Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Medical Oppression To Which State Licensing Has Lead

     The state licensing of individuals in the medical and legal profession is against the very core principles of limited government. When any government entity can determine the composition and participation in a profession, it can also control how that profession is practiced. I have always wondered why the successful completion of medical and legal schools' requirements are not sufficient for those wanting to participate in those professions. Why the approval of bureaucrats is somehow more legitimate than the degree one receives from the centers of higher learning from which they attained the knowledge and skills to perform the functions of their chosen profession, is beyond me.
     This constitutionally ill-advised practice of state governments interfering with matriculation into certain professions is now being discussed as a means of forcing doctors to participate in ObamaCare exchanges, which they are fleeing like Leftists from the truth. This forced participation by the federal government will take the form of either federalizing the licensing of doctors or by the heavy boot of the federal government being placed on the throats of states through mandates aimed at compelling ObamaCare participation by doctors. Either way, the medical profession will essentially be transformed into an army of government workers who will be at the mercy of rules and rationing imposed by tax collectors and bureaucrats.
     It was not until the late 1800s that states began to license doctors and control the profession, originally to improve the quality of medical standards. But now, combined with ObamaCare, licensing could result in actually lowering both the standards and delivery of care. President Obama himself illustrated this in his response to a woman at a town hall meeting in 2009 when she asked if her ninety year old mother's will to live could be taken into account when determining if she could receive a pacemaker. He basically told the woman that her mother's age had to be the only determinant for receiving care, and the best that could be done for her is to administer a pain pill and send her home to die.
     Another more recent example is that of Sarah Murnaghan, a ten year old Pennsylvania girl who was facing sure death without a lung transplant. Her doctors determined that Sarah would be an excellent candidate for an adult lung, which often is not the case for young children. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, refused to allow the operation, saying that, "some people live and some people die." It took an order signed by a federal judge to overrule the Sebelius death panel of one, and thankfully Sarah is alive and doing well today, no thanks to the "compassion" of Leftist government policy.
     I understand that prior to doctor licensing in the 1870s, many people were practicing medicine who were doing more harm than good. But has not the maturation of the medical profession in the last hundred years mitigated and not intensified the need for government interference into this noble profession? Does any reasonable person believe that out from under the government's thumb, the medical profession would revert to 19th century standards and practices? To the woman at that town hall meeting, Sarah Murnaghan, and millions of other Americans, the government thumb on the jugular of the medical profession has now become the bane of quality health care that is medical oppression.

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