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August 21 2009

Self-Determination: An American Value

Nicole Kurokawa Neily

IWF's brilliant chairwoman, Heather Richardson Higgins, has a must-read article in today's Wall Street Journal.

Heather reminds us that despite the squabbles over details, the truly horrifying part of "health reform" is what it symbolizes:

"These proposals are yet another manifestation of the no-growth, redistributionist mindset, combined with an elitist, authoritarian philosophy of government. To buy into them and ignore the reality they've produced elsewhere is to love humanity more than human beings, and value utopian ideals of equity over the tremendous individual costs they inflict."

"In these proposals, human beings aren't individuals with freedom to contract as they see fit and make their own best judgments, but interchangeable widgets for whom rules should be fashioned and enforced based on age, or quality of life, or some other metric. Bureaucrats would evaluate whether one is young enough to warrant a pacemaker or a hip, or sufficiently long gone from a hospital to justify readmission. Medicine would become a one-size-fits-all bureaucracy, not an art, in which the physician would face real risks for deciding that the bureaucratically approved ‘effective treatment' isn't what works in a particular case."

She delivers a devastating critique of the principles upon which the administration's plan is based:

"It makes no sense to try to achieve a bipartisan consensus when the fundamentals underlying the Democratic approach are so contrary to the entire foundational idea of who we are as Americans. We're the country that believes that individuals have the right not to have their decisions interfered with, and that individuals are best able to make those decisions that most affect their life and happiness. Nothing could be more central to that than the ability to control one's own health and the health options of loved ones."

As far as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are concerned, the Declaration of Independence says that "governments are instituted among men to secure these rights." Not to take them away.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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