Earlier this week, doctors, nurses, and medical techs took to the streets in Albany, N.Y. to protest an edict by the New York Department of Health that all health care workers whether on public payrolls or private practice must be vaccinated for flu and H1N1 swine flu.
Does the federal government have the legal authority to order mandatory vaccinations? For employees and members of the military, probably. Mandatory anthrax vaccination for all members of the U.S. Armed Services has been upheld in federal court. Then again, how would you react to a mandatory order from your employer to get vaccinated? Private employers couldn’t do that. You would be protected by laws passed by government. The same big government that wants to order health care workers, whether employees or not, to get vaccinated.
All states require certain vaccinations of children. But how far should this go ? Combined injections, using thimerosal (mercury), expanding the traditional list (mumps, measles, etc) to HIV—-all these concerns have recently raised public doubts about mandatory vaccinations.
Those around when President Gerry Ford ordered mandatory flu shots for every American only to find that the shots killed more Americans than the flu did are justified in their continued skepticism.
There’s no denying the success of vaccinations to stamp out diseases like smallpox. What is driving doubts about vaccinations today is an increasing lack of trust in government at the same time as government seems willing to apply force, as in the New York case, to get the desired result.
Government compulsion is also the fist inside the velvet glove of health insurance "reform.". Growing public awareness of the extent government force will be the dominant feature of the "reform", has driven the recent surge of public opposition. And that was before we heard that there could be criminal penalties for not buying insurance.
When you cut through the different bills working their way through Congress, cut through all the speeches, all the charges and counter charges raging in the debate on health insurance "Reform"—at the bottom line is governmental force. A shift of power and money and choice from the citizen, taxpayer, and patient to Government.
Power to Government. In all the "reforms", the power to decide is vested in new (and expanded) government agencies with names like the "Health Choices Administration", which naturally means government will make the choice for you. The choice of what coverage you must buy and what you must pay for it, for example.
Money to Government. In every "reform" proposal, the deficit will not increase even as the Government spends a trillion (or two) more dollars on health care in the next 10 years. Oh, and the cost of health care will go down if the uninsured were insured–and subsidized from your paycheck. And Medicare will be better if $650 Billion is taken out of the Medicare budget over the next 10 years. This "tooth fairy" theory simply masks the many taxes (yes, even on people who make less than $250,000 a year) packed into these "reform" bills.
The Baucus "reform" bill even taxes medical devices and drugs, promising that prices for these things will therefore go down!
And choice? Well, health care will be available and affordable to all unless you get really sick and/or you’re old. Then, as President Obama said at a recent "town hall" meeting, "just take the pain pill." Keep you current private employer provided insurance? Sure — but don’t lose your job. Then you go into the "government option", a government insurance company which will tell you what coverage you get and what you will pay for it. Like the roach motel, once you enter the government plan, you can’t get out.
Governmental force can be found in nearly every section of the House version, HR 3200. There’s limitations on Doctor income, limitations on investments by doctors, limitations on hospital expansion, and regulations governing the extent of care, and the application of medicine for every case. The legislation of course authorizes a huge new set of agencies with the power to promulgate reams of subsequent regulations which will obliterate the doctor-patient relationship.
The same mentality that led President Clinton to blurt out that taxes were good because "we know better how to spend your money than you do" is evident today in the arrogant attitude that only this behemoth increase in government power can save us from our inability to provide health care to ourselves and our loved ones.
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter