Liberals' plan to reform the medical system has always seemed more an attempt to radically transform the nation than a good-faith effort to cut costs and expand coverage. Now they've confirmed it.
Today's Democrats aren't interested in constitutional or traditional limitations on government. They want to remake American life based on their notions of what's ideal, and they are more than willing to force leftward change on an ostensibly free people.
The loudest reaffirmation came Monday when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a group of bloggers that turning the Democratic Party leaders' health care overhaul into law would embolden them to drive America away from its roots of liberty and independence.
"Kick open that door, and there will be other legislation to follow," she said. "We'll take the country in a new direction." The message simply mirrored that of Obama a week before the 2008 election, when he said he was going to "fundamentally change America".
The only surprise is that the speaker from uber-Democratic San Francisco would be so frank. The country is already in open, though peaceful, revolt against her party's health care overhaul.
Declaring publicly that the left has plans to take the country unwillingly on some Great Leap Forward seems rather foolish. Does she believe the public will eagerly accept more central planning?
The left in this country has a history of largely moving down the political path slowly and quietly. And it's been a successful model. We are more reliant on government than ever. The Heritage Foundation's 2009 Index of Dependence on Government suggests America is on "the brink of complete dependency" on the state.
This is not a sustainable path for a democracy. A minority of productive citizens cannot support a majority of citizens subsisting all or in part on entitlements.
Forcing a health care entitlement that will cost $2.5 trillion in its first decade, according to a Cato Institute projection, will weaken our society so thoroughly that it might not withstand the next assault from the left.
The combined unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare — now at $107 trillion, according to the government's own estimates — by themselves are enough to sink us.
Right now that's the direction our country is headed. And without judicious intervention, it's not a promising future.
Conservatives like me believe that Obama and Pelosi's "new direction," which includes a government takeover of the medical care industry, one-sixth of the economy, would be the final nail in the coffin of America as we know it.