wrath of the government, via the seizure of his property or freedom.  The reason that the Bill of Rights starts with “Congress shall make no law” (emphasis mine) is that the fundamental basis of our rights is the right to be left alone.

The so-called “right to health care”, as envisioned by the Left, is a “right” which requires physicians to provide their services at the price mandated by other people – physicians who worked themselves to the bone throughout high school, college, medical school, and residency, with piles of student loan debt, who are then told that other people have a “right” to their services.  To put this nonsense into lefty-speak, that’s like saying that someone has a “right” to take Elizabeth Warren’s class, even if that person is a hick from the South who isn’t qualified to be admitted into Harvard.  Likewise, the right to keep and bear arms does not mean that the Brady Bill peeps have to buy guns for any redneck schmuck who can’t afford his own.

The negative right to health care – i.e. the right to seek health care without the interference of the government – is no small matter.  In Bahrain, physicians who treated injuries brought by police officers onto protestors have been sentenced to years in jail:

The official Bahrain News Agency reported that eight people it identified as doctors who worked at a central hospital in the capital, Manama, received 15-year sentences. Other medical personnel at the Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain’s largest public hospital, were given terms of between 5 and 15 years.

That, my friends, is why we have a negative right to health care: the right to seek health care without the government arresting our physicians.  It does not mean that we get to commandeer the services of a doctor, or do so indirectly by taking over a hospital.  When a government gives its citizens the “right to health care”, they are removing the negative rights of physicians to provide health care on their own terms, the negative rights of everyone else to not have to support a stranger without being thrown into prison, and it ignores the reality that our great country was founded upon negative rights.  The sleight-of-hand makes it easier to erode all of our negative rights, including the right to access health care without the government nosing into your business.

Looking at the story where we are told to believe Linda Douglas on what President Obama believes as opposed instead of believing Barak Obama.

One can’t see this nonsense without recalling the words of Stig O’ Tracy concerning the Piranha Brothers:

Presenter: Another man who had his head nailed to the floor was Stig O’ Tracy.

Interviewer: I’ve been told Dinsdale Piranha nailed your head to the floor.

Stig: No. Never. He was a smashing bloke. He used to buy his mother flowers and that. He was like a brother to me.

Interviewer: But the police have film of Dinsdale actually nailing your head to the floor.

Stig: (pause) Oh yeah, he did that.

The Video:

You know Its not the lie itself, its how blatant the lie is that really strikes me. It’s almost Soviet in its nature.

If this goes on much longer I’ll have to give in to the opinions of friends of mine.

Update: This sounds soviet like too:

Antigua’s highest mountain officially became “Mount Obama” on Tuesday as the small Caribbean nation celebrated the American president on his birthday and saluted him as a symbol of black achievement.

What a joke.