I’m not an avid supporter of the health care reform package signed into law last week. It’s just not socialism, and everybody should bring it back a little bit. That was my point. But now some readers got all hot and bothered, so you’ve forced me to make an argument.
So let’s address these issues one at a time, today we will address the issue of the constitution and how some believe this is an unprecedented transgression on our civil liberties, yadda yadda. The argument being making people get health care violates their first amendment rights to live however they damn well please, basically.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for ensuring a minimum role of government in our society. Expanded government definitely infringes upon personal freedoms. The problem is that health care has an effect beyond the individual who chooses to not get insurance.
A person who gets sick is still entitled to medical care if they show up at a hospital and who pays for that? That’s right the taxpayer.It’s not all that different, in my opinion, then the creation of municipal-government run fire departments. The old policy was to have private fire departments that a homeowner could hire if they wanted to.
The problem was that some guys house catches on fire and he doesn’t have a private fire department so the fire spreads until it hits a house who employs a fire department. So people got together and established a town fire department that everyone paid for through this thing called taxes for the mutual benefit for the group. The fire department is absolutely a form of government mandated socialism in this country, probably in most countries.
Now I’m not saying these are parallel situation, fire and health care. But they are similar in there social impact. My health is at risk when a co-worker, or a fellow student, has the swine flu that goes untreated because he/she doesn’t have health insurance.
But I’m getting off topic. The ability of the Congress to regulate commerce, a well established right of the legislature, is as old as the founders…in fact John Adams is the first President to mandate health care coverage by private industry. Not President Obama.
In 1798 Congress passed, and John Adams signed, An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seaman, (I’ll pause for laughter). This legislation required privately employed sailors to purchase health care insurance. Well doesn’t that sounds familiar.
More over the Seaman health bill (pausing again for laughter), created a kind of hospital system for disabled or sick sailors. To pay for this new governmental service America’s first payroll tax was enacted, requiring 20 cents from each sailors pay to be deducted for potential hospital care. Failure to pay this tax could be penalized with a fine.
That’s what we like to call precedent, bitches.