Ironically, the very first group to feel the effects of the pending federal government takeover of the health care system are among the closest political allies of President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—those who strongly support the cause of “abortion rights”.
Opponents of the latest House restriction on taxpayer funding of abortion are trying to argue that they merely desire to preserve the status quo. They apparently failed to grasp what conservatives have been warning them, and everyone else who will listen, all along—the status quo cannot, and will not, continue to exist. Change, as the President likes to say, is coming. Big Change.
When government is put in the position of making decisions about what will be funded and what will not be funded, that is exactly what it will do—decide what and who gets the funding. It is not a personal decision anymore; its not a market decision, nor even an economic decision. It’s a political decision.
Chances are that someone on the receiving end will not like those decisions. Today, millions of Americans in every other sector of the economy- with the notable exception of health insurance – can vote with their feet, taking their business elsewhere, and buying and owning a different policy. Tomorrow, there will be fewer and fewer choices. The authors of the House and Senate health bills will make sure of that.
Abortion was the first political decision on government funding of a “medical procedure”; it will not be the last. Want treatment for erectile dysfunction? Medicare and Medicaid will not pay for those drugs. Will the “public option”, the new government-run health plan? Who knows? The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services will ultimately decide. Patients will get what the federal government gives them.
Government will be making all sorts of treatment decisions for millions of Americans. Half of the people to become insured will be through Medicaid. Government has nothing to say about you using your own money for cosmetic purposes, but Medicaid will not pay for it. Will the public plan pay for cosmetic surgeries? What about expensive fertility treatments? Not covered by Medicaid. Medicaid will not pay for mental illness treatment for adults in an institution for mental diseases. What happens if your family physician does not take Medicaid because of low reimbursement rates? Can you pay extra out of your own pocket? No, not allowed.
Like the “abortion rights” supporters, many Americans will ultimately realize the health care legislation is not the change they were expecting.