Thursday, March 20, 2014

 Springtime, Civil War, Health Reform War

War is the health of the state. It automatically sets into motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government into coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals who lack the herd sense.

Randolph Bourne (1886-1918), American Progressive writer,  The State

This first day of Spring,  I’ve been reading Bruce Catton’s The Civil War (American Heritage Publishing Co, 1960).  The parallels between the Civil War and the Health Reform War strike me.

Spring, A Time To Go on Offense

In both wars, Spring  was and is the time to go on offense.  The roads are no longer muddy, and rapid advances are possible. The Obama administration is now unleashing all of its forces to gather more signup before March 31.  The opposition, composed largely of conservatives,  is spending millions running  negative ObamaCare ads to stem the advance of ObamaCare forces and is coming up with new alternative models of care.

Moral Causes

The national government in the Civil War had a moral cause, the abolition of slavery.   Now its cause is abolition of the uninsured . The  government seeks uniformity through coercive mandates and through the herding together of caregivers in integrated collectives.   The moral cause overrides all objections.

ObamaCare adversaries have a cause too - preservation of freedom, choice,  independence of  the individual,   and  unfettered capitalism.   Opponents of ObamaCare believe  in the marketplace, its capacity for growth, and in entrepreneurs who drive that growth.  The Obama forces say this philosophy is simply a retreat to the status quo and to an inefficient, abusive system that ignores the uninsured. Conservations insist coercive regulations and mandates stifle growth.

Stalemates, Reform Fatigue

The result of these opposing forces was and is stalemate.  Health reform fatigue is in the air. Until late in the Civil  War, victory was up for grabs.   Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation and his re-election in November, 1864 were the clinchers.   These factors, plus the resources of the federal government, plus confederate exhaustion,  assured victory for the Union.   Similarly the midterm elections of 2014 and the Presidential elections of 2016 will determine the fate of ObamaCare. Their is one crucial difference between the wars.  The Civil War led to an economic boom in the Union states. The health reform war has produced slow economic growth and economic stagnation - critical factors in election years.

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