On March 22, on a radio talk show, Detroit-area Congressman John Dingell stated that it would take a long time to get the regulations together to implement Obamacare because, in his words, “it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.” You can listen to it here. It’s at about the 35-to-45 second point.

That reminds me of what I wrote about an even more extreme government-controlled system, the one the Canadian government adopted a few years before I left Canada. Here’s what I wrote in The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey in 2001:

It’s hard to say that the Canadian government guarantees health care, at least in the usual sense of the word “guarantee.” In fact, what the government really guarantees is that if you get health care, you won’t be allowed to pay for it, and it is this guarantee that makes you have to wait to get it. The government also guarantees something else: If health care providers try to set up their own clinics and charge willing patients for medical care, the government will shut them down. When I tell this to advocates of the Canadian-style health care system, some are often unwilling to part with their belief in socialized medicine. I find this strange because I believe them when they say that their motive for advocating socialized medicine is to have everyone covered. Yet, many advocates of socialized medicine seem to prefer that everyone be forced into a rationing system rather than have the government provide some basic minimum and let patients and providers who want to opt out of the system do so. So, what started out as a belief in a right to health care ended up as a belief in preventing people from getting health care. Thus my conclusion that it’s not about rights at all, but about power.

HT to Mark Carbonaro.