Plan for mandatory state managed health system may be initiated
November 19, 2008
As if Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State wasn’t an unpopular enough appointment, consider that her likely alternative is to accept a role as a senior member of the Senate team aiming to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, a fact that should set alarm bells ringing given her track record in this area.
Clinton was offered the role by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who has announced plans to craft sweeping healthcare legislation next year.
Clinton has long pushed to expand the Federal government’s role in healthcare, indeed she made the issue a centerpiece of her presidential campaign.
A little over a year ago Hillary unveiled a $110 billion health care reform plan that would have required that all Americans have health insurance by law.
Clinton announced that under her presidency every citizen in the U.S. would have to enroll in a state-managed socialized health care system where regular check ups, including mental screenings, would be mandatory.
Hillary later remarked that anyone wishing to opt out of such a system would have their wages "garnished".
When pressed on ABC’s This Week, earlier in the year, Hillary said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that are possible, including "going after people’s wages, automatic enrollment."
Now she may have the opportunity to push the very same policy into practice.
The vision of an America where every citizen is forced by law to participate in health screenings overseen by the government should set off stark warning bells.
The level of micromanagement and the expansion of government into everyday life that this would entail represents the antithesis of the founding principles of a constitutional Republic and a free market.
It would create a government enforced legal requirement that everyone in America buy a product from a private insurance company.
There is also concern that such a mandate would be too financially burdensome for lower-income individuals and families.
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If Hillary were to pursue such a plan it would offer expanded versions of two existing government programs: Medicare, and the health insurance plan currently offered to federal employees. Consumers have a choice between either government-run program.
Clinton previously proposed covering the cost of such a plan by ending tax cuts to people who make more than $200,000 per year.
Clinton has said that such a reform in the healthcare system would ensure lower premiums and higher quality, and lessen the power of drug and insurance companies over healthcare choices. This is difficult to believe however given that Hillary has recently enjoyed a fruitful relationship with powerful health care groups, drug companies, insurance companies and their lobbyists.
Furthermore, what incentive will there be for big pharma to control prices of legally required consumer purchases?
During her tenure as First Lady, Clinton was also at the forefront of a similar and extremely unpopular socialized medicine plan that became known by critics as "Hillarycare".
One editorial in the Washington Post by University of Virginia Professor Martha Derthick stated:
"In many years of studying American social policy, I have never read an official document that seemed so suffused with coercion and political naivete … with its drastic prescriptions for controlling the conduct of state governments, employers, drug manufacturers, doctors, hospitals and you and me."
U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan added "anyone who thinks [the Clinton health care plan] can work in the real world as presently written isn’t living in it."
The plan ultimately collapsed under the weight of opposition and the fact that the Republicans won the 1994 mid terms.