The Trap and Tyranny of Free Entitlements

By: Terry Paulson

The Trap and Tyranny of Free Entitlements

Once you receive something for free from the government, who would vote for a politician who vows to take that benefit away? When Obamacare was passed, states that accepted plans to expand Medicaid enrolled many lower-middle-class Americans in subsidized medical plans funded by the government or, more accurately, the hard-working taxpayers supporting that government.

George Will, in Cato’s Letter, asserts: “What people don’t realize in this current debate about health-care is that even before the Affordable Care Act, 50 cents of every health-care dollar was spent by the government. The American people have very little skin in the game.”

George Will notes that our welfare system subsidizes two things that didn’t exist when Social Security was started—protracted retirement and competent medicine. When benefits were set to start at 65, the life expectancy of an American male was 65. That’s good planning—we take your money until you’re 65, and you die before you get any back. In 1900, only 18 percent of deaths were to people over 65. Before Social Security took effect, infectious disease was the big killer striking Americans of all ages. Today, because of improved healthcare, 75 percent of deaths happen after 65.

Why are state governors, Democrats and some Republicans, fighting the current healthcare plans being considered in Washington? It’s simple! Obamacare gave states a very good deal. Initially, the federal government promised to pay 100% of the bill for their Medicaid expansion to their citizens. Any cutback in Medicaid means that those citizens receiving expanded Medicaid coverage will either have to pay more for less coverage or state funds will have to be used to cover the cost. No governor wants to face irate voters who feel government took their entitlement away.

President Obama rammed through the Affordable Care Act on a partisan vote for one reason—to create irreversible momentum for nationalized, single-payer healthcare. He knew what giving more Americans free Medicaid would do. Once you get free healthcare, taking it away is impossible for politicians to risk—These people vote! Even if proposed GOP plans support Medicaid for those covered before Obamacare, they’re “heartlessly” taking critical coverage away from those added. You can hear the progressive whaling in the streets—“Once free, always free!”

There is no FREE healthcare! Someone is paying for it. Young Americans are watching premiums explode for their “required” insurance. But with many paying the penalty for refusing to buy insurance, Obamacare is failing. Without change, it’s those paying for their own insurance and taxpayers who are stuck with paying the low-income subsidies and the insurance company bailouts to keep this fiasco going. Don’t worry. What they can’t fund will just add to the national debt future generations will pay.

The GOP “bravely” voted to repeal Obamacare when they knew President Obama would veto their votes! To vote for repeal now means disappointing voters who love their “free” or near free coverage. Unless you want to grease the slide into single-pay healthcare, the GOP must have the courage to stand for what they promised as candidates—Repeal and Replace!

Frank Dowd, in a commentary in LBN E-lert, wrote:The Obama agenda…attacked the notion of personal responsibility, killed on the altar of universal ‘rights’ and the politics of victimhood. The Left preached that everyone has a ‘right’ to free child care, free health care, a free college education and a roof over their head. And that the State will provide no matter what, so there’s no need to save, no need to work hard or pay your mortgage or student loans. This is also the first generation raised by ‘helicopter parents,’ who did their part, however well-intentioned, to undermine personal responsibility. Too many of today’s parents do everything for their children and shield them from learning life’s hard lessons.”

Our Founding Fathers would have given some tough love to this generation: Life is and will remain difficult, but you are free. You’re free to take responsibility for your own life, your own insurance, your own healthcare, your own lodging. And if you need temporary help, humbly seek the help of your community to get you back on your feet. But don’t expect your neighbor to keep paying your bills. Grow up. You aren’t promised happiness, only the right to pursue it! It’s government’s job to ensure that you’re free to succeed, fail, and bounce back by your own efforts.

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