Beverly K. Eakman
The New American
November 5, 2009
Most people (including Members of Congress and the press) won’t read the nearly 2,000-page healthcare bill (“Affordable Health Care for America Act”: H.R. 3962). Consequently, like most Americans, they are oblivious to the elephant in the living room that’s about to transform the nation. While legislators shadow-box over public-versus-private options, trillion-dollar debts, and socialized medicine, tucked away in the bill under warm and fuzzy labels are numerous sops to the mental-health industry.
If enacted, these will serve to prop up an already misrepresented collection of disorders and channel ever-more-billions into the psycho-pharmaceutical industry that could be better directed toward research for cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and a host of other known, physical ailments that cost families a fortune and send their victims to gruesome, painful deaths.
Worse, however, is what this bill will do to America as a constitutional republic — and indeed what is left of the entire free world, since no doubt it will follow the United States’ lead. With legal legitimacy for unprovable mental disorders will come, inevitably, an excuse to marginalize individuals on the basis of conscience, outspokenness, and politics. Thus far, the United States has been among the few countries to dodge that particular bullet — even though we have been moving ever-closer for 40 years to that outcome via draconian measures aimed at instituting political correctness. But this bill will send the issue over the edge and discourage anyone from honest exchanges of ideas.
Most Members of Congress, unfortunately, rely on youngish aides to provide synopses of a bill’s provisions. Elected politicians, most of whom know little about medicine anyway, can hardly be expected to read and analyze a document that exceeds the size of War and Peace in the space of a few days, complete with technical and legal jargon. Their aides, unfortunately, are mostly products of a failed and politicized education system that has spent some four decades skipping over the particulars of our Constitution and the related debates of its Framers. So, to expect such individuals to catch mistakes that might compromise the health of the republic, not to mention the physical health of the populace, is wishful thinking.