When the awesome power of the state is used to do something good for one group of people, it must first do wrong to a different group. Medicaid Expansion, however, is an equal-opportunity offender, committing a terrible wrong upon both its beneficiaries and the taxpayers of this state.
When people are responsible for their own health care and pay for it themselves, they can live the lifestyle they please. But when people are dependent upon others to pay for their health care, those who pay for that benefit are entitled to and will impose lifestyle choices upon the recipients. This is the road to totalitarian and dictatorial rule. Individuals who are making the sacrifice of supplying the largess of this benefit will quite naturally expect gratitude and they will resent the attitude that it is a “right” for those recipients to demand taxpayers make even greater sacrifices. So, I would argue that this policy is not going to promote social harmony, but instead, increase division, resentment and unrest among the people of this great state. The inevitable result of this policy, notwithstanding its monstrous economic consequences, will be the state taking control of many of our life choices, and being forced to ration health care. The government will make so-called “best practice” health care decisions about smoking, eating, age-related necessities and other intensely private choices. Government will be making decisions about our lives and health based on economic and political motives, not medical reasons. Unelected bureaucrats, not your doctor that you were supposed to be able to keep, will be making life and death decisions about what treatment you will be allowed to have. That is tyranny. The result will be disastrous and prosperity crushing.
In 1776, the American Revolution began because the colonists resisted a government taxing them without their consent. What are we supposed to do when government imposes the tyranny of rationed, delayed and callous bureaucratic health care upon us accompanied by a high price? I urge you to close your ears to the siren call of “free medical care” for anyone. Nothing in life is free and Medicaid Expansion is a spectral and phantom attempt to create something that cannot succeed for very long. Do not succumb to the enticements of those who say, “We are doing good.” The road to Perdition is paved with the good intentions and soft mentality of those who believe that individual freedom, privacy and decision-making should be subordinate to the so-called “common good.” We must halt the slide down this path. Unfortunately, Medicaid Expansion will be the law of the land in Montana. I urge the good people of Montana to take note of those who voted for it and those who did not. I voted against. I stand by that vote.
John Fuller is a Republican representative from Kalispell.