We’ve seen this week just what sort of warped morality guides Barack Obama and his administration. And we’ve seen just what we can expect if we allow them to take from us our freedom to make decisions concerning, among other things, our own health care.
The rapacious gang in Washington wanted to generate $540 million in revenue by refusing to pay for treatment of military veterans who suffered disabilities and injuries in the line of duty. Instead, the Obama administration wants to force veterans’ private insurance providers to reimburse the government for such treatment.
This proposal was not some overlooked line in the recent spending-spree bill, which the Democrats who control Congress refused to allow anyone to read before voting on it. Rather, it was put forward in a White House meeting by Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki while meeting with an incredulous David Rehbein, the head of the American Legion.
Obama, who claims inspiration from Abraham Lincoln, clearly had forgotten the Great Liberator’s admonition from his second inaugural address near the end of the Civil War, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle.”
After several days of outrage from veterans and others, the administration decided to drop the plan. But this episode should not be forgotten because it showed how this administration is morally rotting from the head down.
First things first: The proper function of government is to protect its citizens. Soldiers in our military volunteer for this high calling. They risk and often lose their lives, and many of them come home with life-altering injuries. It is the moral obligation of government—to say nothing of the legal obligation—to assist those who have so suffered in their efforts to protect us.
Now consider what the Obama proposal revealed about the moral premises motivating him and his minions.
Here’s a president who pushed a so-called “stimulus” bill with hundreds of billions of dollars in new handouts and entitlements for those who haven’t earned them, appropriations that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy. Here’s a president who solemnly promised to go through budgets looking to cut earmarks, yet who just signed a $410 billion budget with nearly 9,000 earmarks, justifying his hypocrisy with a glib remark that it was “last year’s budget.” Here’s a president who wants to bail out individuals who bought homes they could not afford or who wanted to flip houses for a quick profit.
Yet here’s a president who would deny funds to those crippled in the service of their country and shuffle off the responsibility onto the shoulders of others.
This time the administration got caught and reversed itself. But this moral outrage should give every American a crystal-clear view of exactly what sorts of mentalities will be controlling their health care and making decisions for them if the Obama administration and Congress get their way.
It is already virtually impossible to opt out of the current government-regulated system if you’re a senior citizen. You’re automatically enrolled in Medicare when you retire and begin to collect Social Security. And if you and your doctor—virtually every one of them in the country—are taking Medicare money, the government will determine what you can be treated for and what sort of treatments are permitted. If you want to take out your own wallet and pay for some extra treatment that the government doesn’t authorize, forget it. It’s currently a crime.
If Obama’s callous policy toward wounded veterans disgusted you, consider what it will be like to have your health care controlled from cradle to grave by thousands of sanctimonious political hacks and stupid, incompetent federal bureaucrats.
If you don’t like the thought, you’d better take every opportunity to rub your fellow citizens’ noses in this and similar decisions by Obama in hopes that they will wake up to the awful smell of servitude and demand the fresh air of freedom.
Edward Hudgins is research director at the Heartland Institute and former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society.