Opinion: Stop equating socialized healthcare with compassion

by Peter Heck · Apr 7th, 2020 9:46 am
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For decades, there has been a mantra embraced and utilized by advocates of the nanny state everywhere: "never let a crisis go to waste." History demonstrates that the masses are most willing to tolerate, if not welcome, the intrusion of big government into their lives when they are panicked, fearful, or impoverished. It's one of the reasons why former President Eisenhower always argued that the best weapon against the advance of communism wasn't a strong military, but a strong economy.

You might recall that amidst the financial crisis of 2008, Barack Obama's chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel was caught using that phrase, as the administration foisted their infamous stimulus boondoggle that greatly expanded the size and scope of our regulatory state.

So it's hardly surprising that in the midst of our current global pandemic, those same voices are surfacing again, seeking to harness this crisis to deliver another big government encroachment.

I admit to being perplexed why anyone who believes in the necessity of more bureaucracy would be choosing this moment to start chirping. After all, was it not big government that somehow failed us in preparation, planning, and even a coherent strategy to deal with our current troubles? If the CDC couldn't identify COVID-19 as an emerging menace early on, if they recommended not wearing masks for months before suddenly deciding masks were an absolute necessity, the "give us more of that!" cry would seem a bit misplaced.

I could understand the libertarian crowd getting vocal about how privatizing these kinds of organizations would be a wiser approach than pandemic-prep-by-bureaucrat. But that's not what we're hearing. It's more government, more bureaucracy, more agencies, more task forces, and thus more red tape. How much? Oh, just the entire healthcare system. Former NAACP president and gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous not only advocates for it, but questions the Christianity of anyone who second guesses him:

The disingenuousness of this argument is almost impossible to measure. And frankly, I've had my fill of it to the point that if you would indulge me, I'd like to take a moment and blow it up.

Absolutely no one I have ever met, encountered, spoken to, or engaged has ever opposed the notion of "healthcare for all." Certainly not Christians. In fact, I would contend that other than a few, random, attention-seeking contrarians, it would be virtually impossible to find a single person in the entire United States that would say, "I think only some people should get healthcare. Let the others stay out of the way and die in a hole."

No one opposes healthcare for all. If you're a young person wedded to social media, just imagine that previous sentence featuring the little clapping hands in between each word, just to drive the point home.

We all want the best healthcare for the most people. And specifically Christians, since Ben brought them up, often sacrifice their time, treasure, and resources to ensure that happens. So if we're serious about achieving that mutually desired end, let's stop pretending otherwise, intentionally assigning bad motives to our opponents while we signal our virtue to anyone willing to give us a glance.

The disagreement we have is not about whether we want the best healthcare for the most people; it is over the best way to deliver the best healthcare for the most people.

Ben happens to believe that turning the health insurance industry over to government will accomplish that. Many of us believe, particularly in light of what is currently unfolding with our government's struggle to deal with coronavirus, as well as a litany of examples past and present that demonstrates the inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and ineptitude of big government, that such a move would actually hurt the cause of getting quality healthcare to the most people.

Our disagreement is over methods, not ends. I can't help but think Ben Jealous is smart enough to know that, meaning he is deliberately leveraging an intellectually dishonest appeal to both puff himself up and slander his opponents.

That tactic seems wholly inappropriate for one touting the "teachings of Jesus Christ," does it not?

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