Even if Congress passes its “health-care reform” bill today — and President Obama signs it into law — this is not going to lead to a Tea-Party-led general revolt.

In my very first article for this column on October 31, 2009, “ObamaCare Doesn’t Bring Socialized Medicine to U.S.,” I wrote:

To listen to Glenn Beck and other right-wing pundits, President Obama’s proposals for health care reform are the first step in turning America into Cuba or Venezuela.

But the truth is that the health-care system favored by conservatives is only marginally less government-run than the public option and must-buy health insurance favored by progressives.

All medical practitioners — physicians, surgeons, dentists, nurses, etc. — must be licensed by state and local governments, and approved by the federal government if they are to receive reimbursement for their services from Medicare.

All hospitals and clinics must also be government licensed, with additional licenses for teaching hospitals.

All degrees awarded by medical schools are only valid if they’re issued by medical schools approved by state-sanctioned medical boards.

Doctors may only prescribe pharmaceuticals or medical devices approved by the FDA — that is if they’re not on lists of substances prohibited by law from being prescribed at all, and providing them gets one a visit from the DEA.

Flu epidemics exist or not by a decision made by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also approves or disapproves of the vaccines to treat them.

An entire department of the Federal government is devoted to regulating “Health and Human Services.”

Finally, fifteen percent of the U.S. population — those 65 or older or declared disabled — are already enrolled in fully-socialized “public option” government health insurance through Medicare and Medicaid — and as high as a third of the U.S. population have at times been eligible for 100% U.S.-government-run health care provided through the Veterans Administration.

So Fox News and right-wing radio pundits ranting that President Obama and the Democratic Party want to bring socialized medicine to America is not only hypocritical and ignorant of history. It’s just obliviously silly.

I’m 56 years old, and I have never drawn a breath when my health care wasn’t fully regulated by — often paid for by, and sometimes directly operated by — the government, at one level or another.

It’s undeniable that expanding government health insurance to those under 65 who aren’t veterans or disabled — and forcing healthy people to buy healthcare policies to lower premiums for those with preexisting illnesses — is indeed moving in the direction of universal single-payer health care.

But to argue that President Obama and the Democrats want to bring us socialized medicine ignores the obvious.

We’ve had socialized medicine for generations.

The incremental usurpation of the people’s rights and powers has been going on, now, at least for close to a century. It goes back at least to 1913, when both the Federal Reserve System and the federal income tax went into effect.

But the first federal income tax — and the first military draft — date back to the Civil War.

The usurpation will continue even if the Democratic Party is forced back into being the minority in the next two election cycles, and is replaced in the White House and Congressional majorities by the Republican Party.

One can name a number of flash points in American history when one could have expected popular revolts.

I’ve already suggested why 1913 would have been one.

The beginning of alcohol prohibition in 1920 would have been another.

The prohibition of private ownership of gold in 1933 would have been a possible flash point.

People don’t stage revolutions over entitlements. Entitlements are shell games designed to hide where the money’s coming from.

The closest the United States has come to a modern tax revolt is over property taxes (which are localized) and the federal income tax.

But the politicians got cagier and used deficit financing monetized by the Fed instead of raising visible taxation which would have caused popular opposition.

Ron Paul’s efforts aside, the bulk of the American people do not understand how the Fed loots them, so they can’t revolt against what they do not see.

More limited groups rebel in more focused ways — like truck drivers buying radar detectors and CB’s when 55 was the national speed limit.

Most special interest groups simply hire lobbyists.

The closest the federal government came to real trouble with a large popular segment of the American people was in the mid-1990’s when the Clintons and the Democrats started passing major new federal gun-control laws. Unlike the Gun Control Act of 1968, there had been time to organize opposition.

It cost the Democrats their majorities in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, and they learned a lesson.

But there’s not going to be any real revolt on the basis of health-care legislation that, in effect, takes a casino approach to distributing the spoils of new compulsory health-insurance purchases by people too healthy to need it much. There are too many people who will see it as a benefit they “have coming to them,” just like they went along with Social Security and Medicare.

So what’s going to happen is that American government will continue to aggrandize power until its liabilities are more than can be passed along by devaluing the money supply.

Only then will there be a general systemic collapse.

What happens after that collapse depends entirely on the preparations of the people who understand this — the people who have secured things to trade, and rebuild, and defend themselves.

You don’t have to go off to Ayn Rand’s hidden gulch to do it. That’s why Atlas Shrugged wasn’t enough and why I had to write Alongside Night — a dramatized show-and-tell portraying how this might work.

Which will resume here with Chapter VI, tomorrow.

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