At the least, the Independent Payment Advisory Board should be allowed to offer changes in services and costs. We may shrink from such stomach-wrenching choices, but they are inescapable.
Once we turn our affairs over to the technocracy, bureaucrats even get to decide which of us has greater value and which of us can be kicked out of the lifeboat.
Technocracy is ultimately not about expertise but about determining the common moral values of society. It does not countenance competing centers of moral authority. It is no surprise that the first major regulation promulgated under the ACA by the Obama administration directly attacked freedom of religion by requiring sectarian institutions and private businesses to provide their employees free birth control and sterilization surgeries even if it violates their religious consciences.
Obamacare is also a splendid vehicle for imposing liberal social values that technocrats favor. Thus, the next time the Democrats enjoy one-party rule, expect them to amend the ACA first to permit, then to mandate, abortion coverage. Indeed, Obamacare could easily become the vehicle for enacting many profoundly culture-changing policies, such as requiring employers to cover free in-vitro fertilization, not to mention sex reassignment surgery, and eventually assisted suicide.
The issue isn’t whether there should be regulation. Only the most radical libertarians favor laissez faire. The concern is the Obama administration’s apparent eagerness to cross the border from reasonable regulation to the land of technocracy—and not just in health care. In this sense, the current election is about far more than policy issues such as taxation, spending, and terrorism. More profoundly, we will find out whether the voters are ready to allow a second term President Obama to transform Washington, D.C., into Brussels on the Potomac.
Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. He consults for the Patients Rights Council and the Center for Bioethics and Culture.