Sometimes I’m shocked by what doesn’t show up in the news.
Today I got an email from the Commonwealth of Virginia, telling me that my COVID vaccination request has now been transferred from Fairfax County to a state-run system.
Put aside my surprise. (Last I heard, Fairfax County was going to keep its vaccine appointment system separate from the state system.) And annoyance. (Now there’s yet another vaccine appointment system I have to deal with).
What really caught my eye is the Commonwealth’s emphasizing that the vaccine will be absolutely free, to me. No out-of-pocket costs.
No cost whatsoever to me. For a vaccine that I can’t have.
Because I’m waiting my turn like a good little Socialist.
As are we all.
Or, least, as are most of us. Sure, you see articles about people scrambling to get onto some list here or there. And the occasional jackass taking unfair advantage of some loophole in the system. But in the main, we have calmly accepted allowing others to go first, based on greater need. We have unwittingly swallowed the party line that this approach is just, somehow, a fact of life of the pandemic.
Nobody — not even the furthest edge of the far-right — has protested the mere fact of waiting lists for COVID-19 vaccine. And today, that’s what I realized I have not seen in the news. No organized groups protesting the fact that, unlike any other commodity offered in the U.S., you can’t simply buy this vaccine in the marketplace. No neoclassical economists bitterly and publicly complaining that we have abandoned efficient market-based distribution in favor of this clumsy, awkward, arbitrary and apparently ever-changing bureaucratic system. No right-wingers likening our public-health officials to Communist Russia.
I ask you, where is the outrage?
Do people not understand the slippery slope here? The camel’s nose under the tent? The thin edge of the collectivist wedge? Are we oblivious to the foot-in-the-door creeping normality defining-deviance-down evil that is afoot? Are we nothing but a bunch of freedom-hating frogs, contentedly croaking away in our tepid vaccine-waiting-list bath, unable to perceive that this boozhy hot-tub of neighborly concern is in reality the soon-to-be-boiling cauldron of Socialism?
If we meekly buy into the notion that people have the “right” to a vaccine, based on some wishy-washy concept of “need” rather than ability to pay, can’t you see what’s next?
Today it’s a life-saving vaccine. Tomorrow it’ll be full-blown socialized medicine.
And what do we hear from those who have so valiantly fought against any form of socialized medicine for all these decades? Silence.
A mere half-million lives lost, a near-death experience for the economy, WWII-sized increases in the public debt, and somehow that’s made them question their moral compass? For shame, I say. Either you have principles or you don’t. In the U.S.A. that I know, the poor and uninsured die sooner than the rest of us, from a wide variety of routinely-preventable causes. With that at the norm, sacrificing a few more of them to COVID-19 hardly seems like a moral transgression. Not when there’s such an important political principle at stake.
As a country, just a few short weeks ago, we were more than happy to let the markets dictate vaccine access in the third world. Our policy boiled down to, if they can’t pay for it, screw ’em. Let the Chinese Communists win friends around the world by providing access to cheap vaccine. But now even that tiny piece of rational, clear thinking appears to have been quietly abandoned.
So while we did take a principled stand regarding international distribution, when it came down to domestic vaccine allocation, we immediately gave up that market-based approach. And we’ve substituted a bureaucratic dictatorship, dressed up as some sort of bleeding-heart, warm-and-fuzzy, care-for-your-neighbor quasi-religious enterprise.
Stand up, America. Free the vaccine. Wrest it from the hands of the bureaucracy, and make it available to the highest bidder.
We can make the U.S. COVID vaccine effort work just as well as the rest of the U.S. health care system. All it will take is enough true patriots who are willing to stand up for the American way. And mark my words, if we don’t — if we let the Socialists get away with this — they’ll be coming after our Medicare and Medicaid next.