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President Richard Nixon made wise remarks, offered good health care fix

June 24th, 2013 9:06 am by Larry French

President Richard Nixon made wise remarks, offered good health care fix

Dismissive attitudes, intimidation, arrogance, incompetence, a looming IRS scandal, Justice Department subpoenas, Benghazi and Lois Lerner’s lame attempt at the Fifth Amendment are but mere examples of the troubles plaguing an already abysmal Obama administration.
Unfortunately, while all this is taking place, Obamacare — helped along by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius’ fundraising underhandedness — is quietly moving toward full implementation in 2014.
By utilizing former President Richard Nixon’s book, “Beyond Peace,” let’s take a historical look back at what he had to say about the 1994 Clinton health care proposal and how explosively similar it is to Obamacare.
Of course, there are those who will find fault for my taking the Nixon route. Such are the dangers of writing opinions.
Nixon began by saying, “The litmus test applied to every federal program should be whether it advances freedom or restricts freedom. America’s health care system does need improvement, but it does not need replacement.”
If that was and is the case, why Obamacare?
Nixon went on to say that, “(America) set the standard of health care quality for the world,” and “we lead the world in medical research and development. We (also) make health care services available, one way or another, to virtually everyone, whether insured or not.”
Furthermore, “Most people of the older generation in America grew up without health insurance,” and “the costs of medical care were handled directly by doctors and patients. If patients could not pay for care, doctors provided it free. But one way or another, patients got care and doctors got by.”
As we know now, medical insurance is the norm, and some form of insurance coverage has become increasingly necessary.
In 1994, while referring to the Clinton plan (all 1,324 pages), Nixon stated, “(it wasn’t a) prescription for better health care (but rather) a blueprint for (a) take-over by the federal government ...”
While not trying to sound overly cynical, but isn’t this the formula of Obamacare?
“If we go down (this) road,” Nixon said, “we will destroy not only our health care system but the underpinnings of our free society.
“Under (Clinton’s) plan, Americans (will) be denied their basic right to buy the health care they want, even if they are willing to pay for it. This is the medical equivalent of establishing fairness in a basketball game by amputating the taller players’ legs at the knees.
“This sort of mass-produced, compulsory universal conscription flies in the face of everything it means to live in a free society.”
Again, mandatory Obamacare.
Moreover, one begins to wonder who the real architect of this so-called current health care bill really was or is.
Ah, but of course. We must first pass this bill in order to find out what’s in it.
Thank you, Nancy Pelosi.
As Nixon reminded us though, “(America has) the world’s best medical care because we have free markets in a free society. To throw that away in an orgy of politically correct egalitarianism would be a self-inflicted wound for which there would be no cure.”
We must then assume those who voted in favor of Obamacare were not concerned about self-inflicted wounds or cures, but only their self-interests.
Thank you, members of Congress.
Besides, “any sensible reform of the nation’s health care system must start with the patient,” Nixon said, and “not with the government.”
Nixon also warned, “The (Clinton) plan would reduce the high quality of health care that most Americans now enjoy (while) payroll taxes the administration proposes in order to pay for the plan would cripple small business and increase unemployment.”
And, because the 2012 Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare relied on a technical explanation of how the individual mandate could be categorized (the government’s power to tax), we are now beginning to witness those crippling effects.
“Study after study has shown that government health care schemes end up costing more and delivering less,” Nixon said.
Scheme being the principal word here.
Forty years ago, President Nixon proposed to Congress a comprehensive health care reform that included requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage for their employees, just as the government sets requirements for minimum wages and Social Security participation. Nixon did not endorse a wholesale federal takeover of the nation’s health care system, either.
He did, however, say, “employers would have been required to help pay for their own employees, not for all the indigent in the entire community.”
In other words, there would have been no redistribution of wealth.
Nixon’s proposal did not contain anything remotely like Clinton’s (or Obama’s) scheme of government-imposed monopolies to control the insurance process, government-imposed limits on private health care spending or a governmental body of absolute power to regulate what services can be provided.
It’s here that everyone over the age of 65 familiarize themselves with Section 3001(a) of Obamacare.
Clinton’s 1994 plan (and the current administration’s plan), by contrast, focuses less on improving health care delivery than it does on centralizing health care control.
The Nixon program was about health. The Clinton and Obama programs give every indication of being about power.
After signing the bill into law on March 23, 2010, Obama gloatingly said, “After a century of striving, after a year of debate, after a historic vote, health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land.”
And so the lingering question remains: Is it a mere coincidence that Obamacare is a mirror image of what Clinton proposed in 1994, or is it really more about an administration set on power and destroying a 237-year-old nation?
In case those in the Beltway forgot, our government is still of, by, and for the people.

Larry French of Butler teaches  composition and literature at  East Tennessee State University and Northeast State Community College. You can reach him at

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