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Thought for the Month:
Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, wants to take control of the Health System from the States and centralise it in the hands of the Commonwealth Government. So? What's new?
NATIONALISING AUSTRALIA'S MEDICARE
by Louis Cook
I have extracted two sections from the essay and reproduced below as it gives every reason needed to reject the Rudd Government takeover of the hospitals and healthcare system.
They don’t seem to get anything right so why should they be allowd to interfere in the important sphere of personal health?
Serfdom Via The Social Service State by Eric D. Butler:
As a starting point for a study of the Labour-Socialists tactics in using so-called Social Service ideas to further their totalitarian objective, here is a statement made by one of the Federal Government's principal planners, Professor Giblin:
"We shall require a power to direct Labour…" There is a clear enunciation of the totalitarians' objective. The above views were expressed in 1948.
The so-called benefits are, of course, paid out of money already contributed by the individual. But before he can get some of it back he must be prepared to submit to manpower control. This is not a genuine insurance scheme against unemployment; it is another part of the general totalitarian pattern. The Unemployment and Sickness Benefit Act was actually upon the Statute Book in 1944, when at the Referendum Labour-Socialists were dramatically signing pledges that they were opposed to economic conscription.
The next major move in attempting to use the plea of Social Services to conscript the individual was the Pharmaceutical Benefits Act. This Act purported to exercise controls over pharmaceutical chemists and doctors, the sale of drugs and the conduct of their customers and patients. However, this Act was challenged before the High Court, which ruled against the Federal Government.
Prior to the 1946 Referendum, the eminent Constitutional lawyer, Mr. F. Villeneuve Smith, K.C., was asked the following question: "Would the proposed Social Service Amendment add to the power of the Federal Government to legislate against the freedom of action of the individual and in what way?"
"Subject to whatever may be found to be the meaning of the words, `but not so as to authorise any form of civil conscription,' this power would authorise the Federal Parliament to seize complete authority over the legislative area of each of the specified subjects to the exclusion of the State Parliaments, and impose such conditions and restrictions upon the medical and dental professions as to make them indistinguishable in anything but name, from nationalised professions, i.e., virtually servants of `The State.'
"For example, it could compulsorily acquire all hospitals or dental clinics, and doctors and dentists desiring the professional use of them, might be required to conform to any conditions prescribed, whether as to remuneration, e.g., by a fixed salary, or as to method of employment, e.g., by rotation. It is to be noticed that there is no limitation upon the words `provision of.' This commits to the Federal Parliament the whole choice of how `the provision' is to be made, subject to the veto of `civil conscription.'
"The phrase, `but not so as to authorise any form of civil conscription,' is too nebulous and uncertain to show by how much or how little the full plenary power is abridged.
"I presume `civil' is intended to distinguish the kind of conscription it qualifies from the military kind, just as it was used originally with the word `service' to distinguish the servants of the old East India Company from that Company's naval and military branches. `Conscription' in its relevant sense and its ordinary and natural significance - and it has no other, it is not a term of art - means compulsory enlistment for service.
"But it will not cover cases where Parliament, in the exercise of the new power, establishes conditions of the various services such as may indirectly, or by economic pressure, compel the acceptance of such conditions. This was what was being attempted in the abortive Pharmaceutical Benefits Act, in which superficially and literally chemists had the ostensible right to register or not as they pleased, but as to which Latham, C. J., said (supra at p. 444) ` . . . it is obvious that the result of the operation of the Act might be that chemists would in practice be compelled to apply for approval or to lose a great deal of their business.'
The Labour-Socialists agree with the above opinion, because their 1948 National Health Bill, based upon the powers obtained at the 1946 Referendum, is designed to pave the way for direct Government control of doctors, chemists, dentists and patients.
In passing it is also well to recall that, by holding the 1946 Referendum at the same time as the Federal Elections, the Labour-Socialists nearly obtained the powers sought over agriculture and employment. Only a vigorous Vote NO campaign in South Australia, which had voted "YES"' at the 1944 Referendum, resulted in a small majority for "NO" in South Australia, thus ensuring that the Government did not have a majority of States voting "YES." (A majority of electors did vote "YES.")
Undoubtedly the large YES vote for the Social Service Amendment was the result of the Government's fear campaign, which said that all Social Services were in jeopardy unless the Amendment were carried. But Section 96 of the Federal Constitution enables the Federal Government power to "grant financial assistance to any State on such terms and conditions as the (Federal) Parliament thinks fit." By this device the Federal Government could have, if necessary, worked in co-operation with the States. But this was not desired; absolute control was the real objective.
There is no doubt that the 1948 National Health Bill, like the abortive Pharmaceutical Benefits Act before it, is designed to gradually eliminate private Doctors and to, make them servants, not of the individual, but of the State.
In introducing the National Health Scheme late in 1948, the Minister for Health and Social Services (Senator McKenna) frankly outlined the totalitarian feature of the Bill: "The Bill is an enabling measure, in which may be seen only the broad outline of a proposed national health service, the details of the service and its administration being left to progressive development which will be imple¬mented by regulations." (Federal Hansard, No. 30, p. 3372). What a time the bureaucrats would have with such enormous powers!
The following article of mine, which appeared in the Melbourne "Argus" of February 28, 1949, will prove useful in assessing where "Free" Medicine and the National Health Scheme generally will lead to unless challenged.
"The Labour-Socialists' new assault upon the medical profession is not merely designed to destroy the independence of the doctors and to make them servants of the State; it seeks to further the major Socialist objective of subordinating completely the policies of all individuals to a group of central planners. People who allow themselves to be used, as the Labour-Socialists so blatantly suggest, to bring pressure to bear upon the doctors, and thus compel them to enter the Government's National Health Service, will be merely forging the chains for their own enslavement.
"It is unfortunate that far too little attention has been paid to the totalitarian features of the National Health Bill introduced by Senator McKenna on November 24 of last year.
"In examining the National Health Bill, it is essential to recall that it is based upon the constitutional power given to the Commonwealth as a result of the Social Services amendment to the Federal Constitution, carried at the 1946 Referendum. Although Mr. Menzies and other non-Socialists advocating a YES vote on the Social Services amendment at that Referendum apparently did not realise what they were doing, there is little doubt that the Socialist planners were looking well ahead and knew what they were about. Every step taken to further the ever-growing process of government by regulations framed by officials, takes the community further towards complete totalitarianism.
"This delegation of Parliamentary authority means that all matters connected with health can, without public debate in Parliament, be dealt with by the officials to whom the Minister for Health delegates his functions. The National Health Scheme can thus be altered at will by mere regulating.
"As the Bill grants enormous powers to officials, even the power to manufacture, its inherent dangers are obvious. Once the scheme is well established, the groundwork has 'been laid for further attacks upon the medical profession, and the liberties of the individual.
"It is hoped that electors will be bribed by the anticipation of a 50 per cent reduction in their medical fees if the scheme operates; that they will overlook the fact that the Government will merely be using some of their taxes to finance the scheme.
"If the Government overcomes the obstacles to the introduction of the National Health Scheme, it can already be seen what will happen then. The next step will be to limit the work of individual doctors. Senator McKenna has already announced that the Director-General of the scheme is to have the power to draw up lists of `specialists.' It is then contemplated to limit the payment of fees by the Government for certain classes of work, to be progressively defined by regulations, to certain `approved' doctors. This would gradually narrow the field for general practice.
"A further step in the same direction could be taken "by the mere formulating of a regulation deciding to pay say 80 per cent of the scheduled fee, thus permitting the doctor to recover only 20 per cent from the patient. By these and other steps private practices could and would be eliminated, and doctors made more and more dependent upon the Government for their incomes. Virtual nationalisation of the medical system would be achieved by indirect methods.
"The general public must not be tricked into believing that the fate of the medical profession is no concern of theirs. Hitler's National Health Service was one of the most effective instruments he had for controlling the individual German.
"All this is no fantasy. It is urgently necessary that sufficient people realise in time that the proposed National Health Scheme is another thin edge of the wedge for which the Socialist monopolists are striving desperately to find a crevice in the democratic structure. All those who prize the little freedom they still possess should inform their doctors by letter, telegram, or telephone that they desire them to stand firm against the latest Canberra assault.
"Federal non-Labour members would also assist considerably if they would make a definite statement that, if elected at the next elections, they will immediately destroy the National Health Scheme completely. It is possible to ensure that every individual has access to the best medical services while at the same time preserving the freedom of both doctors and patients."
Apart from exposing the totalitarian policy behind the National Health Scheme, it is necessary to point out that if the Government is genuinely desirous of distributing to the taxpayers some benefits (medicine, reduced medical fees, etc.) in exchange for taxation already paid, this can be easily done without controlling doctor or patient.
Socialism No Alternative To Communism
It is essential for all students of the totalitarian menace to be quite clear that Russia is not a Communist State; it is a Socialist State. U.S.S.R. means the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics. Except as a term and a hope, Communism does not exist in any country today.
In "Leninism" Stalin asks the question, "What is Socialism?" and answers as follows:
The fact that Russia is not a Communist State, but a Socialist State, is of tremendous importance. If Russia were a Communist State, Socialists could argue that its main characteristics, such as forced labour, the one-party system, censorship, the secret police, etc., had no relationship to Socialism. But these characteristics are those of a Socialist State, and indicate what complete Socialism means.
In the English Left Wing journal, the "New Statesman and Nation," of' March 20, 1948, the English Socialist M.P., Mr. R. Crossman, wrote:
This Communist's revealing reply means that a much more comprehensive Socialism can only be achieved by destruction of individual liberties and Parliamentary institutions.
That great prophet of Socialism in English-speaking countries, Professor Harold Laski, of the London School of Economics, and former Chairman of the British Labour Party, wrote in "Labour and The Constitution":
The next step would then be to suggest that Parlia¬ment be "reformed" to meet the new situation, and eventually Parliament could be abolished. Speaking to the Oxford University Fabian Society in 1944, the famous English Socialist, Mr. G. D. H. Cole, said: "I do not like the Parliamentary system, and the sooner it is overthrown the better I shall be pleased."
At the 1921 Australian Labor Party Conference, the establishment of elective Supreme Economic Council eventually to supersede Parliament was discussed. In 1931, a Conference of Trade Unions and A.L.P. Branches approved of the statement that "the necessity for a non-Parliamentary form of Government is inevitable."
It would be very wrong to say that every Socialist is consciously working to create totalitarianism and the destruction of responsible Parliamentary Government. But the sincere idealists who believe they are working for "democratic socialism" are furthering policies which by their very nature must lead to totalitarianism.
Speaking at the Easter Conference of the Australian Labor Party in 1948, Mr. W. Lewis, of the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen, said, in opposing the ostracizing of the Communists by the Labor Party:
The Socialists and Communists merely use different roads to the same objective. After seeing Stalin late in 1946, Professor Laski said that Socialism in English-speaking countries was merely another road to the same objective being sought by Stalin.
The Canadian Socialist journal, "People's Weekly," in November, 1946, published the following: "Joseph Stalin, Prime Minister of the U.S.S.R.... in a two-hour conversation in the Kremlin, told Morgan Phillips there were two roads to Socialism-the Russian way and the British way." 'The "British way" to the Monopoly State was devised to meet the obstacle recognised by Karl Marx when he said that the British would never make their own revolution.
A degree of Socialism inevitably leads to more and more Socialism. Centralised planning creates so many problems that there is an excuse for still more planning.
All Labour supporters will have to face the question of how they can support some Socialism without finishing with the results of complete Socialism - miscalled Communism - as it operates in Russia.
Comment here would be superfluous. Tyranny can be introduced via the ballot box and the perversion of the Parliamentary system just as effectively as it can be introduced by direct violence. An individual can have his property taken from him at the point of the bayonet, or a political party with a temporary majority in Parliament can achieve the same objective by nationalizing all property. What is the difference? The term "democratic Socialism" is self-contradictory.
One of the basic features of democracy is responsible government and limitations upon governmental powers by constitutional safeguards. The introduction of "democratic Socialism" necessitates, as Laski and other Socialist authorities have pointed out, the delegation of the Parliamentary authority to officials who can govern by regulations and decrees, and the destruction of all constitutional safeguards. Labour-Socialism is not a genuine alternative to Communist-Socialism; it leads to the same final result: the complete Monopoly State.
The Labor Party cannot claim that it is fighting the Communists so long as it retains the Communist objective of Socialization.