Gird Your Loins

When a people passes the tipping point where more people are on the dole than off it, it becomes extraordinarily difficult not only to shake off deeply misguided laws (every generation has 'em), but to shake off the cultural lethargy that accepts as inevitable the increasing littleness and barbarity of our lives.

Centralized health care allows more accidental atrocities to happen because the government is so far removed from actual problems. As the debate was going on in Congress last week, several more examples we should have taken as warnings emerged from Britain's NHS.
  • Like this woman left to die because a government agency decided it knew better than emergency professionals and a widely accepted international system how serious a fall of more than 6 ft was and in tinkering with the system created a flaw in it.
the government committee which governs its use in this country decided that such cases should be deemed less urgent

  • the government declined to punish in any way people responsible for a hospital corruption scandal that left 1200 patients dead (apparently the system worked as it should!)
  • The NHS hospital system is notoriously slow, careless and unsanitary -and its bureacracy only has to handle 30 million people. We're going to centralize care for 300 million people. This is an enormous IRS expansion, not a health care expansion.
But the logically necessary and utterly unsurprising decline in care and increase in accidental deaths caused by centralization is not the worst thing. (What we have may be worthless, but at least we all have it, and that's a relief!)

The worst thing is that when you come to accept poor care as inevitable --as just the way things are and something about which nothing can be done-- you start thinking about life differently. Which is why it's a skip of about a half a beat from nationalized health care to nationalized euthanasia,as the Dutch, Scandinavians, Brits and now even our Canadian brethren are showing us.

We may hate the profit motive in health care, but the greediest SOB in a free market system has an incentive to improve care and standards. Bureaucracies have no such incentive, and the larger they get, the more people used to living under them accept death and decline as the easiest answer to everything. (Read that Canada link --it's a David Warren essay on this same topic). Abuse and neglect of elderly in hospitals? People dying of bedsores? Whatevs. You come to accept barbarity.

As Mark Steyn notes, it's a small world after all.
Look around you, and take it all in. From now on, it gets worse. If you have kids, they'll live in smaller homes, drive smaller cars, live smaller lives. If you don't have kids, you better hope your neighbors do, because someone needs to spawn a working population large enough to pay for the unsustainable entitlements the Obama party has suckered you into thinking you're entitled to.
I don't care so much about the smaller cars and houses. But I care very much about the long lines and long tax forms and spending your life answering to bureaucrats instead of living it. I fear an America become like Greece, where the economy utterly collapses and rather than rolling up their sleeves to reclaim their nation, the Greeks go marching in protest against program cuts. Hello...what part of this is a failed and bankrupt nation do you not understand? Give us more! Give us more! Give us more!

It's the learned helplessness, Stupid.