- - Monday, November 28, 2011

Obamacare is the Kryptonite of American politics: Not even Superman himself could survive touching this truly terrible law. Witness the latest voluntary victim of President Obama’s race toward socialized medicine: one Dr. Donald M. Berwick. Few are more deserving than he. Obamacare is heading for the ash heap of history, where it belongs, and so are the politicians who forced it upon an unwilling America. Good riddance.

When Democrats plotted to unleash Obamacare, they knew Americans would never accept it, so they chose, quite frankly, to lie about it. They claimed Obamacare would allow you to keep your current insurance and your current doctor. False. They claimed Obamacare would “create 4 million jobs, 400,000 almost immediately.” False. They claimed Obamacare would reduce the deficit. False. The list of their lies goes on.

When their utopian health care lies began to unravel, Democrats shamelessly began granting Obamacare waivers to their closest friends. About 1,800 and counting get-out-of-jail-free cards have been bestowed predominantly upon union members and other contributors to the Democrats’ big-government machine. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi managed to carve out waivers for her fellow San Francisco luxury boutique owners, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid landed a waiver for his home state of Nevada. Score.

When Americans finally had a chance to cast votes against Obamacare, the earth began to move beneath the Democrats’ feet. In January 2010, long-shot Republican candidate Scott Brown promised to be the “40th vote” in the Senate to block Obamacare, and the Massachusetts seat that liberal icon Edward M. Kennedy had held for almost a half-century flipped from blue to red. In August 2010, the bellwether state of Missouri, of all places, voted overwhelmingly 3-1 for an anti-Obamacare ballot measure. In November 2010, Democrats faced Obamacare Armageddon as voters gave the GOP its largest congressional victory in more than a century.

The anti-Obamacare earthquake continues. In the recent November 2011 elections, Democrats received an ominous sign in yet another bellwether state - this time Ohio - a state crucial to Mr. Obama’s re-election. An anti-Obamacare measure swept all 88 counties and won by an almost 2-1 margin despite very heavy union turnout. Now, even Democratic pollsters have taken the highly unusual position of pleading for Mr. Obama to step aside in 2012 for the good of their party and the country.

Obamacare is the albatross Democrats have hung around their own necks. It’s the Curse of Ham, King Tut and the Great Bambino all rolled into one. It’s the place where socialist political futures go to die. Obamacare is the Jonestown flavor of Kool-Aid. At the center of this collapsing health care maelstrom is the departing Medicare chief, Dr. Berwick, a man who leaves Washington just as he arrived: dishonorably. Mr. Obama ignored his own promises of transparency and installed Dr. Berwick as the head of Medicare under the cloak of a recess appointment, thereby avoiding a congressional hearing - until now. With his term expiring, the head of government health care has chosen to slink out of town rather than face public scrutiny.

Politically, White House operatives had little choice but to jettison the toxic Dr. Berwick, ironically for simply saying aloud what they themselves privately think.

Despite the Democrats’ stated position, Dr. Berwick has openly called for health care rationing: “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care - the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. And right now, we are doing it blindly.” By blindly, I presume he means without big-government’s control. Dr. Berwick doesn’t think much of you or your doctor. He declared that the “isolated relationship [between doctor and patient] is no longer tenable,” not without Big Brother calling the shots anyway.

Channeling Karl Marx, Dr. Berwick believes that “any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is, by definition, redistributional.” No Dr. Berwick, excellent health care is, by definition, excellent health care, not some politicized version where life-and-death decisions are subject to your socialist fantasies.

Mr. Berwick has made no secret that he favors complete government takeover of health care. “I am romantic about the [British] National Health Service; I love it.” He goes on: “You plan the supply; you aim a bit low; you prefer slightly too little of a technology or a service to too much; then you search for care bottlenecks and try to relieve them.” Hey, there’s an Obamacare slogan for you: Aim a bit low. Incidentally, one way the Brits relieve bottlenecks is to allow desperate cancer patients to die on protracted government waiting lists rather than provide them with care. The United Kingdom has 25,000 unnecessary cancer deaths a year, which would equate to 125,000 American deaths, given our larger population, and Mr. Obama’s choice to head Medicare, well, he’s romantic about it. By “it,” I presume he means the redistribution of wealth rather than the unnecessary deaths, but that’s not entirely clear.

In many ways, Dr. Berwick personifies the arrogance that has permeated Obamacare, but that’s not why he’s hitting the bricks. His cardinal sin, the one that cost him his job, is that he spoke truthfully of the Democrats’ socialist agenda. The president denies that Obamacare rations health care or moves America toward socialized medicine, so Dr. Berwick simply had to go. Of course, the inconvenient truth is that Dr. Berwick said all those things before Mr. Obama installed him as the head of our government health care system. Heck, they were on his resume. So you decide who’s telling the truth.

Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.

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