Although I have little money and no staff and work a full-time job, I jumped into this gubernatorial race because of the conservative flame that burns like a fire in my bones and because I became increasingly disenchanted with Obamacare and Utah’s relentless Medicaid expansions.
If Obamacare is the Trojan horse of socialism, then state-run Medicaid expansion is the inside man for that insidious horse — all paid for by taxpayers. Given that every program or industry the government touches becomes worse and more expensive (case in point: Obamacare), why would anyone want the government to take over health care? Make no mistake — Medicaid is government-run health care just like Obamacare. And it is bad on so many levels; let me name just a few:
- There can be no end to the expansion. There will never come a time when every citizen declares, “I have all the health care I could possibly want for me and my family.” Yet that is the unreachable objective Medicaid expansionists ruthlessly pursue — at taxpayer expense. Every step of the way taxes will go up. Even if our tax rates hit 100 percent and the government were to confiscate our income and property — even then there won’t be enough gold-plated health care for everyone. It’s a bankrupt course of action that can only end in bankruptcy.
- When you provide something valuable and make it free, people take more than they need. It's Economics 101. Before my daughter left on her mission she was a medical assistant in a local clinic. One day she surprised me by telling me that Medicaid families come in all the time even for the smallest ailments — real or perceived. I wonder how many working families sometimes skip going to the doctor (or hospital) because they can’t afford it — all the while being crushed by high taxes that go to give free health care to people who believe they’re entitled to it.
- The process by which Medicaid money (and Obamacare and all entitlement funds) flows from earners to recipients is both inefficient and immoral. It starts by the government pointing a gun at your head and demanding more money via taxation. Try to refuse and see what happens. So the heavy, sticky hand of government reaches into your pocket and takes what it wants. And do they give you a "thank you" or a pat on the back? On the contrary; it’s more like a slap in the face, a scowl and the promise to return and take even more. After the gun to your head, the hand in your pocket and the slap in your face, off your money goes to be mismanaged and wasted by bureaucrats. And how much of your original money actually ends up helping sick people? A lot less than was taken! And do the recipients feel grateful for your sacrifice? No, because they’re entitled to every cent they got, and besides — what you did was not a sacrifice; it was a mugging.
There is only one solution to the nasty mess of government-run health care and entitlements: get the government out of it. That’s right, out! One hundred percent. As a Christian, I believe we have a duty to care for the poor. We do. Not government. When charitable giving provides succor to a soul in need, there is sacrifice, goodwill and gratitude. No mugging and no attitude of entitlement. It’s a sanctifying process for the giver and the receiver, rather than a demoralizing shakedown between a victim and a taker. And here is where the rubber meets the road: if the government stops grabbing taxes for the purpose of entitlements, people will be able to take home so much more of their own money that they will be far more willing and able to care for those in need. This is not only a better approach; it’s the only sustainable long-term approach that will work. Much like Ronald Reagan, I believe government is not the solution to our problems — government is the problem. Government has a valid role much like a sports referee: keep the game fair, enforce the rules and boundaries, and stay out of the way of the players. This is the essence of good, conservative government. We are losing our way in the wilderness of the left and need to follow the lamps lit by our Founding Fathers to get back out of that wilderness.
In this gubernatorial race, the people of Utah have a choice coming up of tremendous importance. We can vote for another four years of tax hikes, Medicaid expansions, Common Core and radical environmentalism — or we can recalibrate our state government to point true north: toward lightweight, low-cost conservatism.
Nate Jensen is a Republican Candidate for Utah Governor