Ah, the ironies of politics. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy, an early and steadfast proponent of national health insurance, turns out to have spared Americans from such a fate for nearly 40 years.
Once upon a time, so the story goes, the American pharmaceutical industry was a “wild West” in which greedy, unscrupulous snake-oil salesmen preyed on unsuspecting citizens. Average Americans, in the same tale, were incapable of sifting through the claims of drug purveyors and of determining which drugs were both safe and effective, and thus were suffering and dying in droves at the hands of these conniving profiteers. The happy ending to the story is that the federal government, in response to public outcries for salvation, stepped in and forced all drug manufacturers to prove their products were safe and effective before they could sell them; henceforth, Americans could be certain that no drugs would ever harm them again.
On March 9, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), referring to the then-pending ObamaCare legislation, said that Congress “[has] to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it, away from the fog of controversy.” Congress passed the bill shortly thereafter, and Americans have been finding out what’s in it ever since — to the dismay of both average Americans and Democratic politicians, whose poll numbers have fallen steadily since the bill became law.
Back in 2008, candidate Barack Obama said that his healthcare reform plan “would bring down premiums by $2500 for the typical family.” In February of this year he urged Congress to pass healthcare reform or else Americans would “see exploding premiums and out-of-pocket costs burn through more and more family budgets.”
Consumers have won a rare, if possibly temporary, victory for their own freedom to take a drug that has worked for them even if its effectiveness has not been demonstrated to the FDA’s satisfaction.
Everyone is familiar with the routine when visiting a doctor’s office: The doctor or his assistant checks the patient’s vital signs, then discusses any symptoms the patient is experiencing and examines him in relation to those symptoms. If the patient is anything less than healthy, the doctor prescribes a course of treatment.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is putting taxpayers’ money where his mouth is. On August 31, he signed an executive order directing state agencies not to apply for any discretionary funds under ObamaCare.
ObamaCare makes every American’s health the government’s business, but Barack Obama is not the only member of his family interested in employing the federal government as our national nanny. His wife, Michelle Obama, is equally concerned with using her own bully pulpit and her husband’s power as a means of whipping Americans into shape — for our own good, of course.
You may have been aware that the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Act, better known as ObamaCare, mandates that chain restaurants with at least 20 locations display nutritional information about the items on their menus. You may not, however, have been aware that the same law also requires vending-machine operators to display calorie counts for all items in their machines.
In a March 13 op-ed for the Washington Post, President Barack Obama’s lead pollster, Joel Benenson, wrote: “When it comes to health care and insurance, once reform passes, the tangible benefits Americans will realize will trump the fear-mongering rhetoric opponents are stoking today.”