The Corner

When Robert Reich Spilled the Healthcare Beans

This old clip from 2009 was thrown over my transom today. It is a bracing reminder of the stakes in this election, which might be the last chance to reverse course on further empowerment of government control over healthcare.

I had forgotten about it, but listening to lefty Robert Reich say what an “honest” (Democrat) presidential candidate would say if she told the truth, it is a good reminder of the health care mess in which we find ourselves with government controlled health care.

Reich believes that young people should pay more for healthcare–now occurring on schedule with Obamacare — that the elderly and sick should be denied life-extending care, and drug companies punished financially resulting in less innovation. From his 2009 speech (referenced in James Taranto’s column:)

Look, we have the only health-care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people. [laughter] That’s true, and what I’m going to do is I am going to try to reorganize it to be more amenable to treating sick people.

But that means you–particularly you young people, particularly you young, healthy people–you’re going to have to pay more. [applause] Thank you.

“And by the way, we are going to have to–if you’re very old, we’re not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It’s too expensive, so we’re going to let you die. [applause]

“Also, I’m going to use the bargaining leverage of the federal government in terms of Medicare, Medicaid–we already have a lot of bargaining leverage–to force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs.

But that means less innovation, and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market, which means you are probably not going to live that much longer than your parents. [applause] Thank you.”

The key words in that clip are: “We’re not going to give you…” Technocrats like Reich remind me of medieval lords, controlling all resources, they then decide your share.

In this regard, the power over life and death is the ultimate power.

Reich regularly writes about how the rich screw the rest of us. But technocrats like Reich are the real want-to-be screwers.


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