No moral grounds for Obamacare
By Jason Sagall
In the wake of the fiasco of the federal health exchange website, its crooked "navigators," millions losing their insurance and the scandalous "if you like your plan, you can keep it," we can expect President Obama to go to his moral defense of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) more zealously than he ever has.
So he goes, platitude by platitude: The health care law may not be perfect, but sometimes the good of the ends justifies an imperfect means; we each have a personal responsibility to do our part to make things work for the greater good of our country; if the health care law gets people the insurance they need, then it's simply the right thing to do.
As bromidic as it is, well-meaning people buy into that argument. Which is unfortunate, because the argument is not well-meaning. It serves to destroy every person's natural and constitutional right to be left free.
The defenders of that right are dubbed the "'I've got mine' crowd" by entitlement seekers who use moral intimidation to promote an invented "right" to health care. But the entitlement seekers don't care about rights, they care about wealth redistribution -- call them the "we'll get yours" crowd. And politicians love them, because they help promote big government.
In essence, the moral defense of Obamacare is nothing but an empty guilt trip with bad intent, as critical examination will reveal.
When someone says that the ends justify the means, he is admitting that he will allow himself to forgo justifying the means in order to satisfy his desire for the ends. "The ends justify the means" amounts to: "my ends justify themselves." That is, he is evading the responsibility of the moral judgment of his actions.
When someone asserts a "greater" good (or public/common/collective good), he is admitting that he will allow himself to rationalize an immoral act -- the act that tramples the "lesser" good -- in order to achieve his desired ends. "For the greater good" amounts to: "despite my immoral means." That is, he is evading his own judgment of the immorality of his actions.
Anyone concerned with the "right thing to do" must, first and foremost, refrain from initiating force against others. He must not view ends in isolation, severed from means, or try to weigh means and ends against each other. Means must be evaluated against a proper fundamental standard that governs human action. And means thereby judged immoral invalidate the ends.
Obamacare, like all redistributionist programs, turns morality on its head by holding need as the moral standard. This subjects anyone to the force and whim of a thousand masters, or a hundred thousand, or as many who declare such need.
That is the antithesis of a moral system.
Conversely, free-market capitalism is the system that gives morality a chance. It leaves each individual free to be his own master, free to deal with others by choice, in mutual self-interest. It is predicated on the standard of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all -- familiar words to Americans.
Indeed, the moral foundation for health care reform was already laid: the guiding principle is at the core of the U.S. Constitution.
Obamacare is bad constitutionally, economically, morally. It will not achieve its touted noble ends of protecting patients or making health care affordable. It is a scheme that sacrifices health care as a means of expanding the power of government and advancing President Obama's "greater good" -- his personal legacy. It robs us of our rights, our wealth and our health.
Jason Sagall is an analyst with Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. Copyright © 2013 Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. All rights reserved.