In his latest column, Cal Thomas takes another swing at explaining the perils of health care. Last week, you might remember, he claimed that health care proponents want to kill off the old because we're evolutionists. This week, we're Hitler:
Anyone wishing to revise America's medical system and model it after the systems in Britain and Canada ought to thoroughly examine how those health care systems function before plunging into the same pool. A reasonable conclusion is that these systems require long waits and treatments (if you can get them) that are inferior to what's available in the United States, based on government "guidelines" that frequently approve care only if the patient is deemed "worthy of the investment."
As a symbol, Adolf Hitler has been overused, but the philosophy behind the horrors he unleashed can be found in the beliefs of some of those who would use the power of the state to determine who gets help and who doesn't.
The 1933 Sterilization Law was one of Hitler's first acts after taking power. Called the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring, it required compulsory sterilizations for those deemed by the state to be "racially unsound," including people with disabilities.
In a posting on the Huntington's disease Web site, Phil Hardt, who along with his wife visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington to study the Third Reich's view of medicine and the sick, reached this conclusion: "Perhaps when you reduce a human being to nothing more than an 'element,' they somehow become easier to abuse and later kill."
As with a journey, so it is with inhumanity: Both begin with a single step.
It's obvious, really. If you believe that health care is a commodity that people are only entitled to if they can afford to pay for it, and that the poor have only themselves to blame if they get sick and die from preventable and treatable illnesses, you're Marie Antoinette on the side of the angels. If, on the other hand, you believe that health care is a right that should be extended to everyone, because all human beings are - no matter how much they earn - unique, valuable individuals, you are looking to reduce human beings to elements, and risk becoming Hitler.