★ Musings on Healthcare Reform

President Obama's attempt to implement a single-payer healthcare system in the United States has put our country on a collision course with economic disaster.  The consequences will be felt in every sector of the economy.  In addition, the President's plan will result in increased taxation for millions of Americans that will then be excluded from the program itself.  In a strong market, this plan would cause a recession.  In our current situation, the results will be nothing less than catastrophic. But there is a greater issue at stake here than the economy.  President Obama's plan threatens to fundamentally alter the relationship between the American people and their government.  Although Obama's previous policies have had a substantial impact on the way our government functions, their effects to date have been primarily confined to the automotive and banking industries.  I don't mean to downplay the impact, but there has so far been a buffer between most Americans' lives and the President's policies.  If Obama's healthcare bill passes, that buffer will be demolished.

There is the potential here for a very dangerous precedent to be set.  Few relationships are more private than the one between a doctor and a patient.  There is an essential privacy involved in American medical practice.  Obama's plan would destroy that privacy.  Suddenly every medical matter in the country would become the government's business, and that long-established wall between public and private health concerns would come tumbling down, as they have in Britain, Canada, and so many other countries.  And once the government is allowed to have a say in the relationship between a doctor and a patient, to have a vote in how people proceed with treating their medical conditions, then nothing will be off-limits to their inference.

Would this be in America's best interests?  Would it even be Constitutional?  President Obama doesn't seem to care.  He's made healthcare reform the central priority of his administration, and with his approval rating falling, he'll do all that he can to ram it through as soon as possible.