By Katie Kieffer
Mr. Forward, Barack Obama, is not forwarding health; he’s forwarding cancer. He’s on “one more campaign” to pitch ObamaCare, which is quickly metastasizing into ObamaCancer. Where’s our hope for a cure?
Two weeks ago, President Obama said: “I’ve run my last political campaign, but I’ve got one more campaign in me, and that’s making sure that this law [ObamaCare] works.” Last week, The New York Times reported that Obama has enlisted celebrities and groups like AARP to help him recruit young and healthy Americans to sign up for (and subsidize) ObamaCare. AARP is literally encouraging its members who are mothers to send their children e-cards and invite them to sign up for ObamaCare!
Isn’t that sweet? Obama and AARP “care enough” to take over Hallmark Greeting Cards! It’s embarrassing to watch the President of the United States try to cover up his lies (i.e. ObamaCare will be affordable! and You can keep your plan if you like it!) by recruiting AARP to bully mothers into sending Join ObamaCare e-cards to their children.
ObamaCare will expand our entitlement culture without solving the healthcare crisis for the poor or underinsured. We do need to improve healthcare, but ObamaCancer is not the answer. If the government cannot build a website, it certainly cannot oversee our personal health.
Before we can explore concrete solutions to ObamaCare—which I will outline in my new book to be published by Crown Forum, in the spring of 2014—we need to reflect on the philosophical sores that afflict ObamaCare. At root, ObamaCare is based on a philosophy of entitlement. Let’s explore why this is wrong, and then explain this to our fellow Americans.
ObamaCare Replaces Gratitude, Justice & Friendship With Entitlement
“Entitlement” is a word that signifies: “having a claim or right to something.” If you lend someone $100, then you are justly entitled to received $100, plus any interest, after an agreed upon time. This form of entitlement is proper. But, entitlement carries a negative connotation when it describes a perceived right or claim, which is the form of entitlement that ObamaCare encourages.
During Thanksgiving week, I reflected on the power of gratitude, a virtue that philosophers like Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas discuss in connection with another virtue, namely justice. Grateful people do not perceive themselves as having an unjust claim on another person’s generosity. Rather, grateful people are just; they recognize that their benefactors freely choose to aid them and they are consequently thankful for this aid—not presumptive of the aid.
ObamaCare attacks justice and gratitude—virtues that are foundational to our country—as well as friendship, which is a manifestation of the gratitude we feel toward God and our parents (for life) and our benefactors (for aid). How does ObamaCare do this? By trying to convince Americans that older and sicker people have a claim on younger and healthier people’s paychecks. After all, the only way ObamaCare “works” is if millions of young people sign up for overpriced plans. Some liberals tout this as magnanimous, but an action cannot be big-hearted, generous or virtuous when it is involuntary—when you are only “giving” because you are afraid of the IRS.
Gratitude is Owed to Individuals, NOT to the Government
Obama is picking up where he left off on the campaign trail in 2012, pressuring Americans to feel indebted to and grateful for Big Brother:
“Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. …If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”
“So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the G.I. Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. …and that’s the reason I’m running for President—because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.” (emphasis added) –Obama in 2012
It is fitting and right for us each to acknowledge and thank the mentors, teachers and benefactors who have helped us achieve success in our lives. Unfortunately, Obama conflated being grateful to individual people with being grateful to the government. He used false examples of government success, like the government “created the middle class” (actually, freedom allowed millions of individuals to create their own wealth and rise into the middle class) and “the government created the Internet” (actually, its framework was invented by a private individual named Bill Joy).
For five years, Obama tried to sound like he was promoting gratitude, but he was manipulating words and encouraging Americans to feel “appreciative” for the government controlling their lives. He pressured us to feel thankful for growing government jurisdiction when, in truth, we could be better off with more freedom to utilize our own ingenuity. As we can see from ObamaCare’s disastrous rollout and Obama’s broken promises—the government cannot “create” or improve healthcare. We need not feel beholden to politicians for wasting our money. Rather, we should be frustrated with Obama for destroying the economy so that our only option for health insurance is a big question mark with a bigger price tag.
Let’s encourage our friends to help us counter Obama’s repugnant philosophy of false entitlement with a philosophy of gratitude for our lives, freedom and resources—embracing friendship and justice—and we’ll be on the right path to finding a cure for ObamaCancer.