Here’s a short article that outs the truth about the Democrats’ health care strategy. They know the “reform” isn’t going to save money. They also know that it’s a huge leap with unpredictable consequences. But they don’t care, and their moment, they know, is now. For them, the issue is less about quality and cost than about being more equitable—putting everyone in the same boat. And so their goal is creating a huge and irreversible new entitlement that will make the middle class far more dependent on government. That will be permanent good news for the BIG GOVERNMENT party. The reason for the present Republican surge is that this isn’t change that most Americans believe in, although it is change they voted for (at least if any of them gave a moment’s thought to the more or less inevitable policy consequences of their votes for Obama and a Democratic Congress).

I note that, on the Front Porcher site, there’s a divide on this issue. Mark Mitchell wants health care deregulated and decentralized; he’s for localist subsidiarity. But Russell Fox has no objection to the nationalization of health care. He’s a Christian Democrat, after all, and that’s the way they do stuff in the European countries that recently were ruled and socially democratically reformed by Christian Democrats.

National health care is more Christian and loving or less capitalist, the thought is. It’s good to to use government to keep people from having to worry about what health care costs; health care is what every dignified being needs and deserves. But one problem among many is that Europe hasn’t been Christian Democratic for a while. And whatever the virtues of their health care plans, everyone knows they’re not sustainable demographically for much longer.

We Americans, at this point, will be spared the pain the post-Christian and post-democratic Europeans will experience when they’re stuck with weaning themselves off entitlements they’ve become very used to and can no longer afford. There might have been a real argument for us reforming in their direction in, say, 1958. But not now!

The genuinely subsidiarity-minded Porchers should be the most extreme opponents of the Pelosi/Obama health care reforms, even if they voted Obamacon out of anti-Bush spite or misty cultural concerns. Everyone knows that the EU has turned the idea of subsidiarity into a cruel joke for Europeans.

I’m all for subsidiarity as described by our philosopher-pope. And that’s why I’m not big on European cradle-to-grave dependence on government. In our country, for example, people still think, studies show, that old people are primarily the responsibility of their families, while in Europe people think the burden has primarily devolved to the government.

Articles by Peter Lawler

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