Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Health Care A Right?

I’ve been on vacation for a few days, and among other things, I’ve been mulling the health care debate. I think I’ve stumbled on to a couple of the stumbling blocks to passing the bill.

I knew I wasn’t for the bill, but I also knew there was something I was missing about why. My liberal side says, why not? Why shouldn’t health care be offered to all Americans? My conservative side says, “that’s all well and good, but health care isn’t free. How, and who, will pay for it.”

I think that’s a major reason people are against it. The citizens of the United States have paid out a lot of money over the last year. We bailed out Wall Street, and the automotive and insurance industries to the tune of billions of dollars. So much that I don’t know the figures anymore; so much so that we now think of spending millions as nothing.

And now, the Administration wants to spend billions more for health care for all Americans, a good thing on the surface. But, and here’s a problem, it’s being billed as a “right”. We have certain “rights” that are not specifically defined, such as the right to be treated as human beings with dignity and respect, and right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have certain “rights” granted to us under the Constitution of the United States. Those are usually defined as “Freedoms”, a few of which are: freedom of speech, freedom from persecution, freedom to (or not to) worship as we please, freedom from illegal search and seizure, and freedom of assembly. We do have the "right", among others granted in the Constitution, to bear arms, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I just read the Bill of Rights to the Constitution again to be sure I wasn’t missing or forgetting something, and I see nothing that gives the American citizen the "right" to healthcare. I see nothing that says the American people have to bail out Wall Street or any industry, for that matter.

If healthcare is a “right”, from where does that “right” spring? I want to help my fellow Americans as much as possible, but not to the extent that we bankrupt the country and mortgage future generations.

I'm not saying healthcare isn't an issue. I'm not saying healthcare should be given only to the wealthy or those employed by large companies. I'm not saying it should be withheld from the poor, or those with limited income, self-employed, or employed by small companies.

How about an overhaul of the health care industry? Make insurance more affordable for small businesses, and lower income Americans. Those on welfare have Medicare (paid through your payroll taxes, by the way). Maybe that’s not on the par of what Bill Gates can afford. But let’s face it, Bill Gates doesn’t need to buy health insurance for himself or his family, he can afford to pay out of pocket for any health care his family needs.

Here’s an idea: instead of making health insurance available to the “super wealthy”, why not legislate that they have to pay out of pocket. The insurance companies wouldn’t have to pay for their Botox or cosmetic surgeries and that money could go to pay for healthcare for middle and lower income families.

I also think the timing of the presentation of the health care bill was bad. It’s been less than a year since we took on the debt of billions for Wall Street, and ownership of the automotive and insurance companies. Had the Administration waited until after the mid-term elections, maybe it would have been better received.

Everything in this Administration seems to be a “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” moment. I’m beginning to believe they think they have limited time and they have to get as much done as possible in the time they have.

Members of Congress: you need to read these bills, instead of voting on what you’ve been told. Of course the parts of the bill that won’t be as well received will be downplayed, if not just not spoken of in the first place. You just can’t rely on other people to tell you everything you need to know. Human nature is to gloss over, or to down play what they don’t want you to know and really play up what they do want you to know. (oops! I forgot to tell you that?? My bad! hee hee! But look! Here’s the good part!).

People are angry. And we have a right to be. We’re being patronized by our own elected officials who are trying to force a bill down our throats when they haven’t read the bill themselves. And then, our own elected employees are calling us unpatriotic and un-American for protesting the bill.

Read the bills so you will know what you’re voting on. Read the bills so you can explain it fully to your constituents. Read the bills so you know what you’re talking about. And finally, read the bills so you have a chance of being re-elected.

I think y’all might be lucky that mid-term elections are a year away and aren’t being held this year.

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