Charles Krauthammer’s latest column offers this advice:

It’s Halloween. There is a knock at your door. You hear: “We’re the government and we’re here to help.”

You hide.

With the Affordable Care Act failing beyond even the most pessimistic Republican’s worst nightmare, that’s sage advice. This, though, is the most disturbing information in Dr. Krauthammer’s column:

So that your president can promise to cover 30 million uninsured without costing the government a dime. Which from the beginning was the biggest falsehood of them all. And yet the free lunch is the essence of modern liberalism. Free mammograms, free preventative care, free contraceptives for Sandra Fluke. Come and get it.

And then when you find your policy canceled, your premium raised and your deductible outrageously increased, you’ve learned the real meaning of “free” in the liberal lexicon: something paid for by your neighbor best, by subterfuge.

That last clause in the last sentence reminded me of this famous quote:

As soon as A observes something which seems to him wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or, in better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X… What I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. he is the man who never is thought of…. I call him the forgotten man.

There’s a poem that goes with that famous quote. It says “If you promise to not tax me, I promise not to tax thee. Instead, let’s tax that fellow behind the tree.” That’s the essence of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, it can’t survive without the “forgotten man” subsidizing someone else’s health insurance.

In this instance, the forgotten man are really forgotten people. Specifically, they’re called “young healthies” by the pundits. They’re being counted on to buy health insurance they don’t need. If they don’t buy insurance in significant numbers, there isn’t a way for the government or the insurance companies to pay for health care of older people and/or people with pre-existing conditions.

Another forgotten man in this are middle class families who make too much to qualify for premium support but who’ve been getting squeezed with higher taxes and higher costs of goods. They’re getting hit with higher premiums, thanks to A and B conspiring to force the forgotten man, aka middle class families, into buying health care coverages they don’t want or might never need.

That’s why it’s wise to be suspicious of politicians promising free lunches.

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One Response to “Beware of politicians promising free lunches”

  • walter hanson says:

    Gary:

    One big point Charles is skipping over and it shouldn’t be skipped over is that we had to do this because there is something like 30 million uninsured Americans (the number was 50 maybe), but CBO predicts by 2020 when this law is fully implemented we will have something like 20-30 million uninsured.

    What good is this policy if it can’t achieve that key goal?

    Why tear apart the whole health care system for nothing?

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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