Thoughts on Pelosi's comments

Monday, January 26, 2009 Comments

Just when I thought I might be a little overly paranoid about what happens when the government has too much control over the healthcare system, I saw this on the news this morning. It's been played over and over throughout the day, and this evening I saw that this has actually been removed from the stimulus bill. That's great, but I think it's still worth looking closer at this in the context of the implications of socialized medicine (aka universal healthcare).

Here's the video clip:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

This is really disturbing to me. It sounds great on paper to talk about everyone having "free" healthcare, but the reality is that it would be a disaster not only from a medical care standpoint, but just from the perspective of allowing the government increasing levels of control over our lives.

Over the years we as a country have often complained about the risks of having insurance companies making decisions about what kind of medical care their customers can have access to. Now imagine a government bureaucrat with that power. Scary thought, IMO.

Aside from the usual worries about what it would mean for waiting times to receive treatment, quality of care, and accessibility vs. rationing of care, as a mother of special needs children, I am particularly concerned about what the implications of socialized medicine would be for those with special needs.

Once the entire country depends on the government for medical coverage, how long will it be before the government starts discriminating against those with disabilities with regard to decisions on medical care because the cost is deemed "too high"?

Worse still, if the Speaker of the House can sit there and say with a straight face that family planning equates to reducing cost and is therefore a good thing for the government to be focused on, then how long before someone in the government decides to start forcing "family planning" on American citizens?

It may sound crazy, but it already happens in other countries. China enforces a "one-child" law, and in Belgium, the government can and has forced the killing of children with disabilities up to one year old in their efforts to "build a better society." In our own country, children who are found during pregnancy to have disabilities are routinely aborted.

Is it really such a stretch to fear that, if given control over and responsibility for the healthcare of all Americans, the government may one day decide that they have a right to make life and death decisions in the name of the "greater good"?

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