In my latest Forbes column I argue that the progressive left is serious neither about universal coverage nor about civil liberties. If it were, if wouldn’t settle for the travesty in the Senate health care bill that would disbar undocumented aliens — er, illegal immigrants! — from buying coverage from the proposed exchange with their OWN money. What’s the rationale for the ban? Because, otherwise, they will indirectly benefit from taxpayer aid used in creating and running the exchange. But by this logic, I note:
should we, then, post sentries on federal highways to shoo off undocumented workers? Position guards outside pharmacies to bar them from buying FDA-approved drugs? Dispatch marshals to stop electricity generated by public utilities from flowing into undocumented households? What’s really driving the exchange ban is not concern for American taxpayers, since allowing people access on their own dime won’t necessarily add to the nation’s health care bill.
But that’s not the worst of it. The worst is that:
At the same time the government tells Americans how they must spend their money, thanks to the individual mandate, it will tell undocumented aliens where they can’t spend theirs. Government intrusiveness combined with government discrimination is not a formula for social justice….
…if universal coverage advocates accept the exchange ban, a sizable portion of the uninsured won’t just remain unhelped, they’ll be seriously harmed by being permanently locked out of the health care market.
The government hasn’t claimed the authority to selectively withhold access to public facilities since the Jim Crow era. But at least then it wasn’t using it for any high-minded purpose. This ban will institutionalize inequality in the name of greater equality. Is this a deal that progressives really want to cut?
Poor Dr. King. He must be spinning in his grave.
Read the whole thing here.