Human Exceptionalism

Obamacare: Nat Hentoff Fears Government

The civil libertarian Nat Hentoff is no right winger.  He used to write for the Village Voice and has long been one of the country’s most noted civil libertarians, most recently adamantly opposing President George W. Bush’s policies in what used to be called the War on Terror. But now, he’s really concerned.  From his column, “I Am Finally Scared of a White House Administration:”

I was not intimidated during J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI hunt for reporters like me who criticized him. I railed against the Bush-Cheney war on the Bill of Rights without blinking. But now I am finally scared of a White House administration. President Obama’s desired health care reform intends that a federal board (similar to the British model) — as in the Center for Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation in a current Democratic bill — decides whether your quality of life, regardless of your political party, merits government-controlled funds to keep you alive. Watch for that life-decider in the final bill. It’s already in the stimulus bill signed into law.

He mentions some of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s writing, which we have discussed here, and then recalls the president’s own words:

No matter what Congress does when it returns from its recess, rationing is a basic part of Obama’s eventual master health care plan. Here is what Obama said in an April 28 New York Times interview (quoted in Washington Times July 9 editorial) in which he describes a government end-of-life services guide for the citizenry as we get to a certain age, or are in a certain grave condition. Our government will undertake, he says, a “very difficult democratic conversation” about how “the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care” costs.

And he notes, kindly quoting yours truly, that the bill is only part of the issue. The rubber will really hit the road in the regulations, which will be created to further the purpose of the laws far away from the public spotlight.

That such a venerable pundit of the political Left is against Obamacare is notable. Indeed, it gives me an optimistic sense of hope and change!