My conservative cousin from New York finds support for my “these are the good old days” theme in Great Britian:
Your post on Obamacare was really on point. Once the federal government becomes so deeply involved in allocating health care, it will come to be a dominant focus of political discourse.
Over the years watching on C-Span the British Prime Minister’s Question Time, I’ve observed that a large portion of this exercise is devoted to specific questions about the quality care provided by The National Health Service in members’ districts. A question on the terrorists threats to the UK will invariably be followed by a passionate query from a Member asking the PM if he’s aware of nurses being re-assigned at a hospital in Sheffield. The PM seems to spend as much time on parochial health care issues as on national security.
The politics of deciding who gets what in the way of medical treatment doubtlessly will push aside traditional affairs of state. Every member of Congress will need to hire several staff members just to manage constituents’ complaints about their care. Elections will be won and lost on the basis of who can get the most in the way of health care for their districts.
We will become the Gulliver of nations, a great power whose leaders are tied up in strings as they spend much of their time addressing the medical complaints, valid and imagined, of their electorate.