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Sign of the Times

August 2nd, 2010 by Myrhaf · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

I went to the doctor today. At the check-in desk a sign read, “ID REQUIRED. For your protection, the federal government requires that all patients provide photo identification when presenting for an appointment.”

A chill ran up my spine when I read that. Several questions came to mind:

1) What gives the federal government the right to dictate that all health care providers look at an ID?

2) Why would the federal government think this law was needed?

3) Why is it for my protection? If someone gets medical care under my name, that’s the clinic’s problem, not mine, is it not?

Statists of all parties will be thinking as they read this post, “Oh, come on! Don’t be such a paranoid right-wing extremist. They’re just checking ID. Who can object to that?”

Well, for two centuries checking ID was not a problem in medical care. Now for some reason it is mandatory. A doctor should be able to treat whomever he wants without following some goddamn bureaucrat’s order that he check ID.

I take this new regulation as a sign of what is to come with the federal government taking over health care. This new policy, as innocuous as it seems to statists, will have costs — and those costs were not incurred when health care was not controlled by the state.

Worse than the cost, this little dictation is symbolic of the greater dictation in health care we will all suffer. When the state controls medicine, it controls our lives.

100 years ago Americans would not have stood for this ridiculous dictation from Washington, D.C. Today? Hey, they just want to see some ID.

This sign is a little reminder that we are losing our freedom as the state gains power and marches toward the abyss of dictatorship.

7 Comments so far ↓

  • Andrew Dalton

    This sounds like the product of regulations enforcing “privacy.” Your privacy will be protected for your own good, by the government’s inscrutable methods, whether you like it or not.

  • L-C

    People become surprised when I react strongly to matters they deem too minor to get worked up over. But their lack of principles is exactly what allows the methodology of gradualism to do what couldn’t be done in one fell swoop.

    Fooling (or recruiting) a pragmatist is easy. Due to their refusal to look at kind instead of just degree, they have a certain “tolerance factor” under which one can remain and accomplish the most outrageous things. To them, there is no statist agenda, only acceptable concessions versus over-the-line transgressions.

    In reality, the only difference between the two is how quickly they are enacted. That the former inevitably turn into the latter – and were thus never acceptable in the first place – is something they are incapable of grasping. Doing so would require an understanding of, and commitment to principles.

    Thus your ID check.

  • Mike N

    Very perceptive observation. And right on the money.

  • c andrew

    Well, when they start denying medical care to people based on their lack of societal contribution, (See George Bernard Shaw*) they have to make sure they’re denying the right person, don’t they?

    *You must all know half a dozen people at least who are no use in this world, who are more trouble than they are worth. Just put them there and say Sir, or Madam, now will you be kind enough to justify your existence?
    If you can’t justify your existence, if you’re not pulling your weight, and since you won’t, if you’re not producing as much as you consume or perhaps a little more, then, clearly, we cannot use the organizations of our society for the purpose of keeping you alive, because your life does not benefit us and it can’t be of very much use to yourself.

    (I know that the left defends this as a reductio ad absurdum to point out the futility of the eugenicists’ program. But given other defenses he made of totalitarian societies I’m wondering if they are protesting to much. Unless Shaw was “all satire all the time…”)

  • Steve D

    There are significant numbers of people who have no ID. Does this mean they get no heath care?

    And if a doctor refuses to treat you if you have no ID, does that violate his oath?

    “People become surprised when I react strongly to matters they deem too minor to get worked up over. ”

    I don’t think this is a minor matter. I had the same reaction. Also a few years ago I went to the doctor and I saw a privacy statement posted which essentially said that you medical information would be kept private except… and then about 15 situations were listed when they would give this information to the government. I had the same reaction when I read that as well.

  • Jim May

    Due to their refusal to look at kind instead of just degree,

    This is a great description of what pragmatism does to the mind.

    There are significant numbers of people who have no ID. Does this mean they get no heath care?

    I’ve got a long post about this sort of thing that’s been percolating in my mind for some months now. It pertains to the continuing progress towards a society that is geared to make “secession” (which is something like off-grid living, but not quite the same) extremely inconvenient. Inn essence, they wish to make it impossible to enjoy the fruits of civilization itself — including especially the division of labor — without ceding key aspects of personal sovereignty.

  • Myrhaf

    Thanks to all for your superb comments. It’s good to know that others can think in principle. It seems to be an Objectivist specialty these days.