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ObamaCare in a nutshell

Here’s the book on American liberals: All in all, they are a good-minded group set upon the mistaken idea that big government (namely, Washington, D.C.) can more efficiently and effectively look after citizens than citizens themselves.

For them, the hive always knows best.

They think they can raise your children better; feed you better; educate you better; look after your health care better; and, without putting too fine a point on the mind-set, they think they know better when it’s your time to die.

In our time, there is no better example of this unbridled enthusiasm for Big Daddy Government than the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Thinking they were acting in the best interest of people, big government liberals — in this case every single one of them in Congress, a member of the Democratic Party — voted to ditch a highly functioning (though flawed in minor ways) existing private health care system and replace it with government-run socialized medicine.

My liberal friends hate it when I put it that way. But ever since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid let the cat out of the bag, all’s been quiet on the whining front.

On the Aug. 9 episode of “Nevada Week in Review” on VegasPBS, Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Steve Sebelius pinned down Reid on whether America must abandon private insurance as a means of accessing health care.

“Yes. Yes. Absolutely, yes,” said Reid.

So, without stretching the imagination, one can now glimpse where American health care is headed — think Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service.

If those are the models, ObamaCare won’t be efficient. It won’t be effective. Instead of creating excellence, ObamaCare will create long lines, a shortage of doctors and a substantial decrease in medical research and breakthroughs. Bad policy and bad medicine will ensue.

It has already started. Consider what ObamaCare has done to Deana Copeland of Cornelius, Ore. She takes care of her disabled 22-year-old daughter Andrea Hood. Andrea has cerebral palsy, spina bifida and automonic dysreflexia.

She requires 24-hour care. Her mother provides it and receives $1,400 for it under the current system.

Now comes ObamaCare, which prohibits a guardian from serving as a paid caregiver of an adult child with developmental disabilities.

Thanks to those who believe in big government, that mother in Oregon and thousands of other moms and dads around the country will have to put their children in some kind of foster care home or relinquish their guardianship to maintain what little government assistance they currently receive.

Now, you can say that this is just an oversight. Or, as the president calls them, “bumps in the road.”

But this hasn’t been the only glitch. At just about every turn, the implementation of ObamaCare has turned into a nightmare for scores of real people like Deana Copeland.

I expect government to fix this unintended consequence because it is so asinine, even for legislators like Harry Reid. But think about it for a moment.

How hard would it have been for good legislators to see that completely ridiculous “bump in the road” coming?

Not hard — if Reid and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had actually read the bill before they sent it to President Barack Obama. One can only imagine what other little “gifts” of ineptitude await us in the coming months.

ObamaCare, I’m afraid, will become something like the old joke about the man with an atrophied hand. In a selfish hurry at a healing service, he pushes his way ahead of those in wheelchairs and the terminally ill. He holds up his good hand and his bad hand. The preacher yelled: “Lord, make this man’s hand like the other.”

The man ends up with two atrophied hands.

That, friends, is ObamaCare in a nutshell — an ill-conceived rush job hatched from the hubris of good people from the government who want to help — even if it kills you.

Sherman Frederick, former publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and a member of the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame, writes a column for Stephens Media. Read his blog at www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/sherman-frederick.

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