Socialized medicine intrudes on the march against Obamacare.

Socialized medicine intrudes on the march against Obamacare.

Socialized medicine intrudes on the march against Obamacare.

How to fix health policy.
Nov. 6 2009 11:11 AM

Government's Heavy Hand

Socialized medicine intrudes on the march against Obamacare.

Click here for a guide to following the health care reform story online.

Health care protest. Click image to expand.
Protesters near the U.S. Capitol rally against the proposed health care bill 

Observing the Nov. 5 protest march against Obamacare on Capitol Hill, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post momentarily turned his attention from signs that said "Stop Obamunism" and "National Socialist Healthcare, Dachau, Germany, 1945" to "a man standing just beyond the TV cameras" who "apparently suffered a heart attack 20 minutes after [the] event began." Here's what happened next:

Medical personnel from the Capitol physician's office—an entity that could, quite accurately, be labeled government-run health care—rushed over, attaching electrodes to his chest and giving him oxygen and an IV drip.

This turned into an unwanted visual for the speakers, as a D.C. ambulance and fire truck, lights flashing, pulled in just behind the lawmakers. A path was made through the media section, and the patient, attended to by about 10 government medical personnel, was being wheeled away on a stretcher just as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) stepped to the microphone.

Advertisement

Health reform advocates say the bill before Congress won't lead to a government takeover of the health care system overnight. But 10 or 15 years down the road statist intrusions like the one Milbank describes could well become commonplace. Beware.

E-mail Timothy Noah at chatterbox@slate.com.