In fact, this argument applies to every debate we're currently having. Let's take the "death panels". Will there be death panels? That ultimately depends on what all of the 53 new regulators says. It's very possible that page 425, which authorizes Medicaid payment for advanced care planning consultations, will be entirely voluntary and innocuous. On the other hand, with the right, or wron as you will, regulator, that can easily become mandatory. If someone like Dr. Ezekial Emanuel becomes a regulator, then that might be a totally different story. In fact, Charles Krauthammer framed it well today.
It's not an outrage. It's surely not a death panel. But it is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor. And when you include it in a health care reform whose major objective is to bend the cost curve downward, you have to be a fool or a knave to deny that it's intended to gently point you in a certain direction, toward the corner of the sick room where stands a ghostly figure, scythe in hand, offering release.
With the wrong regulator, that's exactly where we are headed. In fact, with the wrong regulator, anything can happen. It's important to understand that with the health care bill there won't be 53 regulators but 53 new regulators. The thing about regulators is that they are totally unpredictable. No one knows which one will become powerful and which will be marginalized. No one knows what will happen when a powerful regulator emerges. No one can possibly predict what that powerful regulator will do to the health care system.
That's why the only talking point that anyone needs to know is that 53 new regulators will be created. Just think about that for a minute. A libertarians' worst nightmare is the addition of a plethora of new regulators. Conservatives are slightly less fearful of overregulation. Yet, even a hard core liberal can't possibly think that 53 new regulators would do anything but create total control over the health care system by the government. Having so many new regulators is indefensible. It will create a system that is totally chaotic and out of control, and so, the only talking point that conservatives need to know about the health care debate is that 53 new regulators will be created.