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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Some Perspective On Universal Health Care and the Founding Fathers

How many times have you heard a Democratic politician or pundit say something like this?

Among the OECD's 30 members -- which include Australia, Austria, Belgium,Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom -- there are only three lacking universal health coverage. The other two happen to be Mexico and Turkey, which have the excuse of being poorer than the rest (and until the onset of the world economic crisis, Mexico was on the way to providing healthcare to all of its citizens). The third, of course, is us."

(Here is the actual report from the OECD web site)

"The story gets worse as the details emerge. Although the public share of health expenditure in the United States is much lower than any other OECD country except Mexico, the public expenditure on healthcare is much higher per capita than in most OECD countries. So we pay a lot more in taxes devoted to medical care -- not including insurance premiums, co-payments, fees, and other health costs -- than taxpayers in those 27 countries that have universal coverage. Our public expenditure provides coverage only for the elderly and some of the poor (through Medicaid and the SCHIP program for children) while other countries provide universal coverage while spending less."

Let's think about this for a minute. The U.S. doesn't have universal health insurance coverage and many pundits and Democratic politicians think this is bad. Isn't having health insurance a choice? If it's a choice what does it say about all those nations that have universal coverage. It means that there is no choice.

This country was founded on liberty. It was founded on the principle that the government would leave the citizenry alone and only performing the basic functions of protecting the citizens. Now, we bemoan the fact that the U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't have universal coverage. Of course, universal coverage means forced coverage.

What would the founding fathers think of someone proclaiming that the lack of "universal health care" in the U.S. is a bad thing? Health insurance wasn't even a creation when the Revolutionary War was fought. Now, some politician thinks that it should not only be a right but a demand of the citizens. In fact, anyone that views our nation as the only industrialized without universal coverage as a bad thing knows very little about the principles that this nation was founded on.

This nation was founded on the principle of liberty. Health insurance should be as available and cheap as possible. It should not be mandated. It should NOT be paid for by the taxes of someone else. That infringes on the liberty of those being taxed. Anyone that looks at our place in the world, as the only industrialized nation without universal health care, and thinks that's a bad thing simply has no idea what this country was founded on.


B. Johnson said...

Given that the federal Constitution is silent about public healthcare, the 10th A. automatically reserves government power to regulate and lay taxes for healthcare to the states, not the Oval Office and Congress.

In fact, Chief Justice Marshall had established the following case precedent, now wrongly ignored, which appropriately limits the power of the federal government to lay taxes.

"Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States." --Chief Justice Marshall, GIBBONS V. OGDEN (1824)

So not only should no federal tax dollars be leaving the states to fund constitutionally unauthorized Obamacare, but we should have the following situation.

We should be seeing possibly 50 diverse, state-run healthcare programs. The beauty of diverse state programs is the following. Some states are going to know how to manage public healthcare while other states may not do so well. But hopefully the states that know what they're doing would be willing to give hints to other states, states whose programs aren't quite ready for prime time, as to how to improve their programs.

Also, given two states with similar healthcare programs, it would probably make it easier to spot healthcare corruption in one state when its books are compared with another state.

Finally, the following link contains an analysis as to how state sovereignty-ignorant US citizens have shot themselves in the foot with a big, power-hungry, Constitution-ignoring federal government that they unthinkingly created.

The 16th & 17th Amendments and the big, corrupt fed. gov.

Anonymous said...

So that's what it comes down to, Mike? We're slaves to the Founding Fathers? Or rather, your interpretation of what they believed in?

Forgive me if I find your interpretation inherently untrustworthy, seeing how many conservatives attempt to put their own agenda in the mouths of the Founders.

You know, I bet some of the Founders didn't consider blacks to be genetically equivalent to Europeans, too. Should we be slaves to that idea as well?

mike volpe said...

In a sense we are. The country is what it is because of the men that created it. We outlawed slavery with a Constitutional amendment. If you want health care to be a right, you can similarly make another amendment. To simply impose it by law when it clearly isn't auhorized in the constitution is simply unconstitutional.

Anonymous said...

I take it the fact that we outlawed slavery by Constitutional Amendment practically at gunpoint doesn't matter to you?

Remember, one of the terms of ending Reconstruction was that the confederate states had to ratify the 13th Amendment.

Course at the rate we're going, it might take a Civil War to get health care reformed in this country.

B. Johnson said...

As a side-note to healthcare, regarding the current emphasis on "public option" concerning constitutionally unauthorized Obamacare, weren't the Constitution-ignoring Democrats claiming a "the sky is falling" healthcare crisis just a few days ago? That's like global warming alarmists slyly shifting their emphasis to climate change.

Jason said...

However, since health care and insurance are a commercial activity, the "Commerce Clause" in Article 1, Section 8, would give Congress the authority to regulate this industry.
While you cite Gibbons v. Ogden, you fail to remember that this case expanded the power of the federal government through a broad interpretation of the "commerce clause"

mike volpe said...

regulate doesn't mean impose. Regulate means to make regular, not to impose. It's one thing to say that health insurance is an interstate activity, and quite another to then say that congress has the power to impose universal health care.