An overactive government necessarily means that things that should not be politicized are politicized. People say, “We need to get the money out of government” or, “We need to stop lobbyists and special interests.” When the government is picking winners and losers through legislation and regulation, businesses are stupid if they do not do all they can to gain some influence in the process. When the government is willing to be activist, special interest activists for the environment or animal rights, or whatever, would be stupid not to gain influence.
It is governmental activism that politicizes everything. Here’s a wonderful example straight from Obamacare:
Under the headline, “Construction Stops at Physician Hospitals,” Politico reports today that “Physician Hospitals of America says that construction had to stop at 45 hospitals nationwide or they would not be able to bill Medicare for treatments.” Stopping construction at doctor-owned hospitals might not seem like the best way to boost the economy or to promote greater access and choice in health care, but that exactly what Obamacare is doing.
Kenneth Artz of the Heartland Institute explains, “Section 6001 of the health care law effectively bans new physician-owned hospitals (POHs) from starting up, and it keeps existing ones from expanding.” Politico adds, “Friday [New Year's Eve] marked the last day physician-owned hospitals could get Medicare certification covering their new or expanded hospitals, one of the latest provisions of the reform law to go into effect.”
This little-noticed but particularly egregious aspect of Obamacare is, by all accounts, a concession to the powerful American Hospital Association (AHA), a supporter of Obamacare, which prefers to have its member hospitals operate without competition from hospitals owned by doctors. Dr. Michael Russell, president of Physician Hospitals of America, which has filed suit to try to stop this selective building-ban from going into effect, says, “There are so many regulations [in Obamacare] and they are so onerous and intrusive that we believe that the section [Section 6001] was deliberately designed so no physician owned hospital could successfully comply.”
There you go… Fewer hospitals because one connected group managed to get something into legislation so a competitor could not compete. Politicization comes with activist government.