Road Bump in Illinois

Monday, May 14, 2007

Socialized medicine, according to Glenn Reynolds, has "crater[ed]in Illinois".

But has it cratered in America? I am afraid not.

The Democratic House in Springfield killed the proposal [to finance socialized medicine], 107-0, after [Democratic Governor Rod] Blagojevich came out against his own idea when it became clear he was going to be humiliated. Only a month earlier he had said he was prepared to wage "the fight of the century" in defense of his plan to impose a $7.6 billion "gross receipts tax" on Illinois businesses.


But a funny thing happened on this road to Canadian health care. The state's more rational Democrats revolted, arguing it would drive businesses out of Illinois. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was an early opponent, and Democratic Lieutenant Governor Patrick Quinn was cool to it. House Speaker Michael Madigan very publicly withheld his support and last week came out against the tax hike.


"To describe every major CEO in Illinois as fat cats is a mistake," said Chicago Mayor Daley. "They don't have to be here. They can go to Wisconsin. They can go to Indiana. They can go to India. They can go to China. So if you want to beat up businesses, go beat 'em up, and when they leave, just wave to 'em and they're going to wave back to you." Even Jesse Jackson disowned the Governor's plan, noting that "We all want health care. But business closer is not good health." [bold added]
Call me crazy, but to claim that any Democrat is "rational" in this day and age is a stretch. This episode will not end calls for socialized medicine for the same reason my college physics professor had bullet fragments in his back from his successful attempt to flee Communist rule in Hungary.

To understand this, you must think like a Democrat for a moment. Socialized medicine is a "moral imperative" -- despite the fact that it entails making physicians and others into slaves -- and the ability of those who provide it (in this case, by footing the bill) to flee Illinois is what stopped this from happening.

Clearly, then, freedom, even the de facto kind accidentally produced by States' Rights, is the "problem". Illinois can't "go it alone" because of all those other, pesky, freer states. In the minds of the Democrats, we must have national socialism of medicine in order to "make it work" -- by making going out of state an impossible option. Besides, international trade, and therefore the protectionist measures that will prevent businesses from going overseas, can only be regulated at the national level anyway.

So mark my words. Socialized medicine has not really been defeated in Illinois. Anyone who takes this reversal as unqualified "good news" -- and today's issue of a certain newsletter was FUBAR, so I couldn't satisfy my morbid curiosity by checking it -- is delusional. This defeat buys us time -- perhaps -- and that is all. And we will lose even that if we allow ourselves, complacently, to think that the Democrats have suddenly gained a new respect for the value of freedom.

If a statist is thwarted by the ability of the people he wants to enslave to move, he will look for a way to keep them from moving. This is why my professor had metal fragments in his back, and that is why national socialist -- pun intended -- medicine is not dead. Statists close their borders for a reason. Illinois merely showed us what that reason is.

-- CAV

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