Over at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, columnist A. Barton Hinkle says our new health care system is another yank in the "one-way ratchet that tightens the yoke of government around the public neck." What will the next squeeze look like?
[T]he increased federal involvement in health care will become a pretext for increased federal involvement in -- well, everything. The reasoning will be that individual health affects health care, which is now a federal enterprise. And everything can be said, with more or less sophistry, to affect individual health. So "managing" the "system" will become the all-purpose excuse for dictating the manner in which you live your life. Witness the campaign against obesity: Because obesity causes health problems, and because the government spends money to treat those problems, you should put down that doughtnut, ma'am or sir. And hit the Stairmaster while you're at it.
And the logic of the "individual mandate," Hinkle argues, will not be limited to mere health care.
Congress will now begin debating whether to heap another indignity on the public for the sake of another ostensibly noble cause: preventing illegal immigration. Sens. Charles Schumer, a Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican, have introduced legislation proposing a spiffy new way to make sure undocumented aliens don't take jobs from U.S. residents who have their government papers in order. Schumer and Graham want to make every American citizen and legal immigrant carry a biometric identity card proving eligibility to work.
This is, in short, a national ID card. It is also a perfect distillation of Washington's approach to problem-solving[.]