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A Manson Meditation

Tuesday November 21st, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:00am PST   •  

Charles Manson has died of natural causes at the age of 83, and those unfamiliar with the fellow should read Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, by Vincent Bugliosi.

In Los Angeles in 1969, Manson plotted a series of savage killings that were not entirely random. By having his followers scrawl “Pigs” on the wall, Manson hoped to throw the blame on militant blacks. As he believed, this would launch a race war in which the blacks would emerge victorious and seek out Manson for guidance on how to rule. If history was going to advance, innocent people would have to die, an idea Manson shared with Stalin, Pol Pot and others. And in a real sense, Manson got away with his deadly crimes.

He was convicted and sentenced to death, but in 1972 the California Supreme Court invalidated the state’s death penalty statute. This commuted the executions of Manson and his accomplices, who got life sentences with eligibility for parole.

Friends and loved ones of the murder victims, who included actress Sharon Tate, can be forgiven for believing that Manson and his gang should have been grandfathered in. Besides injustice, the convicted murderer confirms another reality.

During his long stretch in prison, Manson was hospitalized several times. Unlike injured veterans returning from conflicts abroad, he never had to wait for medical treatment, which was never denied for any reason. Unlike those insured through Covered California, the state’s wholly owned subsidiary of Obamacare, Charles Manson was never dropped from his plan and never saw his premiums skyrocket.

As Manson confirms, with the possible exception of politicians and government employees, convicted murderers get the best health care in the state. That’s not right, but Covered California, a kind of misery index, won’t fix the problem. It would be better to let law-abiding individuals purchase the health care they believe best suits their needs.

That would require a free market in health care, but in Sacramento and Washington that’s not what politicians have in mind.

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November 2017