2-6-14 – Open Letter to GMC Chair Al Gobeille

by Tom Licata

Open letter to Mr. Al Gobeille, chair of the Green Mountain Care Board, in response to his February 3 radio interview in which Vermont’s “single-payer” health care reforms are discussed:

Dear Al,

After listening to your approximately hour long interview on the Mark Johnson Show, what struck me almost immediately was the dangerous mixture of earnestness and seemingly naiveté.

Your recount of your son’s ailment along with your description of a nation living in “two Americas” was earnest in tone and compassion.

But to say you’ll not “focus” on the ‘political stuff,’ leaving this to others, demonstrates either naiveté or concealment. What you’re overseeing is a government-controlled health care system. Do you not understand that the very definition of government is “a system of ruling or controlling?”

The framers of our constitution understood this and as such measured political systems by the amount of coercive power expelled on citizen: The systematic control of people overseen in your health care “arena” is frightening.

On one hand is total coerciveness, known as tyranny, and on the other is no government, known as anarchy. Our founders sought to organize a system of government in-between these polar opposites. They called this the “People’s Law,” a system of government preserving man’s inherent individual rights to life, liberty and property; while simultaneously controlling the governed and the governing.

This system allowed power to emanate from the people upwards. Think of a pyramid with the people on the bottom – individuals and families – and as you move up the narrowed pyramid you find your civic organizations, followed by local, state and then at the very top, federal government.

Your “vision for America” appears more akin to an upside down pyramid, with government on top, dispensing “rights” downward onto the “people” found on the pyramid’s narrowed bottom. And your incurious political tone indicates either modest background in political science’s history or intentional avoidance in a vital debate.

Recently viewing an interview of you on TV, I sent a ridiculing email which simply stated “You’re a tool,” and in ensuing correspondence apologized; this in reference to you being “used” by Progressive-Democrats to further their ends, ends I believe you have little understanding of. And, not meant as ridiculing, I believe you are being used.

I also believe your intentions are noble.

Progressive-Democrats often disparage the principles found in our Declaration of Independence and the system of government found in our U.S. Constitution as musty and old documents that are outdated. “Living constitutionalism” is today’s flavor. But what isn’t well understood is that these documents were written with human nature in mind and because human nature doesn’t significantly change, these timeless documents are as relevant today as when they were written some 200-plus years ago. Our founders studied the great books of political philosophers such as Cicero, Locke, Montesquieu and Polybius; as well as the great civilizations of the past and using this wisdom, singularly put together a system of government rivaled by no other nation, past or present. Ask Gov. Shumlin what books sit atop his nightstand next time you see him: Saul Alinsky’s, perhaps?

Isn’t it ironic, then, that what really is “musty and old” isn’t our relatively youthful 200-plus year old founding documents but the 2,000-plus year old writings of Plato’s Republic and the approximately 500 year old writings of Thomas More’s Utopia and Hobbes’s Leviathan? For it is in these writings that better reflect the direction of Vermont’s Progressive-Democrats and their single-payer plans. And it is in these writings that demonstrate the coercive tragedies of such government social-engineering agendas as those pursued by the board you now chair.

Progressivism relies on gradualism to achieve their evolutionary revolution. Your government-controlled health care “arena” systematically confiscates the property of doctors found in their labor and seizes control of citizens’ lives, derived in liberty.

Let me expand, Al, on your favored Theodore Roosevelt quote, followed by my own: “It is not the critic who counts …The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…”

“Pride [Al], cometh before the fall.”

Respectively, Tom Licata

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