The debate over national health care is a debate over the future of the United States.
       For most of this century, the American people have moved away from the principles of private property, free markets, and limited government to which the Founding Fathers and their 19th-century successors subscribed. Unlike their ancestors, twentieth-century Americans have permitted the state to take control over their income, their educational activities, their charitable acts, and their economic endeavors. And now comes the culmination of this devotion to omnipotent government—the idea that the state should take control of people’s health care. In the U.S., this idea is benignly called national health insurance, but it is actually nothing less than socialized medicine.
       One can understand the attempt by public officials to extend their control over a wider ambit of people’s lives. For that is usually what governmental officials try to do—exercise more and more power over the lives and fortunes of more and more people.
       The disappointment lies instead with the American people. Despite the failure of governmental control and intervention all over the world-including here in the United States in such areas as welfare, public schooling, and mail delivery—Americans continue to think that this time “they will get it right.”
       But they will never get it right. For central planning, coercive redistribution of wealth, and governmental intervention into economic activity will always and inevitably produce the same failed results that they have always produced.
       However, the debate over national health care is ultimately a moral one, not a practical one. Should the state have the power to take money from some to give it to others? Should the state have the power to force a person to live at the expense of someone else? Should the state have the power to force an individual to submit his will to that of the collective? Should the state have the power to interfere with mutually beneficial exchanges between consenting adults?
       The immediate aim of this book is to expose the dangers of socialized medicine. But our purpose is much broader: first, to expose the immorality and failures of the entire welfare-state, managed-economy way of life and, second, to show the moral foundations and workability of the private-property, free-market alternative.
       We believe that a time has once again come in the course of human events for people to reexamine their relationship to their government and to reject the ancient idea of omnipotent governmental control over their lives and fortunes...and to move toward the principles of freedom that have ignited the hearts and minds of men and women throughout history. We believe that a time has once again come for the American people to move toward a free, prosperous, and healthy society.

Jacob G. Hornberger
Founder and President
The Future of Freedom Foundation

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