Barack Obama has appointed another czar from Chicago: the new Food Czar Sam Kass. Officially, he is labeled senior policy adviser for healthy food initiatives, but he's joining the list of more than 35 czars given broad and unaccountable power over our lives, habits and spending.
Everybody laughed when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) asked Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan if it would be constitutional for Congress to order Americans "to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day." Kagan declined to give a straightforward answer, maybe because she knew that exactly that type of dictatorial mandate was coming soon -- in both Obamacare and a ukase issued by the new Food Czar.
Far scarier is Obama's appointment of his new Health Czar, Donald Berwick, to be the top administrator over Medicare and Medicaid. This is the most shocking of all Obama's appointments because of the life-and-death powers he will exercise, the huge sums of taxpayers' money he will direct, and the dishonest way Obama evaded the Senate's constitutional right to interrogate and reject him.
Obama told Joe the Plumber that he wanted to redistribute the wealth. We didn't realize what else Obama planned to redistribute.
Czar Berwick is on record as saying, "Excellent health care is by definition redistributional." He used this favorite Obama term in the context of praising Britain's socialized medicine system as "a global treasure" and "I love it."
Coincidentally with the announcement of Berwick's appointment, Britain's major newspaper, The Sunday Telegraph, uncovered widespread cuts in British health care that were adopted in secret and buried in obscure appendices and lengthy policy documents. These include restrictions on common operations, such as hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery, the closure of many nursing homes for the elderly, and a reduction in hospital beds and staff.
Berwick admits that redistributing health care means rationing health care, which is why he has been called a one-man Death Panel. Last year he admitted in an interview, "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care -- the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."
Note the imperial "we." That's the way czars talk.
Like a typical arrogant totalitarian socialist, Berwick assumes that smart bureaucrats should make life-and-death decisions and spend the money belonging to those they disdain as dumb, ordinary citizens. Berwick said, "I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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