‘Puter’s been doing some thinking here, which is always dangerous. ‘Puter’s noted a disturbing connection between the Department of Justice’s witch hunt at the CIA and ObamaCare’s failure to address tort reform. Bear with ‘Puter for a minute.
Attorney General Eric Holder has launched an investigation to second-guess the conduct of CIA interrogators of terrorists during the early days of the War on Terror. Attorney General Holder claims that even if interrogators acted in accordance with orders from above, taking actions blessed by legal counsel, interrogators may still be personally and criminally liable.
On the ObamaCare front, President Obama and the Democrat Congress propose to mandate rationing of health care, leaving doctors no choice but to forgo tests and procedures doctors and patients may think beneficial. Yet ObamaCare does not require the rationing entity (government) to take legal responsibility for the government’s mandate to doctors to refuse certain treatments to patients. That is, even though doctors cannot legally provide the treatment, doctors remain liable in tort for failure to provide the impermissible treatment if the patient is harmed by the refusal.
In both instances, the government is leaving individuals open to liability (criminal and civil) for taking actions mandated by government at the time they were taken. How wacky is this? Well, here’s an cruddy illustrative analogy for you. ‘Puter likes to use union workers in his analogies because as we all know, all unions are in it for the children (who are our future).
Hank works on the GM truck line in the mythical failed state of Michiganistan. Hank’s been putting bumpers on GMC 1500s for 25 years, and is a few years short of retirement. Hank’s been an exemplary employee, attaching bumpers exactly in accordance with his superiors’ instructions. Hank’s never deviated even minutely form the designers’ specifications. One day, Hank learns that the bumpers he’s been installing are claimed to be substandard, and may or may not have contributed to injuries in auto accidents. GM redesigns the bumpers to be installed, and Hank keeps working for three more years. One day, the Michigan State Police show up at Hank’s house and arrest him for installing the allegedly defective bumpers. The next day, Hank is served with a civil lawsuit, attempting to hold him liable for injuries to thousands of people allegedly caused by the bumpers Hank’s installed.
“Crazy!”, you say. “Not really.”, replies ‘Puter.
Hank’s the CIA interrogator who did exactly as instructed, with legal imprimatur, who now is the subject of a liberal second guessing of War on Terror tactics. Hank’s also the doctor who can’t prescribe a treatment who is hung out to dry by the very government that prevents him from doing his job. (‘Puter knows the doctor/Hank analogy is weak because Hank is in trouble for his actions, while the doctor is in trouble for his inaction, but suspend your danged overly-literal mind for a minute here). President Obama’s chosen course pushes liability down onto people who are not culpable. This is not a formula for success in either national defense or health care reform.
The foreseeable consequences of the Obama Administration’s interrogation and health care policies are thus: (1) we will be less safe because our protectors will fear prosecution for doing their jobs, so the job will remain undone; and (2) we will be less healthy because there will be fewer doctors willing to risk their livelihoods for following the government’s arbitrary rationing rules.
Welcome to our brave, new world, Obama style.