Obamacare, Dinosaurs, and Legal Plunder
by

Behind all the political jockeying of senators on either side of the aisle over Obamacare is Obamacare itself, the highly controversial socialized medicine program that will come into further effect on October 1 and full effect by January 1. 

A majority of Americans oppose the law, as shown most recently by Sen. Ted Cruz who notably held the Senate floor non-stop from Tuesday afternoon up until noon on Wednesday—green eggs, ham, and all. Most of those in opposition do so with a similar train of thought: The law will end up hurting those for whom it is intended to help at the expense of everyone—a tell-tale sign that the law is, in fact, not a true law.

When he appeared some time ago on the John Oliver Show, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said that pro-Obamacare lawmakers appear to be suffering from “dinosaur syndrome,” adding that: “We have a lot of politicians who have really small brains and really big hearts. And they want to do what’s right, but I don’t think it’s going to work.”

The driving force behind the law, as Rand Paul sees it, is what Frederic Bastiat called in his foundational work, The Law, “misconceived philanthropy,” one of two reasons “legal plunder” occurs.

Legal plunder, Bastiat says, happens “if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong.” Thus true law is not philanthropic, but rather, “the Law is Justice” or the just securer of property.

Obamacare, out of obvious “misconceived philanthropy,” has taken it upon itself to achieve everything for everyone not through an option, but through a mandate. In essence, it is using the force of law to coerce people into cooperating with its program. That is not justice, nor is it the security of property. It’s the pooling—plundering—of property for an assumed greater good.

Scott Atlas, a Hoover Institute senior fellow and health care expert, catalogued in an article for Forbes the variety of reasons Obamacare is wrong for America:

The law is wholly unacceptable to the majority of Americans. It must be killed, overturned, destroyed. Not just because it radically reduces choice and restricts access to modern medical care. Not just because it represents an unwanted intrusion of government into the most personal decisions Americans are apt to make in their lifetimes. Not just because it threatens to squash innovation in medical care, the very lifeblood of the last 50 years of extraordinary advances in diagnosing and curing important diseases. And not just because it is already generating more expensive health insurance for many Americans, or causing many Americans to lose their insurance, or because it will be ineffective in reducing overall cost–embarrassingly, even admitted by CMS projections themselves. It must be completely overturned because there are better, more effective and frankly obvious reforms that can and should be enacted to lower health care costs while maintaining the superb, world-leading health care and choice that Americans enjoy.

All of these objections, applied more broadly, effectively rule out government control of the marketplace, particularly in health care. But they also afford us with the reassurance that there is indeed a better way.

“Compromise for the sake of compromise,” as Atlas puts it, results in “misconceived philanthropy” and “legal plunder” rolled into one. If they’re not the same with begin with, then such compromise is certainly an outgrowth of these things. 

As one cannot rob Peter to pay Paul, neither can one plunder freedom to make freedom.

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