With too little notice in the liberal press and too little public debate, President Obama last week put America on the fast track to socialized medicine with the goal of having legislation passed by Congress before the end of summer.
At issue is whether America will continue to have a largely free-market-oriented health-care system or a government-run system where politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., make the most fundamental decisions about how we enter life, how we leave it and how we are cared for when we are ill.
If Obama prevails, people who have so little respect for human life and private property that they approve of tax-funded abortion and tax-funded killing of human embryos will be empowered to decide who gets what tax-funded medical care and when.
Our health care will belong to the government just as surely as General Motors does.
Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland attended a meeting Obama held last Tuesday with members of the Senate Finance and Health committees, which have oversight of the health care legislation Obama seeks. She emerged with a message from the Great Nationalizer himself.
"He wants the bill through the Senate and the House before the August recess so we can conference and have it done in September and signed in October," Mikulski told Congressional Quarterly Today. "He said we needed to be unflinching and unflagging."
That same day, Obama released a follow-up letter he sent to Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., chairmen of the two committees.
The Great Nationalizer made two crucial points in this letter: He urged creation of a government-run health insurance company and accepted the idea -- which he claimed to oppose during his presidential campaign -- that the federal government should require all Americans to buy health insurance.
"I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans," wrote Obama. "This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive and keep insurance companies honest."
"I understand the committees are moving towards a principle of shared responsibility -- making every American responsible for having health insurance coverage, and asking that employers share in the cost," he said.
If Obama and congressional liberals have their way, two of the three elements of a fully socialized health care system will be locked into law before Thanksgiving. The government will own a health-insurance company, and the government will require you to buy health insurance. The only thing Obama and congressional liberals won't formally require -- this year -- is that you buy your government-mandated insurance from the government-owned company.
You will be "free" to buy private insurance. And this will facilitate the big lie Obama and the liberals will tell all summer long with constant help from the liberal press: We aren't nationalizing the health care system. This isn't socialized medicine. But government-owned health insurance will quickly become an offer you can't refuse.
If Obama gets what he wants, private health insurance companies will be thrown into competition with an entity that can draw on the entire taxing-and-borrowing power of the federal government to subsidize its product.
Employers faced with the choice of buying the more expensive private insurance or the subsidized government product will obviously gravitate toward the government plan. This will be especially true of large, public-stock companies run by remote corporate managers whose personal interest in profit may not be mitigated by any moral or sentimental consideration for their workers, most of whom they have never met.
If Obama prevails in the health care debate, the last surviving customers of the last surviving private health-insurance companies will be old-time American capitalists -- entrepreneurs who own their own companies, actually know and care about their employees, and see money not as an end in itself but as an instrument to be used in the pursuit a higher good.
The coup de grace for these old-time American individualists -- the type of people who built our country, made it wealthy and kept it free -- is already being calculated in the White House and on Capitol Hill, where they are talking about diminishing the tax exemption for the insurance premiums paid by corporations.
Obama and congressional liberals will demonize successful American entrepreneurs riding outside the socialist system as "rich" people whose "corporate" wealth can be tapped by eliminating their insurance "tax break" to pay for the government insurance of the less privileged.
Big business, having already dumped its workers onto the government insurance rolls, will crawl into bed with big government. Your liberty will be crushed as these behemoths embrace.
Socialized medicine must be stopped this summer -- or not at all.