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A Reasonable Argument for Health Care as Right and the Health Care Mandate

Objective Voice

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After paying close attention to the health care debate since before the new health care law was passed, I have endeavored to concentrate on those issues related to health services and the fairness thereof, medical care treatment, prevention and health care coverage. In doing so, I believe the President is correct in calling for a health insurance mandate. To understand why, I believe we must first explore provisions in two of our nation's most prominent documents in forming this great nation: The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

The Preambleto the Declaration of Independence reads:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Life...

The Preamble to the Constitution reads, in-part:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare...
Welfare...

To most, “life” is viewed only within the context of social disorder, i.e., protectionism from certain acts of violence as in the most heinous crimes. But in the context of the Declaration of Independence, it means preserving the very essence of the sentient being in every facet, i.e., providing for basic survival needs such as food, water, shelter, health and security. (See footnotes 1 and 2.)

The issue of “welfare” stems from the fact that our Founding Fathers realized that the only way a nation were to survive the generations was to ensure its overall health. Hence, the reason for the phrase, “promote the general welfare”, i.e., doing all things possible to prevent the spread of disease and to treat and/or curse illnesses. If you look up the word, “welfare”, it is defined as:

“Health, happiness and general well-being.”

If you look at the secondary definition, you will also find the word “prosperity” taken from the root word, “prosper”. In the context of the Constitution, this means to provide the opportunity for all citizens to survive and to pass on to the next generation better overall living conditions than are presently afforded to our own. Part of that prosperity includes doing all that can reasonably be done to promote a healthy society. It was this basic idea that We, the People, have a responsibility one to the other, and as a representative government, we elect public official to Congress to not only represent or protect the sovereignty of the State, but also to protect and preserve the well-being of a nation. To that, we must provide an avenue whereby our nation's citizens can not only sustain life, but lead healthy lives. This is the primary reason why nations make strong efforts to halt pandemics and keep them from morphing into epidemics. In this regard, physicians over the centuries have taken the Hippocratic Oath as a pledge to do everything within their God-given talents to save lives and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Part of the Hippocratic Oath reads as follows:

I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
Therefore, physicians, at the very core of their profession, knowingly take on this awesome responsibility to do everything within their power to preserve life. But notice also that portion of the Oath where physicians acknowledge the economic impact injury and illness have on individual and/or the family.

Much has been said concerning the cost of health care in this country. Long since before President Obama took office, our government has cautioned the nation of the rising cost of health care, specifically where Medicare and Medicaid are concerned (See footnotes 3, 4 and 5), but also within the private sector. Moreover, State budgets are also feeling the pinch of increased Medicaid expenditures. Still further, individuals and families alike are discovering that they are but one catastrophic illness or injury away from going bankrupt over the ever increasing cost of health care.

We've heard the stories of patients being denied medical care coverage due to a pre-existing condition or because a patient's health plan did not cover a specific medical condition. Therefore, patients have been denied life-altering medical treatment human decency dictates they deserve. Our own founding documents mandate such. It is for this reason that I believe health care should be a right. However, in ensuring this right, I do not believe it necessary nor practical for the government to provide that care to its citizens, not without imperiling an entire commercial industry or imposing a new or higher tax on its citizens.

In a capitalistic society, I do not believe that a universal health care (UHC) system would work. Not only do I believe that such a system would infringe on the free-market system this nation employes, but such a system would limit, if not remove, a health care professional's ability to “pursue happiness”; that is to say health care professionals including health insurers would very likely be unable to establish a private enterprise within the health care industry as we know it today. Mind you, however, it is also this very same American health care system that although it has provided great wealth and prestige to many and has provided clinical care towards the “general welfare” of the nation as a whole, it also has been a limiting factor in the ability of many of this nation's citizens to gain access to even the most basic health care at a reasonable cost or to acquire routine health care treatment without infringing on the State, the government via social programs such as Medicaid, or to an extend a large portion of this nation's citizens. As such, many of our nation's poorest citizen have turned to using hospital emergency rooms to obtain needed medical care. This practice – a point of contention among many – has led to imposing an “emergency room fee” in the health insurance policies on those who can afford to acquire health insurance. This fee is used by hospitals to offset the cost of “free” emergency room care to those who either cannot afford health care coverage or who for reasons of their own either refuse to obtain health care, or to those who “fall between the cracks” and don't qualify for any state or federal social service program to help meet their health care needs. Conversely, a small portion of our nation's citizens who can afford health care have for reasons of their refused to obtain needed health care coverage except when they become too sick to meet the out-of-pocket expenses associated with treating their illness or injury. This practice of suspending obtaining health care coverage often inflates the cost of health care coverage within the private sector. But I digress...

Under a UHC system, it wouldn't be too difficult to extrapolated that were the U.S. government to provide health care to its citizens, it would be necessary to either implement a new federal tax similar to the FICA tax or increase payroll taxes in order to ensure such a system is adequately financed. Initially, the government would likely use private health insurance companies to acquire a range of health care plans; however, these plans would have to be “standardized” in order to promote fairness among the populous. Eventually, the government would chip away at the private insurance industry in its attempt to bring down the cost of health care. Over time, the government would begin to underwrite health care policies akin to Medicare or as it now provides under the VA or to our nation's military. From there health care standards would be written exclusively by a single government bureaucracy. It isn't difficult to conceive that eventually, private hospitals would come under direct government control, as well as, teaching institutions such as colleges, university and “teaching hospitals” where many doctors generally undertake residency training.

I don't believe that a private industry need be destroyed in order to provide health care to a nation. However, as most politicians do agree, our nation's health care system is broken and needed to be fixed. How to fix it without destroying an industry, placing health care completely under government control, standardizing health care policies, assessing the uniformity of medical treatment throughout the health care system or denying the states their sovereignty where the governance of its residence or infringing on inner-state commerce is an extraordinary challenge. I believe that the health care reform legislation that was signed into law was the best compromise that could be reached in order to address all these concerns while also providing a means to finance the cost of health care offered by the States, supplemented by the government.

In an attempt to bring down the cost of health care, particularly with Medicare and Medicaid but also within the private sector, a variety of measures needed to be implemented. Among them were: 1) mandate that all the nation's citizens obtain (at a minimum) a basic health care plan; 2) standardize insurance benefits so that all health care plans provide the same level of health benefits; 3) monitor health care practices and procedures to ensure that all citizens receive the highest standard in medical treatment modern medical research can provide; and, 4) impose “penalties” to the non-compliant in an effort to limit taxation upon its citizens. Moreover, the “commerce clause” in the Constitution provides an avenue whereby the government can regulate the health care industry without removing the ability of the sovereign states to maintain control of the free markets within their respective boarders. Remove any of these elements from health care legislation and not only would attempts to standardize health care practices, procedures and treatments across the entire health care industry be in jeopardy, but all efforts to reduce health care costs would likely be lost.

Footnote 1: Summary on the phrase, "Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”.
Footnote 2: Locke's Influence on the French Constitutions
Footnote 3: Heritage Foundation “Future of Medicare Cost
Footnote 4: "Healthcare Cost and the Looming U.S. Budget Crisis"
Footnote 5: "How Democrats and Republicans united behind Unsustainable Medicare Cost Growth"
 
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Objective Voice

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As a supplement to the above, I would also like to add that our government has been involved in various aspects of the overall health of this nation for quite some time only most of us don't seem to notice, i.e., the FDA, USDA, EPA, CDC, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services enacted in 1953. These agencies have acted as the vanguards to our nation's health to inform, educate, and inoculate this nation from contracting the worse viruses known to man, as well as teach us how to stay as healthy as possible.

To those who would argue the contrary, it wasn't that long ago that a public health figure became a constant within our national health conscientiousness: C. Everett Koop. A competent health care official during the Reagan Administration, Mr. Koop became the “voice of health information” and was a mainstay in households across the nation. We watched on our televisions and listened attentively his he spoke on such health and safety issues ranging from the hazards of smoking to lung cancer to espousing protective measure families could take to reduce the risk of spreading the common cold. Suffice it to say, government has been involved in the health and well-being of this nation in way most people hardly recognize.
 
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The_Patriot

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A rebuttal to your argument. Using modern definitions for words is destined to failure. Word meanings evolve and change over time, so the best way to understand the meaning the founding fathers conveyed in their writings is to use a dictionary from that era. In this case, the closest dictionary that I've found is Webster's 1828 Dictionary.

Life as used by the founding fathers meant, "Manner of living; conduct; deportment, in regard to morals." Since the Declaration of Independence deals with the King's treatment of the colonies this one applies. It has nothing to do with health or prosperity.

I noticed that you avoided pointing out Liberty in the Declaration of Independence. Liberty is defined by Noah Webster as, " 1. Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.

2. Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government.

3. Civil liberty, is the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty, not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression. civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty."

Liberty is a state of being that exists as being freedom from restraint. The only time liberty can be restrained is when it is necessary for the safety and interest of society as a whole. Mandated health insurance is an undue restraint upon a person's private will by forcing them to purchase a product and by the force removal of the fruits of his/her labor through income taxation. The Constitution states what is reasonable in respect to liberty by the delineated listing of powers and the protection under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to prohibit the federal government from overstepping it's authority. The Ninth Amendment states that the listing of rights in the Bill of Rights is not the be all, end all list, but there are other rights that the government is to automatically assume to exist that the government cannot restrict or remove said right from the people. The Tenth Amendment states quite clearly that if it's not listed in the Constitution as a power delegated said power belongs to the state governments or to the people. Basically it says, "If it ain't there you can't do it stupid."

General welfare is defined as such, "Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applied to states." It doesn't deal with welfare in the modern sense of the government giving out handouts. What are the ordinary blessings defined in the Constitution of the United States? The answer is all the powers that are delegated to it in writing. As such general welfare in the clause you've cited does not grant the government any power. For further backing of this originalist intent I give you James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

"With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators." – James Madison in letter to James Robertson

"[Congressional jurisdiction of power] is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any." - James Madison, Federalist 14

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined . . . to be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce." - James Madison, Federalist 45

"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions." - James Madison, 1792

“The Constitution allows only the means which are ‘necessary,’ not those which are merely ‘convenient,’ for effecting the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of construction be allowed to this phrase as to give any non-enumerated power, it will go to every one, for there is not one which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience in some instance or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers. It would swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce the whole to one power, as before observed" - Thomas Jefferson, 1791

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." - Thomas Jefferson, 1798
Health care is expensive due to government interference in the marketplace. It first began when the government had a 90% income tax rate in the 30's and 40's, so the only way companies to get qualified employees and pay them reasonably well the companies offered health insurance starting in the mid to late 1940's. Health insurance wasn't taxed nor heavily regulated at this time. The creation of the unconstitutional agencies you've outlined has caused the prices on health care to increase combined with the effects of fiat currency devaluation and government regulations prohibiting various practices by health insurance companies like selling their product across state lines. I remember growing up and until the early 90's that health care was very reasonable that insurance was unusual to have.
 
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cpwill

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Health care is expensive due to government interference in the marketplace. It first began when the government had a 90% income tax rate in the 30's and 40's, so the only way companies to get qualified employees and pay them reasonably well the companies offered health insurance starting in the mid to late 1940's. Health insurance wasn't taxed nor heavily regulated at this time. The creation of the unconstitutional agencies you've outlined has caused the prices on health care to increase combined with the effects of fiat currency devaluation and government regulations prohibiting various practices by health insurance companies like selling their product across state lines. I remember growing up and until the early 90's that health care was very reasonable that insurance was unusual to have.
Bingo: the Founders would have had a very clear picture of how to 'solve' healthcare: Get The Federal Government Out Of It. They would have considered this to be - at best - a state issue, with the exception that the States could not set up barriers to out-of-state-trade (such as currently exist); which was actually the intent of the commerce clause.
 

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Health care is expensive due to government interference in the marketplace. It first began when the government had a 90% income tax rate in the 30's and 40's, so the only way companies to get qualified employees and pay them reasonably well the companies offered health insurance starting in the mid to late 1940's. Health insurance wasn't taxed nor heavily regulated at this time. The creation of the unconstitutional agencies you've outlined has caused the prices on health care to increase combined with the effects of fiat currency devaluation and government regulations prohibiting various practices by health insurance companies like selling their product across state lines. I remember growing up and until the early 90's that health care was very reasonable that insurance was unusual to have.
I disagree with you. I think healthcare is expensive because we have low-deductible health insurance. I believe that higher deductibles would drastically and positively effect the cost of treatment. If, for example, every citizen were expected to cover the first thousand dollars of their medical care each year, doctors would not be charging $150 for an office visit. People would not be going to the emergency room for nonemergencies. Health insurance itself is the reason healthcare is so expensive.
 

cpwill

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I disagree with you. I think healthcare is expensive because we have low-deductible health insurance. I believe that higher deductibles would drastically and positively effect the cost of treatment. If, for example, every citizen were expected to cover the first thousand dollars of their medical care each year, doctors would not be charging $150 for an office visit. People would not be going to the emergency room for nonemergencies. Health insurance itself is the reason healthcare is so expensive.
also correct. HSA's, baby ;)
 

tacomancer

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I would love to do a high deductible insurance + HSA, but the medication and doctors visits for my kid would blow it out of the water :(
 

cpwill

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you couldnt make the deductible? out of the savings account?
 

Objective Voice

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I haven't been able to post a rebuttal to The_Patriot for various reasons, but I plan to reply soon. In the meantime, here's a snippet from an exerpt from the forthcoming book, "The Truth About Getting Sick in America: The Real Problems With Health Care and What We Can Do", by renouned health professional and the former Medical Editor for ABC's Good Morning America, Dr. Tim Johnson (editted for length):

[But] as we all entered this new century (2000), I became increasingly concerned about the major problems with the way we Americans often receive and pay for our health care. Clearly, some of us have been blessed to receive the best care available anywhere in the world. However, because we don't have anything that could be called a national "system" of health care in this country, many Americans are falling between the cracks and not getting any care— or getting care that is either inferior or too costly or both.

We do have many mini-systems of health care and insurance programs in this country, such as private medical systems like the Cleveland or Mayo clinics, or public insurance programs like Medicare or Medicaid. However, there is no national system that binds them together in a working whole. And when you're scrambling to find health care insurance you can afford— when you or a spouse lose a job, when your company decides it can no longer afford health insurance, when a young adult finishes or drops out of school— you are faced with the reality that there is no national plan as a backup or replacement.

Lack of health insurance can be just as deadly as lack of antibiotics, as it is often the cause of delay in getting good medical care. I also began to realize that most Americans (myself included) had no idea how costly and complicated our health care had become, and how often politicians used rhetoric that was either deliberately misleading or downright false.
There's more to the exerpt and I encourage readers of this post to not only review Dr. Johnson's commentary but also acquire the book as I entend to do. I'll leave the readers with this insight from French philosopher, John Locke, a man whom our Founding Fathers (Thomas Jefferson in particular) were very familiar and based much of our guiding priciples in both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution upon his teachings:

In John Locke's A Letter Concerning Toleration, he expressed his idea that a nation was composed only for "procuring, preserving, and advancing" man's civil interests. He believed these civil interests to be life, liberty, health, and indolency of body (prosperity or material possessions).
 

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I haven't been able to post a rebuttal to The_Patriot for various reasons, but I plan to reply soon. In the meantime, here's a snippet from an exerpt from the forthcoming book, "The Truth About Getting Sick in America: The Real Problems With Health Care and What We Can Do", by renouned health professional and the former Medical Editor for ABC's Good Morning America, Dr. Tim Johnson (editted for length):

There's more to the exerpt and I encourage readers of this post to not only review Dr. Johnson's commentary but also acquire the book as I entend to do. I'll leave the readers with this insight from French philosopher, John Locke, a man whom our Founding Fathers (Thomas Jefferson in particular) were very familiar and based much of our guiding priciples in both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution upon his teachings:
Nice job on referencing a letter concerning religious tolerence. :lol: I've already debunked your statement regarding health as used by the founding fathers. Shall I reiterate the definition of health?

The quote that you've cited is incorrect since this is the real quote, "Civil interests I call life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things, such as money, lands, houses, furniture, and the like." Indolency means to be slothful not prosperity or material possessions and has bunk to do with health.

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both admitted that they never read John Locke, but read Montisque and other French thinkers.
 

Objective Voice

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The article on Locke is very relivent to the discusson of health care as a right.

You see, what Locke does is two-fold:

First, he outlines the connection man has to his Creator and the precious gift all inhabitants share - life! But He only gives this knowledge to man that can only be appreciated once you come to understand how precious life is. Many people say they understand it, but the truth is most don't. Life to man is more than just having a willingness to lay it down for your fellow man. This is the reason many people value our nation's military; they (myself once among them) make the ultimate sacrafic for their fellow man. However, to truly appreciate life means to not only be willing to lay down your life for another, it also means to truly "need" another fellow human being in order to live, to exist. Only then can man understand how precisous life is and work hard to preserve it. You come to understand why "bad things happen to good people". You understand why this world has natural disasteres and why they are tied to "the human equation". You understand why it's important that society find ways to combat germs and viruses. Until you understand the "need" man has to co-exist with his fellow man, you never truly understand the significants of preserving "life".

Second, Locke's teachings illustrate the importance of governance in a civilized society where man's civil liberties aren't tread upon. We've often heard it said that the U.S. is a nation of laws. To that, you are correct when you addressed "civil liberty" in your post #3 above. For that is the system of governance the inhabitants of this nation fall under, a representative government that functions not to adhere to the will of the People, but rather to provide for the "general welfare" or well-being of the People, a Republic. And at the root of that well-being is to ensure a healthy nation so that they can realize their "greatness", their "prosperity".

Unless the overall wellness of the nation is secured, this nation will no longer exist. Without adequate health care, man ceases to exist. Early man knew this all too well. Pharohs, Kings and Emperors knew this. It is why they had their own "medicine men" - doctors - to cure them of their ills. As American society moved from "looking out for one's self" where single-family farmers lived in rural areas and planted and harvested their own crops and cared for thier own livestock and migrated to urban areas where "community farms/co-ops" became more commonplace, the population of a nation became such that even small farm co-ops could no long sustain foodstock for the masses. It was then that "commercial farming" - national agriculture - was born out of necessity. Until this transition of our nation's food supply took on this radical change, there really was no need to provide health care to the masses. Communities were small; the risk of the spread of disease was minimal and could easily be contained via quarantine - that is until the advent of vaccines which then innoculated whole communities from contracting certain germs and viruses.

The point is our nation's society changed over time. The whole of civilization has changed; however, this nation has progressed in ways most nations can only hope to achieve and yet we still see the preservation of life as a protection rather than a necessity. Security the blessings of liberty is a novel concept, but until you take the stand to preserve life itself, man will continue to suffer at his own peril.

Let me close by saying this...

You started the thread, and linked to an article of the same name. The article went on to provide a brief history of how our nation's "commercial" health care system came to be. If you will recall, health care didn't become commercialized until after the Great Depression, a time when our nation needed to look after the care and "well-being" of a nation the most, where all men were treated fairly and equally regardless of their standing or stature. This was the message Locke was attempting to convey to mankind. I would urge the reader to review not only that particular piece but also the other linked articles there within. Only then can one appreciate the profound significance of the need for all men to receive health care as part of our civil liberties.

Still, as I said in my opening post, I don't believe that in a captialistic system the government should provide health care to the nation. The only way that could truly be accomplished is by implimenting a UHC system, and the only way such a system can be sustained is through increasing the income tax "responsibility" - not burden - onto the People, one man looking out not only for himself but for his fellow man equally through a shared responsibility. Until this nation comes to realize this awesome responsibility we have one to another, no UHC system can exist here in the U.S. This is why I've stated that the present health care reform law is the best compromise our representative government could hope to achieve. It still has some flaws, i.e., the health insurance mandate as espoused at the federal level and not at the State level where it should have been, but it's a step in the right direction and a very necessary step.

One other footnote I'd like to add is Locke's "Declaration of the Right's of Man". The first six "articles" (or rights) speak on the protection and preservation of life and the liberties free men possess as outlined by his representative government in a civilized society. Many of these same principles espoused in this declaration can be found in many of our nation's principle documents as part of our governing legislation, our civil laws. I implore the reader to give careful consideration to this and other writings associated with man's right to live, the preservation of life and humanity's responsibility to his fellow man.

Life...it is such a precious gift.
 

FederalRepublic

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I would love to do a high deductible insurance + HSA, but the medication and doctors visits for my kid would blow it out of the water :(
I don't know what you're paying for your insurance plan, but I save enough on premiums to meet my deductible for the year...I think my plan costs around $400/month for a family of four (and that's not through my employer).
 

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The article on Locke is very relivent to the discusson of health care as a right.

You see, what Locke does is two-fold:

First, he outlines the connection man has to his Creator and the precious gift all inhabitants share - life! But He only gives this knowledge to man that can only be appreciated once you come to understand how precious life is. Many people say they understand it, but the truth is most don't. Life to man is more than just having a willingness to lay it down for your fellow man. This is the reason many people value our nation's military; they (myself once among them) make the ultimate sacrafic for their fellow man. However, to truly appreciate life means to not only be willing to lay down your life for another, it also means to truly "need" another fellow human being in order to live, to exist. Only then can man understand how precisous life is and work hard to preserve it. You come to understand why "bad things happen to good people". You understand why this world has natural disasteres and why they are tied to "the human equation". You understand why it's important that society find ways to combat germs and viruses. Until you understand the "need" man has to co-exist with his fellow man, you never truly understand the significants of preserving "life".

Second, Locke's teachings illustrate the importance of governance in a civilized society where man's civil liberties aren't tread upon. We've often heard it said that the U.S. is a nation of laws. To that, you are correct when you addressed "civil liberty" in your post #3 above. For that is the system of governance the inhabitants of this nation fall under, a representative government that functions not to adhere to the will of the People, but rather to provide for the "general welfare" or well-being of the People, a Republic. And at the root of that well-being is to ensure a healthy nation so that they can realize their "greatness", their "prosperity".
This makes me sick to my stomach. Literally.

Unless the overall wellness of the nation is secured, this nation will no longer exist. Without adequate health care, man ceases to exist. Early man knew this all too well. Pharohs, Kings and Emperors knew this. It is why they had their own "medicine men" - doctors - to cure them of their ills. As American society moved from "looking out for one's self" where single-family farmers lived in rural areas and planted and harvested their own crops and cared for thier own livestock and migrated to urban areas where "community farms/co-ops" became more commonplace, the population of a nation became such that even small farm co-ops could no long sustain foodstock for the masses. It was then that "commercial farming" - national agriculture - was born out of necessity.
Wouldn't you also argue that the capitalistic system of providing food is not capable of providing for our well being, and that we suffer at our own peril because we pay our neighbor to raise chickens so that we won't have to?
 

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This makes me sick to my stomach. Literally.
Why? To be truly free is to be liberated. What would you do with that freedom? Would you covet it...hoard it so that no one else can experience it? Or do you share that freedom with others? Would you teach others how to also be liberated? And in doing so would you not want your fellow man to experience that exact same since of what it feels like to help your fellow man join you in that liberating experience?

To share that freedom means to share in the joy of living. To live without want is also to live knowing that you'll be cared for by somebody. In our households that somebody is usually a close family member, i.e., a spouse, or a child. But in a civilized society, that person must be your fellow man. If we cannot depend one upon the other, we truly cannot survive. Man needs his fellow man to exist.

Now, that doesn't absolve us from doing things for ourselves in order to live happy, fruitful lives, to have that prosperity abundantly. But to have such and not share it with others isn't what God wants of us. We were created in God's image, and that image is love. In a civilized society, the way we show love to our fellow man is to help lift him up, not tear him down. Again, this doesn't mean that we create a co-dependent environment for the one in need. It is this such environment that Conservatives argue against. To that, I agree. But we must temper our "selfishness" with human compassion for those who can't readily do for themselves. That means providing a way inwhich those who do become sick can acquire the medical aid they need. And in a capitalistic society, it means providing that aid in a way that all men can afford to obtain it.

Until we, as a nation, come to fully understand this we can never overcome this very delicate yet very personal issue of health care to all. We need each other, the "greater society", in order to live. Government provides that legalistic bridge to our very survival.

Wouldn't you also argue that the capitalistic system of providing food is not capable of providing for our well being, and that we suffer at our own peril because we pay our neighbor to raise chickens so that we won't have to?
I don't quite follow what you mean here. A system of government that provides for our every need is a system that inflects controls upon its people. That's not what free men desire. However, a system of governance that empowers its people to improve their own standing while also providing ways inwhich those who cannot reach a level of prosperity for which they can be happy with once attained - and you have to decide for yourself what that level of happiness is - is a government I want to be a part of. We have such a government here in this country despite what many few as chaotic currently. On the issue of health care, that doesn't mean that the government provide that to me. I don't need for the government to put a bandaide on my wound when I get sick or injured. But I do need the government to ensure that when I get sick there is a fair, equal and attainable system in place whereby I can go seak the medical attention I need.

Therein is the difference in what I'm speaking of, and it is what the health care reform law is attempting to provide. Not the bandaide...just a fair and equal means to attain it.
 
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The article on Locke is very relivent to the discusson of health care as a right.

You see, what Locke does is two-fold:

First, he outlines the connection man has to his Creator and the precious gift all inhabitants share - life! But He only gives this knowledge to man that can only be appreciated once you come to understand how precious life is. Many people say they understand it, but the truth is most don't. Life to man is more than just having a willingness to lay it down for your fellow man. This is the reason many people value our nation's military; they (myself once among them) make the ultimate sacrafic for their fellow man. However, to truly appreciate life means to not only be willing to lay down your life for another, it also means to truly "need" another fellow human being in order to live, to exist. Only then can man understand how precisous life is and work hard to preserve it. You come to understand why "bad things happen to good people". You understand why this world has natural disasteres and why they are tied to "the human equation". You understand why it's important that society find ways to combat germs and viruses. Until you understand the "need" man has to co-exist with his fellow man, you never truly understand the significants of preserving "life".
The entirity of Locke's letter is based off of religious doctrine, specifically Anglicanism, which is a violation of the First Amendment's prohibition of writing laws based off of a specific religious text. I'll disregard it on that basis.

Second, Locke's teachings illustrate the importance of governance in a civilized society where man's civil liberties aren't tread upon. We've often heard it said that the U.S. is a nation of laws. To that, you are correct when you addressed "civil liberty" in your post #3 above. For that is the system of governance the inhabitants of this nation fall under, a representative government that functions not to adhere to the will of the People, but rather to provide for the "general welfare" or well-being of the People, a Republic. And at the root of that well-being is to ensure a healthy nation so that they can realize their "greatness", their "prosperity".
You're misusing the words of Locke to push forth a socialist agenda that runs contrary to what he actually wrote. Lock, as well as other men of the Enlightenment, believed that man could make their own decisions without the interference of the government. By forcing government mandated health care onto the people you have violated their do no harm principle since in order to pay for you have to punish a certain group, rich, to give to another group, the poor. This turns the rich into slaves of the poor, which is definitely in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers believed that the person that knows what is best for each individual is the individual themselves and not the government. This is why my prior posting of what General Welfare actually means shoots down your argument.

Unless the overall wellness of the nation is secured, this nation will no longer exist. Without adequate health care, man ceases to exist. Early man knew this all too well. Pharohs, Kings and Emperors knew this. It is why they had their own "medicine men" - doctors - to cure them of their ills. As American society moved from "looking out for one's self" where single-family farmers lived in rural areas and planted and harvested their own crops and cared for thier own livestock and migrated to urban areas where "community farms/co-ops" became more commonplace, the population of a nation became such that even small farm co-ops could no long sustain foodstock for the masses. It was then that "commercial farming" - national agriculture - was born out of necessity. Until this transition of our nation's food supply took on this radical change, there really was no need to provide health care to the masses. Communities were small; the risk of the spread of disease was minimal and could easily be contained via quarantine - that is until the advent of vaccines which then innoculated whole communities from contracting certain germs and viruses.
You forgot that this was done in violation of the Constitution, which ends all discussion and your emotional plea for UHC.

The point is our nation's society changed over time. The whole of civilization has changed; however, this nation has progressed in ways most nations can only hope to achieve and yet we still see the preservation of life as a protection rather than a necessity. Security the blessings of liberty is a novel concept, but until you take the stand to preserve life itself, man will continue to suffer at his own peril.
See above for my reply.

Let me close by saying this...

You started the thread, and linked to an article of the same name. The article went on to provide a brief history of how our nation's "commercial" health care system came to be. If you will recall, health care didn't become commercialized until after the Great Depression, a time when our nation needed to look after the care and "well-being" of a nation the most, where all men were treated fairly and equally regardless of their standing or stature. This was the message Locke was attempting to convey to mankind. I would urge the reader to review not only that particular piece but also the other linked articles there within. Only then can one appreciate the profound significance of the need for all men to receive health care as part of our civil liberties.
Your position is in violation of the Constitution, so your emotional plea will go unanswered since you fail to counter my post that the government is the cause of the problems with health care to begin with.

Still, as I said in my opening post, I don't believe that in a captialistic system the government should provide health care to the nation. The only way that could truly be accomplished is by implimenting a UHC system, and the only way such a system can be sustained is through increasing the income tax "responsibility" - not burden - onto the People, one man looking out not only for himself but for his fellow man equally through a shared responsibility. Until this nation comes to realize this awesome responsibility we have one to another, no UHC system can exist here in the U.S. This is why I've stated that the present health care reform law is the best compromise our representative government could hope to achieve. It still has some flaws, i.e., the health insurance mandate as espoused at the federal level and not at the State level where it should have been, but it's a step in the right direction and a very necessary step.
The US doesn't have a capitalistic system and hasn't for almost 100 years. We have a mixed system that is based on capitalism and socialist economics.

One other footnote I'd like to add is Locke's "Declaration of the Right's of Man". The first six "articles" (or rights) speak on the protection and preservation of life and the liberties free men possess as outlined by his representative government in a civilized society. Many of these same principles espoused in this declaration can be found in many of our nation's principle documents as part of our governing legislation, our civil laws. I implore the reader to give careful consideration to this and other writings associated with man's right to live, the preservation of life and humanity's responsibility to his fellow man.

Life...it is such a precious gift.
If life is such a precious gift then why is abortion legal? The Bill of Rights is a limitation on the government not the people. The preamble even states this, "The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution." The Ninth and Tenth Amendment prohibits the federal government from removing rights from the people and the states to do something that is not enumerated in the Constitution. If you want UHC then pass a goddamn Constitutional Amendment according to Article V. Of course, given the current polling data shows that passing a UHC Amendment to the Constitution will not garner 2/3rd majority of the states, 33, so you want to do an end run around the Constitution.
 

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Bingo: the Founders would have had a very clear picture of how to 'solve' healthcare: Get The Federal Government Out Of It. They would have considered this to be - at best - a state issue, with the exception that the States could not set up barriers to out-of-state-trade (such as currently exist); which was actually the intent of the commerce clause.
Oh for ****'s sake, the founders didn't have any picture at all about health care, because health care in their time is not worthy of the name.
 

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Utterly and fundamentally stupid. No matter how you twist it, you do not have the right to force me to provide you with health care.

Get off your lazy ass and provide for yourself.
 

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Patriot,

Life is a precious gift. Do you not have someone intimately close to you who would mourn your death? Should you sustain some life threatening injury or disease would not someone attempt to preserve your life? Is there not someone who is intimately close to you willing to lay down his or her life for you so that you may live? If not, then I pray for your soul.

The point is life is not only worth living, it is worth preserving. There are people who would threaten the life of another or take his or her life for their own want. Abortion certainly is one such act of selfishness. However, our civil laws provide for free individuals to make that choice where their own happiness is concerned. Nonetheless, such an act of selfishness does not go without it's own punishment. I'm sure many who have gone forward with such an act never forget it and continue to live with that burden until they reconcile their action with God. But that's part of a separate debate. As for civil disorder overall, civil laws provide the protection, as well as the persecution of such transgressors. But beyond civil unrest there remains a need to implement a system of health standards bywhich society can preserve their well-being and that includes providing health care. Still, my argument has never been to implement UHC in this country. For, under our system of government it can never be done w/o the consent of the People. And the only way to implement such would be via higher taxation. Therefore, I reinterate, the People would have to recognize their shared responsibility, one to the other, before such a system could ever take form here. However, the system we currently have still keeps too many of its citizens on the outside, and in some cases those who do have access to health care are denied full participation (benefits) for various reasons, many for the sake of gain.

From where I stand which is not merely on the side of individuals but for the greater good of society and its preservation, I believe that health care should be a right. However, like our right to bear arms, it is not the responsibility of government to provide that care, merely fair and equal access to it.
 
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The_Patriot

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Patriot,

Life is a precious gift. Do you not have someone intimately close to you who would mourn your death? Should you sustain some life threatening injury or disease would not someone attempt to preserve your life? Is there not someone who is intimately close to you willing to lay down his or her life for you so that you may live? If not, then I pray for your soul.

The point is life is not only worth living, it is worth preserving. There are people who would threaten the life of another or take his or her life for their own want. Abortion certainly is one such act of selfishness. However, our civil laws provide for free individuals to make that choice where their own happiness is concerned. Nonetheless, such an act of selfishness does not go without it's own punishment. I'm sure many who have gone forward with such an act never forget it and continue to live with that burden until they reconcile their action with God. But that's part of a separate debate. As for civil disorder overall, civil laws provide the protection, as well as the persecution of such transgressors. But beyond civil unrest there remains a need to implement a system of health standards bywhich society can preserve their well-being and that includes providing health care. Still, my argument has never been to implement UHC in this country. For, under our system of government it can never be done w/o the consent of the People. And the only way to implement such would be via higher taxation. Therefore, I reinterate, the People would have to recognize their shared responsibility, one to the other, before such a system could ever take form here. However, the system we currently have still keeps too many of its citizens on the outside, and in some cases those who do have access to health care are denied full participation (benefits) for various reasons, many for the sake of gain.

From where I stand which is not merely on the side of individuals but for the greater good of society and its preservation, I believe that health care should be a right. However, like our right to bear arms, it is not the responsibility of government to provide that care, merely fair and equal access to it.
Emotional plea so I'll take that as a concession to this debate.
 

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An emotional plea is the proper justification for ensuring everyone has fair and equal access to health care. It's about life and looking out for one another. There's no greater cause than that.
 

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An emotional plea is the proper justification for ensuring everyone has fair and equal access to health care. It's about life and looking out for one another. There's no greater cause than that.
Then why is abortion legal? I noticed that you have failed to address a single one of my counter-arguments, so that means that your position has failed. Try again when you want to use facts and reason instead of emotion.
 
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Objective Voice

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Then why is abortion legal? I noticed that you have failed to address a single one of my counter-arguments, so that means that your position has failed. Try again when you want to use facts and reason instead of emotion.
Actually, I did.

The point is life is not only worth living, it is worth preserving. There are people who would threaten the life of another or take his or her life for their own want. Abortion certainly is one such act of selfishness. However, our civil laws provide for free individuals to make that choice where their own happiness is concerned. Nonetheless, such an act of selfishness does not go without it's own punishment. I'm sure many who have gone forward with such an act never forget it and continue to live with that burden until they reconcile their action with God. But that's part of a separate debate.
 

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Actually, I did.
I must have missed it, so thank you for pointing it out. If you would care to address the rest of my counter-argument with facts and reason please do.
 

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What more facts need be provided? Your thread, "A Short History on Health Care," (see post #11) provides many of the answers you seak. The additional linked articles within the OP discussing issues related to Medicaid/Medicare cost, state budgets where both of these social services/health care programs are concerned, rising health care costs within the private sector and the added cost to the insured that is attributed to emergency room care for those who can't afford health insurance should be all the counter-argument you need.

Nonetheless, my argument isn't merely about cost. It's about fair and equal access to health care. How do you provide health care to all without further infringing on the rights of others? As long as health care is viewed as personal entitlement - something that only those who can afford to obtain it are the only one's who can have it - health care will never be equally accessible or fairly administered. Dr. Johnson, for example, states firmly that only the rich can afford "the best quality health care money can buy" while everyone else is typically left with...whatever's available?

If you are employed by a major corporation, state or federal/civil service, chances are you have decent health care coverage. If you were fortunately enough to retire or are elderly, chances are you're on Medicare or COBRA. If you're poor, you likely receive Medicaid or some form of SSI-suppliment. You'd think that these options would cover all Americans. Unfortunately, there are many who fall through the cracks. What option do they have when they or a loved one gets sick or injured?

The irony here is those who, like myself, are employed and do receive health care coverage via their employer aren't the people I hear complaining the loudest against the health care mandate. It's people who can afford "the best quality health care money can buy", i.e., promiment political figures, some on talk radio, corporate CEOs, renouned figures in entertainment, etc. The health care mandate shouldn't trouble us because we have health care coverage. And should my employer drops health care coverage as an employee benefit in 2014, I can still go to my state's HIE to acquire coverage...assuming my state doesn't opt out. But what if it does? Now, where do I go?

I could pay out of pocket directly doing as CWpill suggests and buy into a health savings account which personally I think is a good idea. But even this doesn't solve the problem for those who are unemployeed or even if they are, such as young adults, whose income may not be enough to allow them to buy into such a health savings plan yet they, too, fall through the cracks. What happens to them? Many now are (or soon will be) allowed to remain on their parent's insurance until age 26. Not a bad compromise. But these are people - college students mainly - who would still be on their parent's nickle anyway because many are still in post-secondary education. Still, raising this age limit was the right thing to do. But what about the others?

What do you do to ensure everyone has access to affordable health care and that such coverage is fair and equal to all? As unfair and unconstitutional as many people believe the health care mandate to be - and to an extent I agree that it shouldn't be the government who makes this decision - until a better way is established to ensure all Americans have fair and equal access to health care, I believe the health care reform law was the best compromise we could hope to achieve...

...until a better way is implimented.

The question becomes, "What way is better?"

(BTW, you're welcome...:) )
 
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The_Patriot

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What more facts need be provided? Your thread, "A Short History on Health Care," (see post #11) provides many of the answers you seak. The additional linked articles within the OP discussing issues related to Medicaid/Medicare cost, state budgets where both of these social services/health care programs are concerned, rising health care costs within the private sector and the added cost to the insured that is attributed to emergency room care for those who can't afford health insurance should be all the counter-argument you need.

Nonetheless, my argument isn't merely about cost. It's about fair and equal access to health care. How do you provide health care to all without further infringing on the rights of others? As long as health care is viewed as personal entitlement - something that only those who can afford to obtain it are the only one's who can have it - health care will never be equally accessible or fairly administered. Dr. Johnson, for example, states firmly that only the rich can afford "the best quality health care money can buy" while everyone else is typically left with...whatever's available?

If you are employed by a major corporation, state or federal/civil service, chances are you have decent health care coverage. If you were fortunately enough to retire or are elderly, chances are you're on Medicare or COBRA. If you're poor, you likely receive Medicaid or some form of SSI-suppliment. You'd think that these options would cover all Americans. Unfortunately, there are many who fall through the cracks. What option do they have when they or a loved one gets sick or injured?

The irony here is those who, like myself, are employed and do receive health care coverage via their employer aren't the people I hear complaining the loudest against the health care mandate. It's people who can afford "the best quality health care money can buy", i.e., promiment political figures, some on talk radio, corporate CEOs, renouned figures in entertainment, etc. The health care mandate shouldn't trouble us because we have health care coverage. And should my employer drops health care coverage as an employee benefit in 2014, I can still go to my state's HIE to acquire coverage...assuming my state doesn't opt out. But what if it does? Now, where do I go?

I could pay out of pocket directly doing as CWpill suggests and buy into a health savings account which personally I think is a good idea. But even this doesn't solve the problem for those who are unemployeed or even if they are, such as young adults, whose income may not be enough to allow them to buy into such a health savings plan yet they, too, fall through the cracks. What happens to them? Many now are (or soon will be) allowed to remain on their parent's insurance until age 26. Not a bad compromise. But these are people - college students mainly - who would still be on their parent's nickle anyway because many are still in post-secondary education. Still, raising this age limit was the right thing to do. But what about the others?

What do you do to ensure everyone has access to affordable health care and that such coverage is fair and equal to all? As unfair and unconstitutional as many people believe the health care mandate to be - and to an extent I agree that it shouldn't be the government who makes this decision - until a better way is established to ensure all Americans have fair and equal access to health care, I believe the health care reform law was the best compromise we could hope to achieve...

...until a better way is implimented.

The question becomes, "What way is better?"

(BTW, you're welcome...:) )
Get the government out of health care and everyone will have equal access to it. That was the point behind my posting the history of health care.
 
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