Unz Review columnist Dr. Boyd D. Cathey muses about another government power-grab called Trump Care. Naturally, he hopes it’ll be slightly better than the one to precede it. Dr. Cathey hearkens back to a different, inegalitarian time when the principle of noblesse oblige drove the faithful and the wealthy to take care of the needy. With the triumph of 19th century liberalism and the fanaticism of progress, the quest to level society saw the Church robbed of its lands and traditional role. Conditions soon arose that predisposed the downtrodden to Socialism, Communism and the modern welfare state.
Long, sad story; the end of history, but in a bad way.
Dr. Boyd D. Cathey:
“A large portion of ‘news talk’ yesterday and this morning has been about the repeal of Obamacare and its replacement by a Republican-sponsored medical program. The one thing that is crystal clear is this: whenever a new entitlement is enacted by Congress, whatever it may be, it is almost impossible to completely undo or repeal it.”
“If we consider, beginning at least a century and a half ago, the history of legislative initiatives—and not just in what is called euphemistically ‘welfare,’ but also in such areas as ‘voting rights’ and, generally, ‘civil rights’—passage of legislation, even if stoutly opposed and unpopular at the beginning, usually stands. I can think of only one major piece of social or political legislation, actually an amendment to the Constitution—the 18th Amendment, or “Prohibition Amendment”—that was ever repealed.”
“So, it should not surprise us that the Republican majority, especially in the Senate, will probably end up tinkering with rather than completely undoing the massive power grab by the Federal government known as Obamacare. Even in the House of Representatives many ‘moderate’ and establishment GOP solons fear an active backlash from frenzied Leftist demonstrators and, even more, negative characterizations and attacks by the Mainstream Media [MSM].”
“We shall be fortunate, in these circumstances, to get a modified bill out of the House, and who knows what the pusillanimous scaredy-cats in the Senate will do.”
“Right now, to listen to various pundits, it is the pre-existing conditions question that appears to be the sticking point. That is a central feature of Obamacare: that those already sick and already with an illness would be covered by healthy participants. But then, as anyone can see, this is not insurance we are talking about, but, rather, just another form of taxing the healthy to pay for the sick.
“The present Republican plan appears to separate those two groups of people, sets up a separate special fund for the pre-existing ill, with the hope that then the healthy folks remaining in the program can get much cheaper rates. State waiver permission would be given for those states that wish to operate the program differently.”
“It remains to be seen whether this approach will get through the layers of lobbyists influencing Congress and the abject fear that too many Republicans have of the MSM.” …
“… In any case, government-sponsored health care in one form or another is probably here to stay. And therein lies a long history of modern society that affects us all every day. …”
“IN CENTURIES PAST, it was institutions like the Church or local familial communities (especially here in the US) who were responsible for caring for the sick. My friend, the late Spanish scholar Rafael Gambra once prepared an extensive study of the Spanish Pyrenees commune of Roncal. For nearly 1000 years Roncal was almost a self-contained and self-governing entity, owing allegiance to the Kings of Navarra, but administering most of its local services by itself. The Church possessed about a third of the land, the municipality owned about one-third, and the rest was in private hands. Those families without a freehold had the right to graze their stock on both Church and municipal land. The Church, as part of its mission, maintained a kind of primitive medical facility, with both religious sisters and doctors who looked after the inhabitants. Payment was most often in goods, and, for the poor, the Church did not charge. That system was destroyed by the triumph of 19th century liberalism (in 1839) that expropriated all Church lands and municipal lands, then selling them to Madrileno capitalists. The result was that thousands of the poor, who had once had a stake in places like Roncal, were displaced and forced to migrate to industrial cities like Barcelona, where they found harsh impersonal jobs in factories at dirt level wages. And from that condition arose the eventual appeals of Socialism and Communism—and the modern welfare state–to the downtrodden.”