Notorious criminal Charles Manson, who passed away last month in a California hospital, has certainly made the list of celebrities who died in 2017. For observers of any age, particularly millennials, Manson’s departure is worthy of reflection on a couple of points.
For those who might have any doubts, Manson provides evidence that evil does, in fact, exist. See Vincent Bugliosi’s “Helter Skelter” for details about the murder spree he masterminded. Victims included actress Sharon Tate (“Valley of the Dolls”) and her unborn child.
According to Bugliosi, Manson was hoping to launch a race war between black people and white people, after which, he believed, victorious black people would turn to him for advice. He drew a death sentence but the California Supreme Court overturned the state’s death penalty statute.
So it was off to prison for Manson, with possibility of parole, incredibly enough.
California prisons are tough places and Manson was sometimes a target for violence. Even so, Manson lived to the ripe, old age of 83, and health care doubtless played a major role.
Amazingly, Charles Manson, one of the worst people ever to exist, enjoyed better health care than most Californians.
About 1.3 million people get health insurance through Covered California, the Golden State’s wholly owned subsidiary of Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act. Covered California was supposed to achieve great improvements, but it didn’t work out that way.
Health journalist Emily Bazar has noted how Covered California’s $454 million computer system was dysfunctional. So Californians’ information was mishandled, and many were dropped from their plans, even as others lost eligibility for tax credits, a big selling point of the system.
Thousands of pregnant women lost their doctors and had key prenatal appointments canceled. All told, Bazar concluded, Covered California was generating “widespread consumer misery.” None of that for convicted murderer Charles Manson, who got all the health care he needed, whenever he needed it.
The sub-loathsome convict suffered no delays, paid no bills and never worried about losing his doctor or being dropped from his plan. Manson was hardly alone, and in recent years the state has ramped up the perks for violent criminals.
In February of 1980 in Los Angeles, Rodney Quine and an accomplice gunned down Shahid Ali Baig, a father of three, then stole Baig’s car and $80. Quine was married and a father, but in prison claimed he was really a woman and demanded a sex-change operation.
San Francisco federal judge Jon Tigar ruled that denying a prisoner’s sex-change operation may constitute “deliberate indifference” to a serious medical need and, if so, would be unconstitutionally “cruel and unusual punishment.” In 2015 California agreed to pay, and on January 5, 2017 Shiloh Heavenly Quine duly got the state-funded “reassignment” — which transgender activists construe as a right.
Judge Tigar subsequently ruled that taxpayers must foot the bill for Shiloh Heavenly Quine’s jewelry and sartorial needs, right down to bracelets, earrings and “compression tops.”
In California, a man can commit murder, claim he is really a woman, and the state will pick up the tab for his sexual reassignment surgery. Likewise, Charles Manson can mastermind a series of gruesome murders, keep his own life, and get quality health care that keeps him going well into his eighties. If this isn’t evil, taxpayers could be forgiven for believing it’s not right.
Congress could provide a measure of relief by allowing individuals nationwide to buy the health plan they believe best meets their needs. Until that happens, those who don’t like their Obamacare plan will have to keep it.
Happy holidays, everybody!
Lloyd Billingsley is a policy fellow at the Independent Institute. He is the author of the new crime book Lethal Injections: Elizabeth Tracy Mae Wettlaufer, Canada’s Serial Killer Nurse, and the recently updated Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.