Health Care, Drugs, and Limited Government
All eyes were on the Supreme Court last week as the arguments in the health care case were heard. Now we wait for a ruling, and there is much speculation around which parts, if any, of the ObamaCare legislation will be thrown out. In the midst of this waiting, I can’t help but wonder at the irony in conservatives’ arguments against the health care legislation.
Don’t misunderstand me; their arguments are valid. They say the federal government can’t constitutionally require the purchase of insurance, that increased regulation drives up prices, and that the individual should be free to choose the method of providing health care for himself or his family (and accordingly, be responsible for the choices he makes). And they’re 100% correct on all of these points.
But then many of these conservatives are the same people who support federal mandates regarding drug use. They say that the increased regulation is good because it keeps people off drugs, and that the War on Drugs is a valid, legitimate purpose of the federal government.
Consider for a moment, however, the similarities between these two issues: both involve a mandate from the federal government, both have to do with how citizens treat themselves, and both issues restrict the citizen’s freedom to choose to whether or not to participate in an activity.
We have concerns that under a national health care plan, someone other than the patient will be deciding proper treatment and rationing health care. The health care decisions we make should be our own. Take, for example, the controversial issue of vaccinations. The government recommends vaccination, though many people have concerns that vaccinations can actually do more harm than good. Our stance on this issue is that the government shouldn’t force vaccinations on us – that the choice is the individual’s, not the government’s.
How different then is the choice to do drugs? Both of these issues require a decision of whether or not to put something in your body that may or may not be good for it. How can we justify government’s mandate on one hand while demanding freedom on the other?
The root of these two issues is the same: freedom. Whether it’s the freedom to purchase (or not purchase) health insurance or the freedom to choose whether or not to do drugs, the arguments for one are the arguments for the other. Likewise, your arguments against ObamaCare are valid arguments against the War on Drugs.
So, conservatives, what’ll it be? Do you want more freedom or less? Do you want more government or less? Do you want more individual responsibility or less? You are right in your stance against ObamaCare, but the arguments you use against it are making you hypocrites on the War on Drugs.
These two issues are the same, so if you insist on opposing ObamaCare while supporting the War on Drugs, you need to ask yourself if you’re really in favor of more freedom and less government or if you’re just opposing something because it’s got “Obama” in the name.