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Friday, April 29, 2011

Does the Liberal Left Really Believe In ‘Democracy’?

Discerning Citizen has posted an excellent piece on the dangers of liberalism to our Constitutional Republic--err, well, actually we haven't been a Republic in years. Our country has morphed into--what Thomas Jefferson feared--an Oligarchy.
I’ve never been able to figure out the liberal left. They say they support democracy, yet they are the biggest proponents of new bureaucracies that dilute the power of the people over their government. Enter Obama’s IPAB, or the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a new bureaucracy created in the Obamacare bill to regulate Medicare payments.

According to critics, IPAB will have the power to cut off treatments in the interest of Medicare cost-cutting, hence the label “death panel”. Supporters say the role of the board will only be to reduce Medicare costs by regulating payments. According to the New York Times, IPAB “cannot make recommendations to ‘ration health care,’ raise revenues or increase beneficiaries’ premiums, deductibles or co-payments. This increases the likelihood that the board will try to save money by trimming Medicare payments to health care providers.”

Even if IPAB really can’t restrict health care (which I doubt, considering it has the power to cut payments), just the mere fact that it regulates payments means it will likely drive many doctors out of the system. The more they cut payments to control costs, the less profitable it is for doctors to see Medicare patients. What does the government do then? Pass a law requiring doctors to be a part of Medicare? And what happens when doctors exit medicine altogether because they don’t want to be forced to see Medicare patients at a loss? Is government going to pass a new law requiring people to become doctors?

This is a perfect example of how a government “solution” just creates more problems that demand more government “solutions”. It’s a never ending cycle of increased regulation that piles on year after year until the private sector is virtually frozen and unable to function. We would all be better off if the government would just stop meddling with health care. The private sector can provide all the health care that will ever be demanded, whereas the resources of the government will always be limited by its ability to tax, borrow, and inflate.

One of the scariest parts of this – and something people from both parties seem to agree on – is that the decisions of the IPAB panel will largely be beyond the authority of Congress or the judiciary to review. Essentially, this unelected panel will have the power to make decisions impacting your health care and you will have little recourse against them. Representative Allyson Schwartz, a Pennsylvania Democrat, had the following to say about IPAB:

"It’s our constitutional duty, as members of Congress, to take responsibility for Medicare and not turn decisions over to a board. Abdicating this responsibility, whether to insurance companies or to an unelected commission, undermines our ability to represent our constituents, including seniors and the disabled."

Wisconsin Republican Representative Paul Ryan agreed, saying we should not “delegate Medicare decision-making to 15 people appointed by the president.”

When the government takes it upon itself to govern over more areas of our lives, new bureaucracies have to be created to manage the increased governmental workload. These bureaucracies, by their very nature, are insulated from the people because the officials that run them are not elected by the people. Folks, this stuff is scary. What recourse do you have if some bureaucrat makes a decision that destroys your business or your health care? Who are you going to call? You could call your Congressman or Senator, but what are they going to do about it? They can’t just fire the offending official or override their decision.

The liberal left always says they believe in democracy, yet they’re the ones who are always pushing to create a more authoritarian government. It is not democracy or republicanism (which I prefer over democracy) to continually delegate the people’s business to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats working in some office far away in Washington.

The more we allow this to happen, the more the power of the people over the government is eroded.

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