Three COVID-19 Counterexamples: Taiwan, Singapore, and Sweden

“Can any governor or county executive simply flick his pen and shut every business even if it doesn’t create crowds? Can they unilaterally restrict every aspect of the Bill of Rights indefinitely without any oversight, due process, benchmarks, or transparency?

“In Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905), the Supreme Court … made it clear that there is a point where states can enact [public-safety] policies in ‘such an arbitrary, unreasonable manner, or might go so far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public’ that they would be outside constitutional bounds.[1] …​

“We’ve simply never done this before in our history. These are not mere quarantine laws that supporters cite to justify what is going on today. Quarantine laws traditionally separate an individual or an entire group of people from the general population. What we are doing now, however, is locking down the entire general population.”  — Daniel E. Horowitz, “Is this quarantine or tyranny?,” March 31, 2020

Judging from the transparency — or rather, the lack thereof — they’ve shown on both COVID-19 and “climate change,” the governmental “powers that be” expect us simply to take for granted that they know best about scientific questions — and (of course) that they have our best interests at heart. By contrast, we “little people” should consider ourselves too simple to comprehend scientific matters — much less, to take part in serious discussions of them. We should just trust that the government — and tax-exempt foundations set up by the wealthy — know best!

Specifically, and in the current case, we’re supposed to take it on faith that the near destruction of the whole world-economy, through “social distancing,” is scientifically necessary in order to avoid COVID-19 catastrophe. (Nor have they asked us whether  the COVID-19 catastrophe isn’t the preferable option!)

However, if the “powers that be” do know best and have our best interests at heart, then why haven’t we heard much about the sensible, non-draconian approaches of countries that have avoided both the economic and the (warned-of) COVID-19 catastrophe — for example, Taiwan, Singapore, and Sweden? And, why haven’t other Western governments been adopting such approaches — rather than the China-pioneered, general “lockdowns” and “shutdowns”?

Only one plausible answer to that question seems available: Whether “the powers that be” “know best” or not, we may rest assured that our best interests are about the furthest thing from their hearts. Let us, then, look more closely at Taiwan’s, Singapore’s, and Sweden’s successful — yet non-draconian — approaches.

Taiwan’s and Singapore’s Responses to the Coronavirus

The Establishment media have not been able to maintain a total “blackout” on Taiwan’s success in combatting COVID-19. That success is too remarkable and too clear.

However, though the media are now reporting on what Taiwan has overtly done to control the COVID-19 outbreak, for the most part the media have (strenuously, it seems) avoided mentioning what Taiwan has not been doing.[2] That is likely because Taiwan eschewed the almost universal, dire “social distancing,” “lockdown,” and economic shutdown the rest of us are supposed to endure.

“Quick action” and “aggressive measures” are what helped Taiwan — so they keep telling us. They highlight Taiwan’s advanced databases of its citizens’ travel histories, along with its ability to attach those data to the same citizens’ entries in the country’s National Health Insurance (NHI) database.  By limiting the discussion to Taiwan’s actions, mainstream media manage to color Taiwan’s successful virus-containment as a shining example of technocracy — rather than, one of government transparency as well — and much less, one of maintaining constitutional, limited government while quarantining individual dangerous cases.

It is true that Taiwan did take “quick action” — notably with regard to checking people arriving from Wuhan (ultimately banning flights from most of China), and in implementing short-term quarantine for people who had recently traveled from “level 3 alert areas.” In fact, Taiwan’s preparation for a new virus outbreak started in 2004, the year after the SARS epidemic killed 73 people there. Since that experience, “Taiwan has been on constant alert and ready to act on epidemics arising from China,” reports a Mar. 3 JAMA article.

Taiwan has been very careful about making sure (and strictly enforcing with penalties) that the risk cases, who are quarantined, stay there as long as assigned — generally, two weeks. It is also true that Taiwan appended to the end of the Lunar New Year holiday, a further two-week closure of elementary schools and high schools (classes resumed Feb. 25). Moreover, it implemented rules calling for additional two-week closures of any schools where cases of the coronavirus were detected.[3]

Currently schools’ policy is to take students, teachers, and workers’ temperatures. If fevers are detected, classes in that school are suspended, but massive class suspensions do not occur. At the same time, online teaching is being encouraged, but is not being forced by the government. In many Taiwanese universities, online teaching is being promoted in order to let those who are not able to attend class in person to take courses. Although it is true that online education as a way to avoid infections has already been adopted in other countries, the peculiarity of Taiwan lies in the fact that it has not been imposed by government order….​ The government’s transparency of information has also given the Taiwanese enterprises the time they need to voluntarily prepare and adopt teleworking progressively. — Javier Caramés Sanchez and William Hongsong Wang, “Why Taiwan Hasn’t Shut Down Its Economy,” Mises Wire, March 26, 2020

But the pro-active stance and quick action explain more about Taiwan’s extraordinarily low case-numbers, than it does about how they achieved them with only very limited impact on their economic activity (the only industry hit by government restrictions was the airline industry). After all, it’s not as if there was no introduction of the virus into the country: In an article unusually balanced for the Establishment-controlled media, the New York Times stated that “As of Friday [Mar. 13], about 58 percent of all confirmed cases in Taiwan were believed to have resulted from local transmission.”

Broadly speaking, Singapore’s approach has been parallel to Taiwan’s. In regard to schools, in fact, Singapore has shown even more accommodation of private citizens’ needs:

Large gatherings have been suspended. But to minimize social and economic costs, schools and workplaces have remained open. The Singaporean Ministry of Education — on an extensive FAQs web page — calls the closing of schools “a major, major decision” that would “disrupt many lives.” Instead, students and staff are subjected to daily health checks, including temperature screenings. — Benjamin J. Cowling and Wey Wen Lim, “They’ve Contained the Coronavirus. Here’s How,” New York Times, March 13, 2020

National Post article summarizes correctly that these two countries “seem to have found the sweet spot between a laissez-faire ‘it’s just like the flu’ reaction, and imposition of economically devastating lockdowns. Both nations have concentrated [not on imposing lockdowns and shutdowns, but] on strictly isolating people who have or might have COVID-19, tightly controlling international travel and zealously pursuing those who had contact with the infected.”

Sweden’s Thoughtful, Commonsensical Approach

In its particulars, Sweden’s approach has differed somewhat from Taiwan’s and Singapore’s. But like Singapore and Taiwan, Sweden took the traditional approach to what “quarantine” is — namely, isolating sick people, to keep their disease from being caught by well people. And although, like Britain, they do not claim “herd immunity” is their goal, they do recognize that the latter is the likeliest way for the outbreak to come to a graceful end.

Fredrik Erixon, a Swede who directs the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels, was eloquent on the real difference in Sweden’s approach:

Managing the virus is a long game, and while herd immunity is not the Swedish strategy, it may well be where we all end up. The theory of lockdown, after all, is pretty niche, deeply illiberal — and, until now, untested. It’s not Sweden that’s conducting a mass experiment. It’s everyone else.

The main advice from [Anders] Tegnell [who is Sweden’s “state epidemiologist”] et al is repeated like a mantra ten times a day: be sensible. Stay at home if you feel sick. Oh, and wash your hands. But individuals, companies, schools and others are trusted to figure out on their own what precautions to take.

This Swedish exceptionalism is about principle, not epidemiology. It’s true that we’re perhaps less at risk due to our high rate of single-person households and low number of smokers. Closing the schools would, as well, have a bigger impact in a country where almost all mums are working mums. But frankly, all these explanations miss the point: yes, they make us different to Italy and Spain, but not to Denmark, Finland and Norway. Sweden simply made the call to take measures that don’t destroy the free society. — Fredrik Exton, “No lockdown, please, we’re Swedish,” The Spectator (U.K.), April 4, 2020

Tellingly, even the website of the World Economic Forum — one of the foremost pandemic-fear stokers of recent decades — had a helpful post, basically admitting there is nothing faulty with the science behind Sweden’s approach.

The Take-away from These COVID-19 Experiences — Oh, and Hong Kong’s!

By no means have these three countries been left unscathed by COVID-19 (and/or similar viruses). But the important thing to glean from their experiences is what they tell us about what’s not necessary to fight this “novel coronavirus.” Specifically, it says that quarantining healthy individuals who have no known reason for being susceptible, is unnecessary — and thus, a gross infringement of basic liberty.

Though it seems surprising to be able to cite the New York Times in summing up, the final paragraph of its March 13 article said it well (though having discussed Hong Kong instead of Sweden):

[T]he central point is this: Each in its own way, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong — three places with markedly different socioeconomic and political features — have been able to interrupt the chain of the disease’s transmission. And they have done so without embracing the highly disruptive, drastic measures adopted by China. Their success suggests that other governments can make headway, too. — Benjamin J. Cowling and Wey Wen Lim, “They’ve Contained the Coronavirus. Here’s How,” New York Times, March 13, 2020

1. Corroborating the general legal principle that Horowitz cites is, for example, a 1962 Colorado state court case opinion, which points out that “If a statute purporting to have been enacted to protect the public health, morals, safety, or common welfare has no real or substantial relation to these objects, and for that reason is a clear invasion of the constitutional freedom of the people to use, enjoy or dispose of their property without unreasonable governmental interference, the courts will declare it void.” Colo. Anti-Discrimination Comm’n v. Case, 151 Colo. 235, 380 P.2d 34 (1962).
2. Typical is an April 7, 2020 Atlantic Council post “Lessons from Taiwan’s experience with COVID-19”: They discuss 4 lessons, but overlook the vital lesson — that general lockdowns and shutdowns are quite unnecessary. The title of an April 3 Democracy Now! post summarized this theme well: “How Taiwan Contained COVID-19: Early Action, Technology & Millions of Face Masks.”
A couple of rare exceptions to this mainstream tendency were a March 13 New York Times article, “They’ve Contained the Coronavirus. Here’s How.”, and a March 31 National Post article, “How Taiwan and Singapore managed to contain COVID-19, while letting normal life go on”. Outside the mainstream, and more in character, was a balanced, March 26 Mises Institute post.
3. According to a data-supplement to the Mar. 3, JAMA article:
– If 1+ in a class (student or teacher) at the K-9 level diagnosed with COVID-19, class is suspended for 14 days
– If 2+ cases in a school, school is closed for 14 days
– If one-third of schools in a township, city, or district are shut down, all others are closed
– If a student or teacher is diagnosed in a high school, college, or university, all classes they attend or teach is suspended for 14 days
– If 2+ cases of COVID-19 in an institution at any level, it will close for 14 days


“[M]y plan … unapologetically seeks to apply our nation’s timeless principles … to today’s challenges. It does so in a way that honors our historic commitment to strengthening the social safety net for those who need it most…. It fixes what is broken in our health-care system without breaking what is working.” [Emphasis added.]
— Paul Ryan, Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders, 2011

“Scott Pelley: Universal health care? Donald Trump: I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.” [Emphasis added.]
— 60 Minutes, 9-27-15

The claim that the federal government should provide welfare has no basis in the design of America’s Founders. However, socialists rely on precisely that notion to create an ever-larger federal monster.

Unfortunately, hardly anyone in politics today acknowledges that to make America great again (and safeguard our liberties) we must get the federal government entirely out of the health care and health insurance businesses.

Ravages of Obamacare

Obamacare took federal welfare and control of the health insurance market a giant step forward:

“The Affordable Care Act expanded coverage to about 20 million more Americans by setting up state exchanges, where people could buy insurance with subsidies based on their income, and by giving states federal money to expand Medicaid to more of their populations.” — Yahoo News, 3-10-17

Since the law’s inception, Republicans have campaigned on the need to repeal Obamacare. Unfortunately, many have also embraced the goal of replacing it, thereby affirming that Obamacare addressed a legitimate need. More than a year ago, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) correctly emphasized: “Replacing Obamacare is just actually replacing it with another government-run program and I think some of us as conservatives don’t want the government to be running that.” — Roll Call, 1-7-16

Bipartisan Treason

For decades, both parties have supported unconstitutional federal expansion.

One astute analyst recently assailed the Republicans for regularly following a ratchet pattern. On the campaign trail, they rail against Democrat-supported big-government. But once they gain the majority, their leadership simply adopts the previous socialist inroads as the baseline, makes a few tweaks, and calls it progress.

Opposition limited to defending against further expansion of federal authority can only lead to disaster. Major rollbacks must be the goal.

The American Health Care Act (AHCA)

So now that the Republicans control the White House as well as the House and the Senate, what about their proposal, the American Health Care Act?

Presented as part of a GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, the AHCA would do neither. More than a dozen congressmen protested the betrayal:

“[M]embers of the House Freedom Caucus, backed by conservative Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, have said that it doesn’t keep faith with the GOP’s promise to unravel Obamacare.” — Roll Call, 3-10-17

“‘It’s Obamacare in a different format,’ Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio … said in a phone interview.” — The, 3-6-17

“The House Republican leadership plan — quite frankly it is the largest welfare program that Republicans have sponsored in the history of the Republican Party.” — Rep. Mo Brooks (Ala.), “Rep. Mo Brooks: AHCA ‘Largest Welfare Program’ Sponsored By GOP,” MSNBC interview, 3-16-17, on YouTube

Conservative Review Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz makes a strong case that the AHCA is actually worse politics and policy than Obamacare. In a March 7th article, “RINO-Care: A more insolvent version of Obamacare … except this time GOP owns it,” Horowitz points out that the Ryan plan, with strong support from President Trump, would leave most of the regulatory structure and the exchanges in place.

And once the Republicans take ownership of this massive entitlement expansion, the challenge to undo the damage increases dramatically.

See No Evil

Yet the betrayal is even worse. Socialism is not a misguided humanitarian plan promoted by do-gooders. It is an evil deception. The humanitarian pretext cleverly serves to advance and cloak a totalitarian power grab.

Such is especially the case with socialized medicine. The socialist breakthrough came in 1965 with the enactment of King-Anderson (Medicare), but only after decades of infiltration and preparation by Fabian Socialist organizers, their Americans for Democratic Action front, and radical union organizer Walter Reuther. (See Media-Controlled Delusion, Chapter 1 Socialized Medicine and Code Blue, by Edward R. Annis, M.D., past president of the A.M.A.)

In a February 19 post, “Repeal and Replace (Big Brother!),” before the details of the Ryan plan became known, we predicted: “[T]hose expecting real progress will be deceived, because the media reports and political claims carefully avoid what is essential for the public to understand.” And what are those omissions? We identified three, quoted from our from Media-Controlled Delusion booklet:

  1. “First, almost no one dares mention that the Constitution does not permit any federal involvement in health care (other than to provide for the military and its own employees).”
  1. “Next, federal involvement locks in the third-party payer system (where someone other than the patient pays for even routine costs). The third-party payer system bears a good share of the responsibility for ballooning costs. Another primary source of rising costs is the immense federal bureaucracy created to manage the system.”
  1. By far the most serious omission in the health care ‘debate,’ however, is its failure to address the revolutionary organization, the deceptions, and the ulterior motive driving the steady expansion of federal authority…. The revolutionary socialist network extends back more than a century. The goal of this network is central control of virtually every human activity (socialism) and world government.” [Emphasis added.]

What to Do?

Currently, there is nowhere near a majority in Congress with the will to do the right thing — get the government out. Many Republicans will seek compromise with liberals in violation of the Constitution, claiming they are negotiating the best deal possible.

But that is a betrayal, too. The deal may appear to slow down our enslavement, but it deceives the public. The only responsible course for a principled congressman is to vote against the continuation of unconstitutional programs.

Despite lobbying by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and House Speaker Ryan, a number of conservative congressmen steadfastly refused to support the Ryan plan. As we go to press, House leaders twice abandoned a scheduled vote due to insufficient support.

Achieving a majority of principled congressmen in Washington cannot occur until there is more understanding created back home.   Former Congressman Lawrence P. McDonald (D-Georgia) showed that he could vote on principle and get re-elected, despite Establishment attacks, because his district had a strong base of informed voters.

As the patriot Robert Welch emphasized, “All we must find and build and use, to win, is sufficient understanding.” And that takes strong organization that is committed to correct principles and understands the forces working to enslave us.

Repeal and Accept (Big Brother!)

“The firm precept of dialectic materialism, whether expressed as one step backward for two steps forward, or two short steps backward for one long step forward, has always made these concessions to the necessity of deception an absolute requirement and precaution in all Communist progress.”
— Robert Welch, American Opinion, January 1962

To make America truly great again, Americans must force the federal government back under the chains of the Constitution — get the government out of where it does not belong. In just one area — health care — that means completely reversing course, taking Big Brother out of the picture.

As we wrote in Chapter 1 “Socialized Medicine” of our 2015 booklet Media-Controlled Delusion: “Our health care system does need reform — the reform of getting the federal government out.” But that won’t happen until more of the public understands crucial omissions in the so-called health care debate.


GOP Control — What to Expect

With the GOP now in control of the House, the Senate, and the presidency, many voters look forward to the GOP delivering on its six-year-old promises to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare.  But those expecting real progress will be deceived, because the media reports and political claims carefully avoid what is essential for the public to understand. We quote from Media-Controlled Delusion:

  1. “First, almost no one dares mention that the Constitution does not permit any federal involvement in health care (other than to provide for the military and its own employees). The once prominent constitutional objections to this usurpation of authority have long been ignored by Republicans and Democrats alike.”
  1. “Next, federal involvement locks in the third-party payer system (where someone other than the patient pays for even routine costs). The third-party payer system bears a good share of the responsibility for ballooning costs. Another primary source of rising costs is the immense federal bureaucracy created to manage the system.”
  1. By far the most serious omission in the health care ‘debate,’ however, is its failure to address the revolutionary organization, the deceptions, and the ulterior motive driving the steady expansion of federal authority….

“The revolutionary socialist network extends back more than a century. The goal of this network is central control of virtually every human activity (socialism) and world government.” [Emphasis added.]

The humanitarian socialist pretext of caring for the downtrodden is just that — a pretext, a pretext for a power grab to make Americans dependent on Washington for their most basic needs.

That huge century-long revolutionary investment in government control won’t be reversed unless there is much greater public understanding of the powerful forces and subversive agenda promoting it. Until that happens, the political hue and cry of “Repeal and Replace” will at best mean a small step backwards while accepting much of the socialist progress of the long ObamaCare step — in short, net progress toward universal government-controlled health care.

“And that points to one of the most effective ways for revolutionaries to overcome resistance to a loss of liberty — gradualism — proceed in stages so that the end result is not universally obvious.”

We strongly urge readers to check out the linked Chapter 1 of Media-Controlled Delusion, acquaint themselves with the crucial media omissions, particularly the history of the socialized medicine drive, and then share this post widely.

House Leadership in 2017

In 2012, Freedom First Society reviewed a hot new book, Young Guns — A New Generation of Conservative Leaders, by the three founders of the Young Guns Program: GOP “rising stars” Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan.

In our review of Young Guns, we pointed out serious deficiencies in the program championed by these three Republicans, who misleadingly claimed to support the principles of our nation’s Founders.

As the 115th Congress convenes in January of 2017, Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has been re-elected as the Speaker of the House and Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) continues to serve as House Majority Leader, having filled that position following the upset defeat of their mutual colleague, Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, in 2014.

To better understand those holding the reins of power in the House today, we urge visitors to read our 2012 Review and share a link to this page with friends and associates.

Part Four: Dr. Chartrand on the Recently Passed HealthCare Reform Bill

Why Survival of the Nation and Its Constitution Depend on Repeal of ObamaCare

Editor’s Note: Freedom First Society commissioned a series of interviews with Dr. Max Stanley Chartrand, who formerly served on the DC-based Healthcare Equity Action League. In this segment, we are interested in his insights into the potential repeal of what is fast becoming the single largest government takeover of private enterprise in the history of the United States.

Q: Hello, Dr. Chartrand, as you know, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010, in total disregard of the will of the people. Why do you feel such an unpopular form of healthcare reform was able to pass in the face of unprecedented public opposition?

A: Well, Paul, what many Americans are beginning to sense is that this horribly convoluted legislation has very little to do with providing equitable healthcare. Rather, it is part of much larger schemata. Certainly, with about 25 million still without coverage under ObamaCare, its passage wasn’t about universal coverage; its passage was about universal government regulation. Every objective proforma on this legislation shows it will run healthcare quality into the ground, while costs continue to rise from 16.5% of current GDP to more than 24% of GDP by the time it takes full effect in 2017.

Instinctively, many people understand that anything requiring illegal bribery, backroom strong-arming, and political threats in an already rabidly liberal Congress cannot possibly be a good thing. The people have made no secret about their steadfast opposition, and yet their elected representatives doggedly ignore their desire to prevent this awful government takeover.

Cap and Trade legislation, as well as the Finance Reform legislation now sitting before Congress, are going the same route: bribery and skullduggery, in an effort to force through economy-crushing bills against the will of the people. The same applies for just about everything the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Triumvirate has pushed down the throats of Americans to date.

Instead, as Americans suffer through the incredible shrinkage of the private sector and explosion of the size of welfare and government, they see that there is a sinister effort to bring the great middle class of this nation to its knees. One little girl recently said, “I can’t wait until I’m old enough for disability.” Thus, dependency is spreading faster than the government can handle it, while freedom is hijacked by a gang of men and women who despise the Constitution and free enterprise and have little respect for the Supreme Being that inspired the largest experiment in freedom in human history. Patient gradualism, the modus operandi of the past to bring this country to its knees, is no longer enough. The people are awakening, and those whose agenda is to erase state rights and the Constitution are getting desperate.

What careful research will bear out is that this has been going on a long time, long before even the Constitution of the United States was pounded out by the Founding Fathers. In uncovering the historical context, it would not take long for an astute researcher to discover, for instance, that Hitler was financed by American and European capitalists who prospered from the blood and war he created, or that busloads and planeloads of demonstrators are regularly paid to disrupt events all over the world. The impoverished men of Al-Qaeda are simply doing the bidding of their paymasters, who may reside in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada as easily as Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Russia. Likewise, Obama and Pelosi and Reid are mere actors in the larger scheme. They all are doing the bidding of the interests that finance them. Americans are caught in the drama, largely unaware that nearly all of it is contrived.

Q: So you think that ObamaCare was not pushed through because of genuine concern over the uninsured and skyrocketing insurance premiums?

A: Let’s take the premise of your question that ObamaCare actually addresses skyrocketing insurance premiums. The real reason premiums of private policies have skyrocketed is becausegovernment third-party payer programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, underpay the system by at least 41% of actual costs. Someone has to pay the bill, and private payers end up covering the lion’s share of it. The fact that a sizable number of private hospitals are expected to go under as the gut-wrenching power grab of ObamaCare takes hold will be another area where somebody will have to fill the uncompensated gap. Politicians who trumpet “Medicare Reform” are really just taking the expedient route of cost-shifting to the private sector. Nothing substantive is ever done about the real underlying costs of healthcare: dwindling incentives for the consumer to control his cost and to be healthy at the personal level, and a system bogged down in John Edwards’ style litigation, lack of competition across state lines, and cost-shifting from public underpays.

But let’s take the argument on its face that this really is about reducing costs. I mentioned earlier that ObamaCare will cause the cost of healthcare in the United States to soar from its present 16% of GDP to at least 24% by the year 2017. How is that possible? Simply by giving us more of what is already wrong with the system: Someone else paying the bill shields people from the consequences of behavior.

Who, upon being discharged from a weeklong stay in the hospital, bothers to scrutinize their 1,000-page hospital bill? After all, someone else is paying for it. Routinely, we hear seniors tell us that they don’t worry about the skyrocketing cost and overprescribing of medications under Medicare, because “it doesn’t cost me anything.” This scenario applies to a majority of the current broken system. But, under ObamaCare, it will apply to 100%, as there will be nobody left to whom these costs could be shifted. In other words, personal responsibility for one’s health — the main driver for cost under free enterprise — becomes virtually passé under ObamaCare.

Q: What about the MSA model to which you referred in past interviews? How does that stack up against ObamaCare?

A: Like night and day, Paul. Under the Medical Savings Account/Major-Medical model devised by the HEAL Committee back in 1990, the pilot study showed that most people stopped smoking, started exercising, ate healthy, and took better care of themselves. This was because the economic incentives were to get and stay healthy. The healthy were rewarded by not having to spend the deductible portion of the program. The heart of the program is what Obama derisively calls a “Cadillac policy.” But guess what, under the MSA model, the cost is about half what a standard policy costs today. That is fact, and the data is impressive.

ObamaCare is based on a static model that bad health is rarely a consequence of personal lifestyle choices. Therefore, with someone else footing the bill, there will be no reason for the millions of substance abusers, junk food junkies, and those exhibiting high risk behaviors to worry about the costs of those behaviors — that number will surely explode under ObamaCare. As said before, the object of ObamaCare is not cost savings, but instead control over the market. If Obama — himself a heavy smoker — does not care about the MSA vs. ObamaCare data, will he care about whether Americans have incentives of personal responsibility over their own health? Obviously not.

Q: But don’t insurance and corporate executives and their boards know this? Where were they while politicians blandly repeated the mantra about needing reform because of private care inflation?

A: That is a good question: Where were they? Well, some did protest vehemently, and then slinked off into silence as regulators and legislators threatened them, and then waved the false image of a huge new market that can be theirs if they play nice. The skullduggery Americans saw out in the open on Fox News, for instance, was child’s play compared to the strong-arming and wimpy caving in that occurred off camera. The same happened to corporate interests, who, after being cajoled and ridiculed before the public, were given false images of someone else paying their humongous employee healthcare bills. The executives would only suffer a bit of a nuisance with the “Cadillac policy” tax, while their employees were to be treated like welfare recipients under the new system of government care.

Q: What is happening on the movement to repeal ObamaCare, and what do you think the chances are that it can be repealed?

A: I am asked this all the time nowadays. But usually the question is prefaced with the opinion that ObamaCare cannot be repealed. But as sure as I stand here, I know it can and must be. If we care about the state of the nation, the economy, our families’ wellbeing, our freedom, the Constitution (the only thing standing between freedom and despotism), we must repeal. In my last interview with you, you might recall that I was among some others who called on the state governors to step forward and block this illegal usurpation of power. To date, more than 20 states have filed lawsuits with the Department of Justice and/or passed legislation to prevent ObamaCare from pre-empting state laws and regulations. This is progress, but it will not be nearly enough.

Immediately following the passing of the bill, a number of politicians postured over repeal, but it is the citizens that oppose ObamaCare that will make it happen. For that reason, they must be informed, especially within the framework of the Constitution. A good place to start is for your readers to turn to the “Say ‘No’ to Socialized Medicine” campaign page at the website.

Without an informed and determined electorate — if past is prologue — we will see a bipartisan sellout at the last minute, and those who “represent” us will once again give up one final chance to restore states’ rights, bring true reform to the politician-created healthcare mess, and protect our nation’s economic freedom.

This November, we should settle for no less than men and women who will vote according to the Constitution. Then, after the election, regardless of party label, we must hold their feet to the fire of that sacred document, for it is the only thing standing between tyranny and us.

Moreover, I would that it will someday be said of the struggle over ObamaCare, as it was once said by the enemy’s general about Americans’ response after the attack on Pearl Harbor, “I think we awakened a sleeping giant.”

Dr. Chartrand serves as professor of behavioral medicine and is a widely published author and health researcher. He is also a Constitutional conservative who advocates workable, free-market solutions to the current problems within the U.S. healthcare system.

Part Three: Dr. Chartrand on the HealthCare Summit

Fighting Only the Tips While Ignoring the Icebergs Will Surely Sink the U.S. & Her Constitution

Q: Hello, Dr. Chartrand. So much has happened since our last interview…

A. Paul, it almost seems strange that we’re up against an even more formidable final push toward ObamaCare today than when we visited this topic earlier, until one stops and realizes the reasons why this threat came about in the first place.

We have known for some time, and it is increasingly more obvious, that what we are dealing with is not a drive to improve healthcare, but instead a drive to concentrate power and control in the federal government. But it goes further than that, and this is the point I hope to drive home today: The threat we now face on all fronts — healthcare, energy, economy, religious freedom, education, culture, the list goes on — are merely pieces of a much larger push to destroy the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms it grants.

Q. What about the recent HealthCare Summit, which seemed so carefully engineered to present President Obama and the Democrats in the most favorable light while “tolerating” opposing voices?
A.  Like many individuals, I watched the five-and-a-half hour staged play billed as “The Bipartisan HealthCare Summit.” The President gave his much anticipated oratory of distortion, disingenuity, and emotional appeal and did his best to squelch any opposing arguments. I was embarrassed that a man of that level of power in the world could display such arrogance and treat with such disdain the arguments of those who are considerably wiser and more experienced on such matters.The Democrats, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, presented their usual fact-challenged arguments in favor of a government takeover, as well. But the biggest disappointment came from the Republicans who had a rare opportunity to present the real threats to freedom and to the citizens of this nation. Instead, they tiptoed around the elephants in the living room and allowed the opposition to go essentially unchallenged.
Q. So, you felt the Republicans had an opportunity to do much more than they did in this media-controlled exercise? In what ways?
A.  Well, I will preface this by stating that I felt that many of the arguments presented by the Republican Senators were well reasoned and actually quite good … as far as they went. But they tiptoed around the much more important reasons that this monstrosity should be stopped. Had they brought out the most salient and disturbing issues relative to ObamaCare, enough of the public would have likely turned against it that we would be seeing headlines proclaiming defeat of the erstwhile measure by now.  For instance:
• The National ID Card provision stipulates that citizens’ financial assets and property will be made accessible to the federal government, in case of unauthorized use or overutilization of government-approved healthcare services. Put into practical terms, this means that the federal government would have the power to reach into one’s bank account without permission and withdraw funds anytime they feel you stayed in the hospital too long or if your doctor decided to save your life without first consulting the governing panel ahead of time. Few citizens would willingly hand over that kind of power and control over their lives to the political class. But after it becomes the law of the land, their disagreement to this kind of chicanery would be meaningless. This is perhaps the most onerous of all provisions of ObamaCare, because it is a direct assault on individual liberties — privacy, due process, and private property. Yet this terrible threat to the citizens of this nation was not brought up once during the so-called healthcare summit.
• There will be government appointed “panels” to decide which age groups, populations, and conditions receive public resources. This will, by necessity, lead to both rationing and passive euthanasia. The “death panel” analogy painted by Sarah Palin is very much a real part of ObamaCare when it finally takes over and ultimately destroys private healthcare. In reality, such panels in limited form now exist in both MediCare and Medicaid. With ever-dwindling resources relative to demand, their mission is to decide length of hospital stays, limits of care, and approved treatment regimes based on cost (not quality). Transposed into a “universal” program designed to drive out private market competition, these panels would hold life and death control over what treatments individuals are allowed to receive within their purview. Otherwise, what would be the purpose of such oversight panels?
• Public-funded abortion will become the law of the land, no matter the show of opposition staged by a few politicians now. From past experience, we expect to see this administration and legislative leaders bribe, threaten, and otherwise pressure fence-sitters into voting for this bill. Saying anything and doing nothing that was promised, this administration is pulling one fast one after another to remake this nation into their own or their masters’ image.
• Obama & Congress pretend that they have legal authority to sweep away hundreds of state regulations and mandates. However, States Rights are still very much the prevailing law of the land, except in well-defined cases of interstate commerce. Where are the governors in all this? By simple decree almost any one or two governors can stop Congress from overstepping that which is within the purview of state government! We should be challenging state governors to take back states’ rights and powers in this debate and tell the federal government that it has overstepped its constitutional authority.
• The most important aspect of true reform would be in incentivizing good health practices and an emphasis on individual responsibility. Instead, ObamaCare carefully shields the consequences of poor diet, lifestyle, and personal choices from consideration. Republicans could have cited important studies on the positive behavioral changes that routinely occurred under the Medical Savings Account model. Under such shared employer/employee plans (and their private counterparts), workplaces become safer, workers make better health and lifestyle choices, quality of care improve, and the cost of healthcare plunges. Instead, Republicans allowed unchallenged Obama’s scoffing disdain toward “high-deductible insurance” (which is not the MSA model!) to carry the argument.
• Other consequences of ObamaCare will involve en masse closures of private hospitals, rampant job loss and job dislocation, sharp reductions in eldercare services and certain specialty services, such as cochlear implantation to deaf adults, etc. These all add up to loss of freedom, reversals in scientific progress, and loss of empowerment for the most debilitated individuals in our society. It is and has always been the private sector that has given us innovation and advances in healthcare.
Likewise, with up to 30% of physicians vowing to retire if ObamaCare passes, we will see an almost instant shortage of physicians, reduced quality of care and accessibility. It is pure fantasy that ObamaCare or any modification of it will enjoy a smooth transition without having gut-wrenching effects upon the economy.
• Cost-shifting from public short-pays to the private-pay sector is the main reason for the recent private market premium increases. In the past, each time there is “reform” to control runaway Medicare, VA, and Medicaid costs, short-pays shift over to the private sector. Now the private sector of health care has shrunk to little more than 40% of the entire U.S. healthcare system, so that the vast majority of cost overruns, waste, fraud losses fall squarely in the lap of the public sector programs—and if Obama and Company have their way there will be no place for these inherent weaknesses of politically controlled healthcare to go. Senator Coburn’s (R-OK) suggestion to send out undercover patients to entrap unsuspecting physicians was a serious error. After forcing All-ObamaCare-All-The-Time onto the private market, the next step would be to eliminate the political opposition by unleashing a small army of undercover agents to put them out of business.• A final point is that many Republicans are well aware, as are the Democrats, that the push for socialized medicine has nothing to do with improving or genuinely bringing down the costs of healthcare. Instead, it is all about loss of freedoms, all-powerful central government, and is ultimately about merging this nation into a one-world government structure much like what has happened to Europe and the Mediterranean nations. This last point may be seem outlandish to an uninformed observer. But everything we have seen for some time now, efforts to destroy the U.S. currency, exploding foreign ownership of U.S. assets, killing of private sector jobs in the face of exploding jobs in government, and a drive to regulate everything but government spending and behavior, all point to a destination that ultimately leads to a loss of Americanism and the rise of One-worldism.
Q: Wow, these are serious points to consider! And you did not even touch upon the central themes brought out by Republicans.
A. No, I didn’t. The more peripheral points were fairly well stated by Republicans during the so-called summit (i.e., competition across state lines, tort reform). But, while excellent points, these only constitute the tips of the proverbial icebergs lurking below the surface. The fact that the President and liberals in Congress are still pushing ObamaCare in the face of the most opposition in public opinion in recent memory to any bill of the past should inform any astute observer as to the purpose behind such a push. Taxes will by necessity rise by more than $100 billion per year, large fines will be imposed for non-compliance (except for the governing elite and their union supporters), and there will still be millions of uncovered individuals. It is amply obvious that the purpose behind tearing up the current system is to: 1) make a free people less free, 2) destroy private sector employment and commerce, and 3) make the population more dependent upon the federal government for everything, cradle to grave. Passage will also promote the bankruptcy of U.S. currency (and enable it to be “saved” by joining an international currency). To do all of this, of course, they must first destroy every vestige of the United States Constitution and its clear delineation of rights and powers.
Q: What do you suggest for citizens to defeat Obamacare?

A. First and foremost we should become well informed about this and all such legislation against the backdrop of the U.S. Constitution. One will quickly find that at least 75% of today’s topics of legislative discourse are straw men, for there are simply few legitimate federal solutions for these real or imagined problems. One will also find that most of the serious problems of the current healthcare system (lack of personal responsibility, rampant fraud and waste, and politicization) exist primarily because of federal programs. So, the only reason for pushing for more of the same are blatant attempts to concentrate even more power in Washington.Secondly, once informed, we become obligated to act. Awakening family, friends, and community is a good place to begin. Share all of the FFS interviews by this author, and The Marxist Attack on the Middle Classby G. Vance Smith and Tom Gow, as well as Don Fotheringham’s excellent essays on the Constitution found at Never has there been a time in our lifetime when so many people are so receptive to the hard truths of today’s drive for all-powerful government.

Third, keep an open public discourse on relevant topics and issues in letters to the editor in local and regional newspapers and publications.

Fourth, while Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are asking legistlators to commit political suicide, I feel these legislators would much prefer to go on living (politically). Write and call them—there are a number of websites now that feature direct links into congressional offices. Even though few of the emails received are actually read (some are), all are tallied into “for” and “against” columns on each issue.

Finally, we must stay focused. One’s greatest influence is local. Typically, legislators take more seriously letters from their constituents, editors are more likely to print locally-generated letters in newspapers, and those with whom we may have the greatest influence are those who know and trust us within the community.

Q: Any parting thoughts?

A. It is entirely possible, after all our best efforts, that this legislative nightmare may pass in the present Congress. We should never underestimate the depths of legal, ethical, and, yes, criminal activity that will be expended by those intent on forcing such sweeping control over the citizens of this nation. If they do succeed in passing ObamaCare, we must work hard toward throwing the rascals out of office and drive this and other bad legislation into the repeal process. In doing so, we may find welcome support from many of those we know.

Dr. Chartrand serves as professor of behavioral medicine, and is a widely published author, and health researcher. He is also a Constitutional conservative who advocates workable, free market solutions to the current problems within the U.S. healthcare system.