By William Murray via WMD H/T Leslie Burt
The mandate drafted under Obamacare which forces church organizations to purchase health-care policies that provide for contraceptives and sterilization and abortifacient pills is just one small step toward Barack Obama’s hard-left goal of establishing a centrally planned society. The effect of the health-care mandates is more far-reaching than even critics first reported.
Under Obamacare, standards are set by bureaucrats, and all insurance policies must supply mandated services. Most likely the issue of contraception was the opening shot for Obama and his administration to soften up the opposition. The goal is rationing of care according to the “quality of life.” The quality of life concept is a leftist central planning goal that calls for “defective” babies to be aborted and care to be withheld in end-of-life situations to save government funds. As with central planning in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, health care will be available only for those who can continue to contribute to society. Moral issues are forgotten as they are not central to government.
Most conservatives point to Friedrich von Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” in the context of defending free enterprise. For example Rep. Paul Ryan is an expert on the works of Hayek and the economists of the Austrian School. But the thrust of “The Road to Serfdom” was not economic, but rather the loss of liberty under central planning. On moral issues Hayek wrote:
“What our generation is in danger of forgetting is not only that morals are of necessity a phenomenon of individual conduct but also that they can exist only in the sphere in which the individual is free to decide for himself and is called upon voluntarily to sacrifice personal advantage to the observance of a moral rule. Outside the sphere of individual responsibility there is neither goodness nor badness, neither opportunity for moral merit nor the chance of proving one’s conviction by sacrificing one’s desires to what one thinks right.”
At its heart Obamacare is a worst-case scenario of central planning, putting aside not only the will of religious organizations, but the self-determination of individuals as well.
There is no law forcing church organizations to supply contraceptives; this provision is not in the massive Obamacare law pushed through by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid. The mandate for contraceptives is a “rule” written by the Health and Human Services Department under the authority of the original bill. Obamacare gives HHS the authority to mandate virtually anything regarding health care. In the extreme, HHS could order that all costly attempts to save premature babies be stopped. Medicare already mandates that costly medical care for the elderly be restricted.
There are lists of approved Medicare services, and doctors may not prescribe anything that is not on that list for Medicare patients. This same central control is now becoming obvious in Obamacare. Central planning is not limited to just ordering individuals to buy insurance.
Going back to Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom”:
“If the law says that such a board or authority may do what it pleases, anything that board or authority does is legal – but its actions are certainly not subject to the Rule of Law. By giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.”
Pay close attention to this portion of the above quote: “… a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.”
Canada is defined as a democracy, but there is virtually no freedom of speech in that nation. Individuals have been fined for letters of opinion sent to newspapers. The courts there forced one man who was publicly critical of Islam to work in a mosque as public service. Democracy and liberty are not synonymous. It could be possible for an individual to have greater personal liberty under a monarchy than under a democracy whose bureaucrats have been given unlimited rule-writing powers.
The problem of the loss of liberty through central planning goes beyond Obamacare. Our Congress has abdicated its responsibility in many areas, giving the authority to bureaucrats to write “rules” that have the force of law, “rules” that if violated can bring about not only fines but prison time. The Environmental Protection Agency has jailed innocent land owners for such crimes as cleaning garbage from their property.
Oddly, conservatives have aided in the rush to central planning. Republicans in Congress have sworn off “earmarks,” thus giving Barack Obama and the bureaucrats the full authority to spend trillions of dollars a year as they see fit without congressional oversight. It is now Obama who decides which states get new bridges, not the Congress. Apparently, tea-party members believe that having Obama decide where to spend trillions of dollars is better than the “corruption” of congressmen trying to bring jobs to their districts. The tea party is unwittingly assisting in the creation of even more central planning.
The problem with Obamacare is not Obamacare. The problem stems from both major political parties moving away from the concept of individual liberty and toward central planning, whether it is George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” or Barack Obama’s attempt to control medical care for the entire nation from one central location in Washington, D.C.
We must heed the warnings of Friedrich von Hayek and dismantle the central planning monster we have created in Washington before it devours the last of our liberties.
William J. Murray is the chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based Religious Freedom Coalition and the author of seven books including “My Life Without God,” which chronicles his early life in the home of destructive atheist and Marxist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the woman who filed the lawsuit removing prayer and Bible reading from America’s public schools. Having lived the Ayn Rand lifestyle, he has a unique prospective of the political candidates.