Pardon me if I did not appreciate Nancy Pelosi and the triumphant democrats linking arms and proclaiming health care insurance "reform" as the new civil rights bill. I saw it just the opposite. Instead of liberating millions of fellow Americans from the shackles imposed by the majority, health care "reform" enslaves millions of Americans to the shackles imposed by the democrats in the congress. This is the opposite of what Madison and the founding fathers envisioned. They created a republican form of government with a senate to protect us from the tyranny of the majority. Freedom is not mandating that all Americans purchase a specific good - whether they need it or not - or else the IRS will visit you and the government will garnish your wages. Freedom is not the reduction of choice while forcing you into the arms of the government. Freedom is not limiting access to new drugs and procedures because they cost too much. But go look at medicare, medicaid and the VA and see that their choices and access are limited. Freedom is not driving private businesses out of business because of the imposition of costs. Yet this is what mandating covering preexisting conditions without raising the costs of premiums. Remember that insurance makes sense because you pay in premiums to be used in case you need them. It is not just showing up and saying "pay me even though I haven't paid in any premiums". That drives companies out of business. And because the democrats and particularly the president hate profits - hence the railing at obscene insurance companies profits even though they are low by any standards - they welcome the government takeover. Yet everywhere the government operates a business it does it at a loss and do it inefficiently as well. Margaret Thatcher said that socialism dies because if runs out of the people's money to spend. Well on the way, this government is going to set Americans against Americans. It will have this monster paid for by taxing only one group of its citizens not all. It has one group taxed to provide handouts to the others. One reason why the congressional black caucus with the exception of Artur Davis of Alabama and why the hispanic caucus voted for the bill is that they think their constituents in the main will be on the receiving end for the handouts rather than on the paying end. This will then start the country moving backwards to a racial/ethnic divide. We have made enormous progress but if the result of this legislation is to cast blacks and latinos as those with their hands out and whites as those who are paying for it (even though more whites will be on the receiving end) the those ugly racial/ethic divisions will once again divide us. Such will be tragic since the division should be those who take away our freedoms and enslave all of us versus all of the rest of us who love freedom.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com