My lovely and sensitive wife, after reading the content below thought it a little too analytical. That was her subtle way of saying that I needed to show my heart.
My lovely and sensitive wife, after reading the content below thought it a little too analytical. That was her subtle way of saying that I needed to show my heart. That I needed to let the reader know that I deeply desire quality, affordable healthcare for all. However, it is my firm conviction that neither economic make-believe nor government mandates will bring this about. In fact I am quite certain that pretending this government mandate will reduce the budget when in fact is a budget buster will reduce access and quality for all. Only actions founded in free market principles will succeed in this endeavor. We live in the best country in the history of the world not by accident but as a direct result of freedom. The bedrock of this freedom is the constitution. Therefore, when I see the Constitution and freedom under attack I become quite passionate. Let me say I have several liberal and progressive friends. I am often amazed to see that often we have some of the same goals. For example, quality affordable health care for all. However, where we always differ is the route we take to get to their and who gets to drive.
Is health care a right? If not, should it be? From a constitutional point of view, the short answer is no. However, the debate has been festering for decades. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in 1944, proposed a political “second Bill of Rights” which is also known as the economic Bill of Rights. One of the imputed rights contained within FDR’s famous speech was the right to health care. His argument, an emotional one, suggested a moral imperative that social justice trumps that pesky thing we call the Constitution. Isn’t it self-evident that to “insure” economic equality for all is to assure security for no one? Or as Margaret Thatcher once said,“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Being students of history, the framers of the Constitution understood the natural evolution of a democratic government is unsustainable bureaucratic growth, anarchy, and tyranny. Therefore, the framers drafted a Constitution that allowed amendments, but with an intentionally high bar for ratification. They established three branches of government designed to perform checks and balances. The intent was to insulate the individual from government. In short, the Constitution was designed to insure equality of opportunity, not equality of results. Two of the three branches, with the passage of the unconstitutional health care bill by Congress and the signing by President Obama, have now failed us. We shall presently see if the third, the judicial branch will uphold the original intent of the Constitution, as there will undoubtedly be numerous lawsuits from individuals and states.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” Democratic Congressman John Lewis prior to the health care vote said the following, “We have a moral obligation today to make health care a right not a privilege.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? It sounds moral and compassionate. The only problem with this kind of thinking is that socialism has not worked in the past, doesn’t work now, and will not work in the future. Oh yeah, there is one more teeny, tiny problem: the bill they passed is unconstitutional. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Those who sacrifice essential liberty to purchase a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Well, doesn’t everyone have the right to a house? A nice car? Nice clothes? Free legal services? What about a job? Where does it end? Be careful of the individual’s toil you surrender for the good of the collective. You and your trade may be the next one sacrificed on the altar of entitlement rights. To watch a debate of TV conservatives and liberals/progressives is to watch people talking right past each other. The conservatives argue constitutional justice while progressives argue social justice and redistributive change (these are code words for taking from someone and giving to someone else). Conservative arguments are based on legal and economic constructs while liberals argue emotionally and with class warfare. Surprisingly, President Obama has admitted his frustration with the Constitution and what he calls its “negative liberties” and its failure to delineate what “government must do on the peoples behalf.” It is astonishing that the purported “constitutional scholar” doesn’t understand that the Constitution was explicitly designed to protect us from people like him and his ilk. It is no accident that the Constitution focused on limiting governmental power.
The late Dr. Adrian Rogers wrote the following.
“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
This bill, signed by the President on Tuesday, contains all of the original corrupt kickback deals. They will only be eliminated if the Senate honors their verbal commitments to the House and votes to remove them. Hmm, politicians who keep their word; good luck with that. In all 11 states received special dispensation that Kansas and 38 other states did not. These shady deals were required to persuade the Senators to vote against the will of the people they claim to represent. What was our sin that Kansas and 38 other states should be left out of the “goodies” and even more importantly, PAY for the 11 states “special deals”? Well, in the case of Kansas, we have the temerity to elect members to Congress that, for the most part, are conservatives and do not agree with the nationalization of health care. For the progressives reading this, I must ask. Are you proud of this bill? Can you imagine any of the founders or the framers of the Constitution saying, “Congratulations! That’s exactly the equality we had in mind when we drafted the Constitution!” Well, I guess some states are more equal than others.
I wonder if the inequitable requirements placed upon the various states violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Since I don’t know with certainty, I shall move on to one obviously unconstitutional part of the new health care law; a governmental edict that mandates the purchase of a product, namely health insurance. The arguments of the progressives have been that government does have the authority to make such mandates and they point to the legal requirements to purchase car insurance. What they fail to mention is that driving a car is a privilege, not a constitutional right. If you don’t drive, you are not obligated to buy car insurance. However, under this new law if you have the audacity to breath, you must purchase health insurance to cover the privilege of breathing. My assumption is that most of us do breathe and wish to go on breathing and whereas it is relatively easy to choose not to drive, it is not so easy to choose not to breathe. Breathing or existing is a right. Health care is not. If health care is a right, why do we have to pay for it? Can you name one other right that mandates payment? Here’s the irony, with this new right to health care, your right not to purchase health insurance has been confiscated.
Look for Dr. Prescott’s next column in the Thursday, April 1, of The McPherson Sentinel.