Elderly Couple Separated by Socialists
For two years this couple was not allowed to live together in the same residential care home. Why? Because government regulations allow two patients paid for by Medicaid but only one privately-paying patient to reside in that facility at the same time. This rule was meant to ensure that there are enough beds for poorer patients, who require government Medicaid funds. (Note here the moral mentality of the politicians who made this rule: If you can pay your own way, the government should limit your choices, to make the situation “fair.”)
For two years officials tried to figure out a way to get around their own stupid, tangled, and inexcusable rules. Finally, the Hawaiian state legislature passed a bill that created exemptions for married couples and others. So the good news is the Kaides are back together again.
And perhaps it’s also good news that this case could alert Americans to what their lives will be like if they further surrender their freedom to run their own lives to elites in Congress and the White House.
Already most government money comes with nooses attached to our necks. Schools that accept government funds or enroll students receiving government funds must sign on to a long list of rules; Hillsdale College and Grove City College are two schools that actually opted out by refusing to take any federal funds or students receiving such funds. Instead, those schools generously provide private scholarships.
The federal government collects gasoline taxes and then ransoms back the revenue to the states as matching funds for transportation projects, attaching requirements that, for example, the states must pay workers on those projects wages much higher than local rates—giving the states less bang for the buck.
And the federal government collects Medicare taxes from everyone’s paycheck but allows us to use our own money only under onerous restrictions. For example, Medicare dictates what treatment is allowed for what medical conditions for retired Americans. And part of the devil’s bargain is that retired Americans can’t simply pay out of their own pockets for extra treatment that Medicare refuses to pay for. You see, doctors who take any Medicare patients—that is, almost all of them—are not allowed to treat Medicare-covered patients except as Medicare prescribes.
Sure, if you’re rich enough you can simply let the government keep all that money it took from your paycheck over your entire working life and use what money you have left to get your treatment from the few physicians and facilities that don’t accept government dollars. But that’s not most of us.
This is the form of tyranny that Obama’s neo-socialism will take. Officially you are still “free” to seek health care, education, and other services as you please. It’s just that the government takes so much of your money that it’s nearly impossible for you to do so. And the government controls the suppliers of services as well, making them jump regulatory hoops, so they’re restricted in the services and terms they can offer you.
Even though the case of the Kaides ended well, it took two years for that couple’s family to change the law so that their parents could spend their remaining years together.
Now multiply such cases by the thousands or millions. That’s the world we’ll face if Obama and his cronies get their way and socialize all of healthcare, education, and many other sectors. And most of us don’t have the money, time, or political clout to fight every stupid government rule and regulation that limits our liberty.
Let’s hope, then, that every case like the Kaides' frightens our fellow citizens. All individuals who are not ready surrender their status of free individuals for that of servile subjects had better see and imagine clearly what’s ahead and oppose it now before it’s too late.
Hudgins directs advocacy and is a senior scholar at The Atlas Society, the center for Objectivism in Washington, D.C.
Statement of Policy.
Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.