In case anyone has missed it, Alabama seems to have taken a break from dominating college football to be the first of several states to lead a charge to overturn, or at least modify, the landmark Supreme Court abortion case Roe v. Wade. The next two years of court challenges set against the backdrop of a presidential election promise to make for tremendous political theater.
Still, the question of whether life begins at conception, heartbeat, birth, or preschool is only a small part of the even larger issue. The fact is, the loudest voices of outrage deriding the Alabama heartbeat law are the same voices that have been championing government-run health care for the past 50 years.
The irony is so thick that O’Henry may very well sue the Democratic National Committee for plagiarism. This is the ultimate paradox: How can health care be a personal, private, matter that can only be between an individual, a doctor, and—wait—the world’s largest bureaucracy?
Leaving the question of life to the pay grades where they belong, isn’t this dust-up the perfect example of the ultimate folly of the left’s dream? How can you champion the idea of personal liberty while ceding that liberty to a power that you cannot control? The government must take over health care to provide for all, but must not trample on individual liberties. Yet you cannot control how those in power will choose to rule—yes, rule.
No matter one’s feelings on abortion, it is fortunate that this issue is bubbling up at this moment. For the entire duration of the “government health care for all” debate, those in favor have either mocked the fears of those who oppose such government intrusion or dodged the question entirely.
A government that controls health care has the inherent power to control health-care decisions. Opponents of government-run health care have long argued that a government with infinite control yet finite resources will ultimately have to make choices about which procedures are covered and which are deemed unnecessary, unwarranted, or simply not financially practical. Much of the left has dismissed or ignored these concerns to date.
Now, they are forced to confront their most feared scenario—government intrusion into what they feel is a private health-care decision. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris has recently declared her ambition to end the private insurance market. Every other candidate for the Democrat nomination is in lockstep with that dream.
Should they realize their goal, end private insurance and institute government-run health care, then, necessarily, daily they will encounter challenges like the Alabama heartbeat law. How, absent dictatorship, can they guarantee that elected officials or unelected bureaucrats won’t go against their most treasured beliefs?
The Supreme Court will ultimately put to rest, at least for another generation, the abortion debate. What Democrats need to ask themselves is simple: Do they want to risk their perceived rights and liberties for a government-run health care system? A system run by government officials that will include people supportive of the Alabama heartbeat law?
They can’t have it both ways.