- - Monday, March 24, 2014

Emily Miller’s March 20 op-ed “Obamacare, a Trojan horse for government-run health care” comes close to telling the whole story, but doesn’t quite get there. Miss Miller quotes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as saying recently that Obamacare is a first move away from private health insurance and toward a government-run system. That inadvertently hints at the true extent and scope of liberal intentions.

These intentions date back to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, whose ambition was to nationalize all insurance, not just health care, and make government the sole provider. Knowing how difficult that would be to sell, he astutely chose health insurance as a start. Health care, having more emotional content than any other line of insurance, was the most politically vulnerable. That’s why former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton chose it for her attempt at nationalized insurance. Fifteen years later, President Obama seized on it for the same reason.

How do we know nationalized insurance is what they’re up to? Here’s the key clue: Neither Kennedy, Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Obama on the evidence of their slapdash, unworkable coverages cared one smidgen as much about health care as they did about government insurance control. If Obamacare had succeeded, the next move might well have been targeting automobile insurance. Organized demonstrators could kick off that initiative on the Capitol steps, chanting “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Allstate and Geico have got to go.”

Let the Obamacare trainwreck teach us something at long last. We should never tolerate an insurer who can legislate, compel purchase or print money. To prevent that, we need legislation (if not a constitutional amendment) stipulating that the federal government shall take no part in the insurance business. All authority to do so shall be delegated to the several states, as the 10th Amendment requires.

In effect, the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1947 lays down that principle, which is why we still have state insurance commissioners today. Obamacare is a wake-up call warning us of the need to strengthen McCarran-Ferguson and protect our progeny from further such incursions into their freedoms.

JOHN S. MASON JR.

Alexandria