Letter to State and Federal Officials on Socialized Medicine
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Dear Governor, State and Federal Senators and Representatives:
I write to urge you to honor the solemn oaths that you swore upon taking office “to support, (protect,) and defend the Constitution (and Government) of the United States (and of the State of Florida)…” by opposing any and every proposal for health care federally funded, provided, managed, supervised, etcetera. Federal power over health care is clearly excluded by Amendment X: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Socialized medicine (and the socialization of any other enterprise capable of being carried out in the private sector) is simply wrong.
Socialism is a moral evil because it denies the truth known to all Americans that “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” In place of these unalienable personal rights Socialism substitutes some poorly defined concept—“the will of the people,” “the common good,” “the glory of the nation,” “the solidarity of all peoples,” etcetera—a concept that in practice can only be interpreted by those few people who deem themselves to be “the Elite.” Socialism takes away the unchanging rights given to each individual by “nature’s God,” replacing those rights with whatever seems politically expedient to “the Elite” at the moment.
This aspect of socialized medicine will certainly threaten the rights to life and medical care of preborn, neonatal, and infant children; of all who are perceived to have physical or mental “defects”; and for all at the stage of life where “the Elite” judge that the cost of further care will outweigh its benefit to society. In an urban society Socialist government considers even the able bodied as “superfluous eaters” if they do not fit in to serve “the common good.” Rather likely, a bill or two down the road, the mandatory “termination of unwanted life” will become part of the system. Even if such “terminations” were voluntary, it is inconceivable that physicians and other care givers could opt out of performing them—and, that in turn, will drive the good people from the medical profession and populate it with scoundrels. The government has no authority, moral or constitutional, to order the murders of innocent human beings, nor to make murderers out of those who would “do no harm.”
Socialism is a species of the sin and crime of theft in which the goods of workers and producers are appropriated by government and given to those who have neither worked nor produced. Though this theft may be conducted in kind, through excessive taxation, through the debasement of the nation’s money, or by saddling future generations with debt which they did not incur, it remains simply theft.
Although thought of by its proponents as a benevolent means to redistribute wealth, Socialism is a tyrannical means to redistribute misery. Socialism discourages production, so there is less for everyone—even the worst tyrant cannot “redistribute” what does not exist. Socialist planners cannot receive the intelligence that is provided by the market price system which signals producers to produce the kinds and quantities of goods that are needed by the economy—under Socialism some goods are produced to be wasted, while others exist only in scarcity. One need only remember the Soviet Union which could not feed its people despite vast natural resources. Misery is often a moral issue, trampling the human spirit and endangering the immortal soul.
Socialized medicine has already proven itself to be far too expensive for the people of the United States to afford. According to Richard W. Fisher, the President of the Dallas Federal Reserve (hardly a conspiracy theorist!), the unfunded liabilities for Medicare Parts A, B, and D come to an “$85.6 trillion bill. That is more than six times as large as the bill for Social Security. It is more than six times the annual output of the entire U.S. economy.” It is an “off the books” liability more than seven times the entire currently authorized national debt of $12.14 Trillion dollars. It represents care only for those who are Medicare eligible. Each man, woman, and child in America is already “on the hook” for about $280,000. Today there are about 45 Million people on Medicare. What would happen if socialized medicine doubled this figure? Or multiplied it by six or seven to include the entire population? Throw in a few dollars for people to house, clothe, and feed themselves and one has to wonder if there is enough money on the whole planet to pay for this scheme! And, if so, why would anyone give it to the United States?
Remember that, in response to the Bush‑Obama depression, the government has taken further steps to cut back normal investments in the private sector and to devalue the dollar. We appear to be repeating the folly of Hoover‑Roosevelt, a depression that lasted from 1930 until the early 1950s, when our reorganized private sector production was in great demand at home and in the countries ravaged by the war. Does anyone doubt that the war following the Bush‑Obama depression will be global in scope—does anyone think that the U.S. will be able to produce much of anything?
And, even without the war, will the American economy be able to survive the debacle of “Cap and Tax,” based as it is on the politicized “hockey-stick” science of the U.N. and that “Nobel laureate” with the $30,000 electric bill? Will the other economies of the world be so foolish as to follow our lead? Even if the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency?
The media “sound bites” (mostly of Mr. Obama) tell us that both do and do not (!) have a bill pending with rationed care, death panels, end of life counseling, direct withdrawal from the patient’s bank account, a data bank to hold everyone’s medical records, a government panel to review physicians’ performance and to direct treatment options, and probably a lot of other crazy things. It is a bit tough to know, for GovTrac.us reports that there have been 2,421 bills introduced by the current Congress that match the keywords “health care reform.” My guess is that “the bill” is Congressman Dingell’s H.R.3200, but that checks in at a hefty 1,017 pages, so it is rather unlikely that many will be able to read it anytime soon. But even if we could be assured that none of the objectionable items are contained in the current bill, I frankly do not trust the government to keep them from appearing in next year’s bill, or the one after that—if the bureaucracy is allowed in place, this thing will do nothing but grow in both expense and intrusion.
When I was a boy (1950s) we trusted our doctor to diagnose with a stethoscope, a sphygmomanometer, a tongue depressor, a small mallet, and a light he wore on his head. We usually recovered. Most people paid for their routine medical care out of pocket. It was in our interest to find good care for the least money—doctors were known to treat the poor for little or nothing (some still do). We carried “hospitalization” to pay for the more unexpected treatments requiring surgery. There were no heart transplants, but then the routine patient didn’t have to pay for his share of the heart-lung machine when he had an appendectomy—I like that concept because I would refuse even a free heart transplant.
But then Congress passed the HMO Act of 1973, requiring medium and large companies to offer Health Maintenance coverage as an option to the traditional “hospitalization” insurance. For little or no co‑payment one could have access to medical care, without any conception of what the financial arrangement between the physician and the plan might be. Why not see the doctor for every sniffle and itch?—it is free or virtually so. And no patient would challenge his physician about the need for this or that relatively non-intrusive test, as he would have done if he had to pay the bill.
The old system (of the 50s) might work again. A medical savings account could allow people to put aside money free of income tax for their out of pocket needs and drug costs. They could demand that the doctor prescribe something that is on the $4 a month list at the mega‑store, and seriously evaluate the need for exotic tests. Nurse-practitioners and nurse-midwives in private practice can certainly make a contribution, as the latter did not many decades ago. Hospitalization insurance ought to be fully tax deductible without any percentage exclusion. Paying for employee medical plans is fully deductible as a company’s cost of doing business—why isn’t the individual accorded the same treatment? And perhaps there ought to be a two-tier system for those of us who want to have our tonsils taken out and our babies delivered but who would refuse heart transplants and such.
Those of you who serve in State government have the multiple obligation of protecting the US Constitution, the sovereignty of our State, and the rights of our citizens. When tax monies flow from our citizens to the federal government to be doled out to the States the best we can say is that we must overcome yet another level of expensive bureaucracy. But when those monies are used to fund programs for which the federal government has no authority, the State looses authority over matters which it should control, and together with its citizens may be subject to blackmail for non-compliance with the whims of “the Elite.” Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” regarded it to be a duty of the States to challenge federal laws which exceeded constitutional authority. Perhaps the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions need to be taken down from the shelf and read again.
At the State level there is much to be done to reduce healthcare costs. Medicine is at least as much an art as it is a science. Sometimes a patient will be lost even though the physician did everything according to the best standards of the art. The negligent physician ought to be punished and his victims ought to receive fair compensation, not judged on the size of the payer’s purse. But the diligent physician ought not to live in constant fear of malpractice suits against which he must defend himself, or in the fear that his insurance company will settle any case that is cheaper than litigating. The science in modern medicine is generally expensive, and physicians ought not feel pressured to repeat expensive tests simply to insure against malpractice proceedings.
Once again, I urge you to oppose all federal involvement in our health care and to consider ways in which the federal government can begin to stand down from its present involvement.
/s/ Rev. Fr. Charles T. Brusca
 www.dallasfed.org/news/speeches/fisher/2008/fs080528.cfm (emphasis supplied).
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