Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | July 29, 2009

Cruising for answers

Becky FengerAbout a quarter century ago, the great William F. Buckley, Jr. thought it would be a peachy keen idea to go on an ocean cruise with a cadre of sharp minds and discuss the affairs of the world while breathing the sea air and visiting cool ports of call. Participants and spectators alike found it so delightful that the voyages have been repeated every year since. A few hearty and financially healthy souls have sailed on nearly every one of the trips arranged by Buckley's magazine, National Review.

Thanks to the recession, the cost of National Review's Greek Isles Cruise on the MS Noordam this month was cut almost in half, thereby allowing me to join the lucky folks who got to rub elbows for ten days with the likes of U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, military and security expert John Hillen, columnists and authors Jonah Goldberg, Cal Thomas, Tony Blankley, George Gilder, Christina Hoff Sommers, Sally Satel, Gov. Pete DuPont, and political guru Dick Morris. Add to the lineup the editors of National Review, and that's one dynamite marquee. These are the super rock stars of politics, but I doubt any panties have been thrown at them during their appearances (although I haven't checked with Mark Steyn following last fall's Caribbean cruise).

After signing a voucher that we were not suffering from the swine flu (who would admit to it?), we were allowed into Rome and on to Civitavecchia to start our floating forum. Since health care is the hot topic of the day, let's turn to Obama Care first.

Rich Lowry, National Review uber editor, asked Dick Morris what Obama has in mind for us. "Barack Obama will bring us the health care of Canada and England," Morris said, but Obama would allow four or five private companies to exist alongside for appearances sake until they withered and died. He would actually repeal Medicare. A 70-year-old couldn't get a heart bypass. A 65-year-old couldn't get a knee replacement, and there would be a two-month or longer wait for radiation therapy.

Since Mitt Romney is often mentioned as a frontrunner to challenge Obama to a second term, Morris wanted to remind everyone that Romney imposed such a universal health-care plan on Massachusetts while he was governor. And Massachusetts is bleeding red ink as a result. Romney has not admitted his big mistake, and that alone would cause me to scratch him from my list of presidential possibles.

Morris is adamant that we have to greatly expand the number of doctors and nurses first before we go about expanding coverage to millions more people. Otherwise, we are assured of long, long waiting lists and damned certain of health care rationing. Since Obama's plan to cut costs of health care involves cutting reimbursement to doctors, what bright lad or lassie is going to enter medical school?

Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru wryly states: "Universal health care means everybody gets access to waiting lists." Americans are much more concerned about keeping our health care choices than seeing every last soul covered. "Most people who are uninsured are happy with their health care," he notes. When asked if everyone will be forced to join his plan, Obama's argument is: "Health care is a mess, and you get to keep it!"

Dick Morris claims that Obama will use amnesty for illegal aliens to give them health care coverage and, Barack hopes, a reason to vote for him.

Tony Blankley agrees with Morris that Obama's plan can be defeated. It is losing popularity every day with each new shocking revelation brought to light. Right now, close to 60 percent of us are against it. I am pleased that so many folks see through the ruse, since I had been devastated by the results of a recent poll showing that Americans preferred capitalism to socialism by only a narrow margin.

Just printing the monstrosity of HR 3200 called for tree-killing measures. If indeed Obama's presidency stands or falls on his health care "reform," we should all give some of the money we have left in our wallets to defeat this loser that could never be put back in the bottle. Your liver will thank you for it. Hurray for Texas which threatens to use its sovereignty to "Just Say No," no matter what happens.

Hawaii's experiment with universal health care for their state lasted a mere seven months until it collapsed of its own weight! Fengernails to those who stubbornly refuse to learn from the mistakes of others.