Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How Not to Object to Obamacare

Gentle readers will realize that SWNID is not shy in his opposition to the present direction of healthcare reform legislation. So we expect comments to stay on subject as we note the kind of objection that we think is objectionable, or at least off target.

Columnist Chuck Norris, whom we understand is a man of considerable accomplishments, today objects to a clause buried amongst the hundreds of pages of the House bill, namely, to support states in providing home visits to those homes expecting babies or raising young children.

For Norris and his crack staff of ghostwriters, such visits are the decisive step in Big Brother taking over parenting in our former Republic.

Well, Mr. Norris, we know whence this clause cometh, and we are more amused than alarmed.

The much-celebrated National Health Service of Great Britain is famous for its home visits, carried out by well-trained, thoughtful, committed nurses who advise mothers on matters of nutrition, safety and the like. A combination of grandmother-figure, big-sister-figure, health provider, social worker and snoop, home health nurses are among the most cherished institutions of the NHS.

One can argue their efficacy for promoting good health, but one can hardly argue that they've made Britains slaves. The typical home health nurse is about as threatening as a friendly neighbor. In fact, they're best seen as government surrogates for the same. Sometimes friendly neighbors become nosey neighbors, and sometimes they accuse falsely. But most folks would prefer to have a friendly neighbor to an indifferent one.

Should the government be paying for a function otherwise carried out naturally by family and friends? We doubt it, but it's hardly the equivalent of Pearl Harbor, or even the Stamp Act, to suggest that it ought.

As the debate winds its way through the dog days, finally to be forgotten when the NFL gets going, it will be important to keep the main thing in mind. The issue, gentle readers, primarily is not about what gets paid for but who pays for it.

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