Consequences of Universal Health Care: Huxley and Bradbury top Orwell and Rand.

I’ve posted here before about the probability that Aldous Huxley’s view of the coming dystopia is more likely to be right than George Orwell’s:  In short, absolute government control will not be hated, but loved.  The truth will be ignored and dismissed, and government censorship will be seen as a great good, not an oppresive act.

A recent post at The Freeman Online makes a similar case about government health care:

There is much talk of doctors’ leaving their profession if ObamaCare—that is, burgeoning government control of the practice of medicine—passes. However, the odds are great that although ObamaCare will pass, there won’t be any dramatic job stoppage. No Galt’s Gulch will form where masses of physicians on strike will live in peace and solitude, some building cars and others mining copper, all vowing never to return to medicine until their demands are met. Such is the nature of fiction. But the reality is much worse.

What will happen will be more insidious, though over time no less damaging. There will be an increase in early retirement, as more physicians tire of their jobs.  More will take time off and let their practices suffer at the margin. Patients will have slightly more difficulty making appointments each year–year after year–though never so quickly as to lead to mass complaints or a recognition that things are obviously worse.

The decline of the system will not be overnight — we will not wake up the morning after this bill is passed to see lines of prospective patients snaking around the block.  

No, if this measure goes through, the change will be gradual.  Few will notice or care.  The situation will persistently worsen, but it won’t be grossly obvious as Orwell thought or answered with dramatic resistence like Ayn Rand depicted in Galt’s Gulch.  It will be met with some petty whining reminiscent of the firefighter’s wife in Bradbury’s Farenheight 451 and perhaps some complacent, anti-individualistic bromides right out of Brave New World.

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