Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 25, 2013

Just a reminder: Welfare-state government is a minister of death

Two recent reports make it painfully clear that collectivized, welfare-state government sees the people as either taxpaying assets or costly liabilities.  Welfare-state governments, whatever bromides they may utter for public consumption, have no hope for the amelioration or transformation of the individual condition.  The poor are assumed to be a lifetime liability, for example.  The fully-evolved welfare state pretends to make no judgment as to whether what it observes in this regard is what should be; it acts as if whatever is, is right.

If you’re old and sick, nothing you have contributed in the past is considered payment for your current burden on the public purse.  In any case, regardless of what you have done, the order in which you show up in the back of an ambulance could well dictate whether you live to see tomorrow or not – and that’s no big deal, because you were going to cost money at some point anyway.

Unconstrained by “religious” morality, welfare states propose to treat liabilities the way any organization treats them: that is, they propose to minimize them as ruthlessly as possible.

At PJ Media, Mike McNally has a summary today of a new report on Britain’s National Health System, the program that provoked so much dance-worship and so many strobe lights at the Olympic Games in London last summer.  The report details all the things we’ve heard about before.  McNally highlights this point (emphasis in original):

[A] controversial “end of life” care program for elderly and terminally ill patients known as the Liverpool Care Pathway is to be phased out, after it emerged that hospitals were abusing the system to hasten the death of patients by withdrawing food and drink.

This is arguably the greatest scandal: patients were starved and neglected not because of staff shortages or bad management, but as a result of deliberate policies aimed at freeing up hospital beds and saving money. Staff even received financial incentives for placing patients on the program.

“Deliberate policies aimed at freeing up hospital beds and saving money.”  (Even with the cost-saving and liability-shedding, it bears noting, Britain’s NHS is permanently in the red.)

With that in mind, let’s turn to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report from June that estimated late-term abortions save the government a lot of money.  CBO’s cost analysis for H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks, estimates that the current 11,000-odd late-term abortions each year in the U.S. save Medicaid millions.  Specifically, what we might call the “birth-liability” could add at least $225 million to the cost of Medicaid through 2023, if Congress can somehow override Obama’s promised veto of the 20-week ban.  (If a lot of women who would otherwise have had late-term abortions don’t have their abortions earlier in their pregnancies, but instead go ahead and deliver babies, the additional Medicaid cost could rise to $400 million.  Such is the logic of CBO scoring.)  Delivering all those live babies could also add $170 million to the cost of state health programs over the same period.

The leftosphere, filling its human-microphone role, obediently retailed the talking point that the GOP abortion bill would raise the deficit.  The alternative concept that government programs should not be paying for 40% of American childbirths, as they do today, is unimaginable to the left.  Once you’re fully bought into the welfare state, there is no appeal outside of its “poverty of resources” logic, and the argument from “saving money” can triumph over any number of moral concerns.

I hope it’s obvious from the CBO’s and left-wing’s treatment of this topic that America is already in the big middle of the great morality sell-out.  The Brits may have reached the finish line first, but we’re running in the same race.

That said, and in case you need more anecdotal evidence, consider the information I received this week from a correspondent, whose friend’s primary-care doctor no longer accepts Medicare.  This is the friend’s story (emphasis added; plus, I’ve left only capital initials for the names):

Last night JW was telling me about her internist, Dr. D, who has taken himself out of Medicare and has a direct relationship with his patients; he treats, they pay him. JW developed an eye problem. The eye doctor told her it was due to diabetes. That was a surprise to her since Dr. D had never diagnosed her as diabetic

She wrote him a letter telling him of the eye doctor’s claim. At her appointment with Dr. D last week she reminded him of her letter and that she had not gotten a response from him. He told her all the work he’s done on her has never shown her to be diabetic. Her eye problem can be caused by many things including high blood pressure which he has treated her for.

He went on to say that he threw the letter away because he didn’t want it found in her records and have diabetes attached to her in a national data base, thus determining what treatment she might be denied based on that info. He’s very protective of his patients’ records. Since he’s pulled out of the Medicare loop he’s not required to log patient information in a shared data base. It all remains between doctor and patient.

I’m sure there are many similar stories out there, as the provisions of Obamacare – such as the national database – kick in.  Obamacare is being built from the ground up to find reasons to withhold medical care from its customers.

And why should its perspective be any different from that of other welfare-state “health care” programs?  These programs are always sold to the public as a source of compassion and comfort for the sick.  But they inevitably become programs for minimizing national “liabilities,” because “governmental compassion” is a contradiction in terms.  Government doesn’t exist to have compassion; it exists to enforce.  That is its function.  When you turn health care over to the government, what you get is enforcement.

Some things, like cost-cutting and death, can be administered through enforcement.  But others, like compassion and sacrificial care, cannot.  We have before us the living proof of this unbreachable truth, in the death brackets represented by abortion-as-cost-shedding in the United States, and euthanasia-as-cost-shedding in the United Kingdom.  The welfare state’s inevitable end is as a minister of death, and we are on its doorstep.

Creepy NHS-worship at the opening ceremony, XXX Olympiad; Photo credit: J.S. Hong, AP (h/t Thoughts from a Conservative Mom)

Creepy NHS-worship at the opening ceremony, XXX Olympiad; Photo credit: J.S. Hong, AP (h/t Thoughts from a Conservative Mom)

 

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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Responses

  1. ObamaCare is the last concrete boot finally attached to the Great Society boondoggle.
    The welfare state crumbles right before our eyes.
    The Liberal Do Gooder Control segment of our country are still spending to fight the battles of the 50’s and 60’s. Straight Jacket Vision if you wish. Not to be confused with Tunnel Vision which does allow minimal independent thought.
    The Plantation of Detroit is only a harbinger.
    To paraphrase very an orthodox liberal TV type “It would be a terrible mistake to allow spending to decrease in Detroit. It would seriously hurt the local economy”.
    I hope some of the Global Warming/ Oh My God CO2 crowd end up with a Republican Death Panel facing a budget short fall.

  2. It is a rainy day in OKC. I make time to reply to myself.
    In the irony department concerning ObamaCare: (the President refers to The Affordable Care Act as ObamaCare in his speeches. Interesting on several levels) several unions have started to notice the “obvious” unknown un-intended consequences of the ACA. Namely their members premiums will go up or they will have to seek coverage in the mythical exchanges.
    Simply put: Unions begin to lose control of the membership and cash flow starts to dry up pretty quickly.
    President Obama “Union Buster”.

  3. ‘CBO’s cost analysis for H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks, estimates that the current 11,000-odd late-term abortions each year in the U.S. save Medicaid millions.”

    This is a perfect microcosm of Leftist thought. We have come to expect that the Left favors unfettered access to abortions. But a shocking corner was turned in my eyes when I saw several placards at the 2012 DNC that said “Abortion.” The Left had made the leap from supporting abortion “rights” to declaring that abortion was actually a public good. The Left sees every new person as a cumbersome addition to society who must now be cared for (a “mouth to feed” as NRO’s Kevin Williamson would put it). This worldview probably stems from the Left’s belief/desire that the state should be the entity from which the citizenry receives its needs. To think otherwise is anathema to the Left.

    Conservatives on the other hand don’t see every person as a “mouth to feed.” We see every person as having their own inherent worth, thus our revulsion to the concept of dealing death (like in the UK example above) or denying life (like in the abortion example above). What’s not at all referenced in the CBO on money saving abortions is what the aborted may have accomplished had they come to term and become adults. Has the future Steve Jobs been aborted already? How much wealth has the US/world economy been deprived of because the future Steve Jobs never had a chance to come to being? And one might add when discussing this with a Leftist – how much money has been denied to the state’s coffers because we will never see the wealth that the future Steve Jobs would have produced?

    I personally would like to see the govt get almost entirely out of the adminstration of welfare. No Medicare, no Medicaid, no SS, no Obamacare, etc…. I’m supportive of taxpayer dollars to provide for a safety net (not an entitlement though) and perhaps to subsidize private programs that assist the poor. And of course I’d want the govt to provide legal protections as needed. But as J.E. indicates above, govt involvement in these things becomes insidious, even if it’s not intended.

  4. “Welfare-state governments, whatever bromides they may utter for public consumption, have no hope for the amelioration or transformation of the individual condition. “

    Certainly true. However, welfare-state governments, more commonly known as Socialist States, do transform the individual’s condition, to the negative.

    That is because In any socialistic system, to retain its viability and ability to grant entitlements, necessary to achieve equality of outcome, its most fundamental tenet, it MUST keep from “running out of other people’s money”.

    To avoid that mathematically certain eventuality, it must incrementally seize more and more, until it has seized all income and material assets. France and Cyprus are early indications that the EU is close to its tipping point. It will either dissolve or move toward ever greater bureaucratic tyranny.

    As a socialistic system incrementally seizes more and more of the productive assets of a society, an equal but opposite reaction occurs and protests arise. To minimize protest, political correctness is imposed.

    As seizure of assets and protest are interrelated, increasing imposition of political correctness is necessary and thus ALL thought, speech and behavior MUST eventually be classified as either forbidden or mandatory.

    Thus socialism MUST evolve into a regulated tyranny, political correctness taken to its end state. Eventuating in an evolution of socialism into a de facto regulated, bureaucratic form of Communism.

    Communism is binary in nature; only what is forbidden and what is mandatory may be allowed to exist. Every aspect of life must be defined in one or the other category. Thus 1984 arrives…

    “We can’t expect Western societies to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders into repeatedly and gradually giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism.” – Nikita Khrushchev” Geoffrey Britain

  5. Despite our Constitutional guarantees, we are becoming more socialist every year. Socialism has gained ground with the American public because our over-regulated capitalism is failing to ‘lift all boats’.

    Corporate profits and the stock market keep hitting record highs because of the effects of qualitative easing. The Fed is ‘digitizing’ money out of thin air and aiding the Chinese in buying up our debt. Without that debt service, the entire house of cards collapses and, fiscal collapse occurs when sovereign bankruptcy is no longer deniable. Had Romney been elected, he would have had to continue the same Fed policies because it was far too late, long ago for fiscal restraint alone to correct our economic problems.

    Obama and the left believe the answer is socialism, a provably intellectually bankrupt notion. But if no democrat had been elected to office since Kennedy, we would still be headed down an unsustainable path. That is because republican’s fiscal schemes are as detrimental to the nation’s financial health as the democrat’s, just much slower acting.

    The Fed’s creation and actions since the 30’s, our fiat currency’s fundamental disconnection from reality, severe over-regulation and social entitlement programs that have cost three times as much as all our wars combined…have led to long term, incremental inflation that has destroyed 94% of the dollars value. The result has been the financial necessity of the two-earner family, near total stagnation for decades in the middle classes’ wages and the flight of manufacturing jobs from the US. We’ve become a nation of fast-food service workers and a financially privileged elite.

    Obama’s policies are disastrous for the middle class. So are the republican’s because the highly regulated capitalism they favor benefits those with financial leverage and keeps the middle class in the ‘hamster’s cage’.

    The low-information voter doesn’t understand why his dollar doesn’t buy as much, doesn’t understand the factors responsible for wage stagnation, doesn’t understand why manufacturing jobs are gone or why a two-earner household still struggles but they do understand that things aren’t working.

    And when things aren’t working, the panacea of socialism and entitlements with its scapegoat of the greedy rich becomes a viable alternative to the man exhausted from life in the ‘hamster’s cage’.

  6. It is also quite obvious municipal healthcare debt will transfer to the remains of Obamacare.
    Smaller bankrupt entities will simply move un-sustainable debt to a larger bankrupt entity for all working Americans to pay higher taxes.
    Presto! Problem mixed in with a much larger debt and in a relative way a very small debt. A smoothie resolution if you will.
    We don’t even have to say Bailout. The Obamanistas could simply re-regulate all printed and on-line dictionaries to omit the B word.
    The word doesn’t exist Ergo the problem doesn’t exist.

  7. I completely agree with the assessments made by Opticon and the Commenters — Obamacare will demonstrate that the Libs’ socialist dream is circling the drain.

    My sense, however, is that until the Worst Generation (my term for the Baby Boomers) dies off (probably expedited by Obamacare death squads), we’re not going to get change in this society. Our “hope” — and I’m not necessarily predicting success — will be in the younger cohort (today’s late 20’s and early 30’s) who will be paying taxes thru the nose for the benefit of the Worst Generation and may eventually revolt (hopefully by doing more than just shooting everyone in the Worst Generation).

  8. To comment further on your article: the abortion problem is a fascinating one. But for the moral problem (in my opinion, it’s murder, and naturally no one on the Left wants to admit that they’re part of a mass-murder movement), abortion offers a truly amazing return on investment.

    Planned Parenthood does about 300,000 abortions a year. Its budget is $1 billion. So each abortion “costs” about $3,000. Assume that 50% of abortions are of poor women. This means that the cost of eliminating a poor woman’s child is $6000. But look at the return on investment. The cost of pre-natal care, delivery, and welfare support for the child means that the $6000 cost is probably recovered within the first three months of what would have been the birth of the child. Thereafter, it’s all pure return. Years of welfare support; years of schooling; years of crime; years of imprisonment; years of yet more poor kids. It goes on and on and on.

    Like Johnathan Swift, I am not advocating abortion for any purpose, much less to cure our social ills. But a frank discussion of its costs and purported benefits might turn those who most use it now — the poor — against abortion. And it will be seen for what it is: a bizarre religious outgrowth of the Left’s women’s rights movement. All those middle-class white women pushing for abortions.

    Consider this: about 60% of abortions involve poor black women. If we’ve had 50 million abortion since Roe, that 30 million dead black kids. There are only about 40 million blacks in the US today. Talk about Margaret Sanger’s revenge. Maybe some black leaders should start thinking about what Roe has wrought for their people.

  9. Maybe people should realize that Neosocs (Neo-socialists) plans always result in deaths and lots of them.


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