Monday, September 03, 2007

Bend Over and Relax, Citizen

For someone who ostensibly wishes to become our next President, John Edwards certainly seems more than willing to shoot himself in the foot. Yesterday Edwards revealed another facet of his version of Universal Healthcare: forced medical evaluations of ALL Americans.
"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."

He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat "the first trace of problem."
For a proponent of Universal Socialized Healthcare, forced evaluations make perfect sense; preventative medicine is after all the best way to, well, prevent and detect illnesses before they become untreatable, expensive, etc. I don't have a problem with preventative treatment in and of itself; I go to the doctor yearly for a general physical exam. Since I'm self-employed, I also pay for my own health insurance. Of course, I choose to go to the doctor, and that freedom of choice is something that Edwards seeks to take away from me and from all Americans.

Unfortunately, not a single journalist that I could find, including the AP writer who wrote the linked article, thought to ask Edwards what would happen were an American to refuse to seek treatment. For example, would a Christian Scientist, after refusing medical treatment, be fined, jailed, committed, or what? After all, Edwards includes metal health screening and treatment in his authoritarian health plan:
Edwards said his mandatory health care plan would cover preventive, chronic and long-term health care. The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.

"The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death," he said.
Would refusal to imbibe the bitter medicine of the overarching Nanny State be regarded as a mental illness? After all, the State knows what's best for you. Every citizen in this country would be required to submit to government-run psychological screening. Would there be pass/fail standards? What would those standards be? What happens when a citizen fails? Would they be removed from their job, their family, or from society in general?

Universal healthcare is a slippery slope of socialism that leads to authoritarianism. Edwards believes that it would be both more cost-effective and simply better for the overall health of the populace to force all citizens to undergo preventative medical and mental health treatment. Using this logic, wouldn't forcing exercise and a government-approved diet also be cost effective and better for general health? After all, diet and exercise have been conclusivly shown to increase life expectancy and quality of life. Of course, citizens would have better health if they had better genes to begin with, so the government might as well begin to weed out all the impurities in the genetic mix. Not through executions or imprisonment, mind you, but because the government will have the health information of everyone on file, it should be relatively simple to allow only those couples with superior genetics to breed. Why not give everyone Soma while we're at it; we'd hate for all those Alphas and Betas to begin wondering why their government doesn't want them thinking for themselves. All in the name of national well-being, of course.

Were Edwards and his ilk to get their way, the Federal Government will know the intimate physical, metal, and emotional details of every citizen in this country, whether the citizenry wants those details known or not. Were Edwards and his ilk to get their way, a gigantic step in eroding the personal freedoms of all Americans will have been taken. Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and all their cronies would be proud. In Edwards' view,
"[E]verybody is worth health care."
Whether or not they actually want that health care, well, Edwards just doesn't seem to think that choice should be up to us. As Big Brothers to us all, he and the other authoritarian, liberal universal healthcare advocates know exactly how we should live our lives.

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