What Socialism does is, it destroys the soul. It puts just enough money in the bank account, but bankrupts the spirit. And eventually, as we saw with the Soviet Union, even the meager rations provided eventually run out too.
It kills your spirit by telling you that you are not responsible, cannot make your own decisions, and can’t care for yourself, and that you have the State – and not God, your parents, and your fellow man – to thank for your existence.
I’m not a libertarian. I believe that we need a government backstop when circumstances have left people in desperate straits, and family and private charity can’t or don’t provide enough. For most, the help should be temporary. For some, particularly ailing seniors, it may have to be permanent. But it must be as limited as possible.
But that’s not what President Obama – and his Obamacare – are about. He seeks a broad government intrusion into our lives aimed to hook us on the ingeniousness of the utopian schemes of our betters on the faculty of Harvard University and in the Great Liberal Think Tanks of America.
As we stagger from fix to fix from our government pushers, our humanity will be subsumed to the narcotic effect of having others take care of us; the basic dignity of work and reward – the ancient instinct to forage and hunt for our own food and care for our own young – replaced by dependence on the state.
Dead Souls destined for Chichikov’s estate.
Here is one of the souls killed by Obama. It belongs to the mother of Nicole Hopkins, who wrote up her story in the Wall Street Journal. Below, a synopsis of the tale:
My mother is not one to seek attention by complaining, so her recent woeful Facebook FB +0.86% post caught my eye: “The poor get poorer.” It diverged from the more customary stream of inspirational quotes, recipes and snapshots from her tiny cottage in Pierce County, Wash.
The post continued: “I just received a notice: ‘In order to comply with the new healthcare law, your current health plan will be discontinued on December 31, 2013.’ Currently my premium is $276 and it is a stretch for me to cover. The new plan . . . are you ready . . . projected new rate $415.20. Now I can’t afford health insurance.”
Since she couldn’t afford the new plan offered by her insurer, she told me she was eager to explore her new choices under the Affordable Care Act.
The exchange had determined that my mother was not eligible to choose to pay for a plan, and so she was slated immediately for Medicaid.
“How has it come to this?” she asked in one of our several talks over the past few weeks about what was happening. When she was a working mother and I was young, she easily carried health insurance for our whole family. “How have I fallen this far?”
Unable to secure employer-sponsored health care, she had, until this fall, chosen to pay $276 a month for bare-bones catastrophic coverage. “I think that we should be able to take care of ourselves and to earn enough money to pay for basics, and health insurance is one of them,” she told me. For two years she had paid out of pocket for that plan, but now she is being told that the plan isn’t good enough for her.
The Sept. 26 letter from my mother’s insurer promised that the more expensive plan “conforms with the new health care law”—by covering maternity needs, newborn wellness and pediatric dental care. My mother asked: “Do I need maternity care at 52?”
Of course, Medicaid is not a new option for my mother; she knew that she was poor enough to qualify for cost-free health care. It was a deliberate choice on her part to pay that monthly $276 out of her own pocket. Clearly she had judged that she received a personal benefit from not being on Medicaid.
“I just don’t expect anything positive out of getting free health care,” she said. “I don’t see why other people should have to pay for my care, whether it be through taxes or otherwise.” In paying for health insurance herself—she won’t accept help from her family, either—she was safeguarding her dignity and independence and her sense of being a fully functioning member of society.
Now she has been forced to join the government-reliant poor, though she would prefer to contribute her two mites. The authorities behind “affordable care” had erased her right to calculate what she was willing to spend to preserve her dignity—to determine what she thinks is affordable.
That little contribution can mean the difference between dignity and despair.