Understanding the ACA Arguments
rs at robertsheridan.com
Wed Mar 21 15:28:17 PDT 2012
Indians along the frontier are attacking and killing farming settlers; may federal authorities send out troops? Andrew Jackson would have said 'yes.'
The Empire of Japan attacked the island outpost at non-state Hawaii's Pearl Harbor, destroying our Pacific battleship fleet and killing 2,500 - 3,000 sailors and soldiers. We declared war immediately.
Osama bin Laden is responsible for using jetlliners to attack a building in New York City, the Pentagon, and destroying a third jetliner, killing nearly 3,000 people, civilian and military on American soil. We react by unleashing the military in a furious series of wars and related actions, paid for by the taxpayer.
The theory we accept must be that to attack a part is to attack the whole, justifying a national reaction, supported by whatever means is required, such as conscription, if necessary, militia service in bygone days(?), increased taxes, sale of war bonds, and now it seems, mandatory inclusion in a national health plan at individual expense.
During conscription for service in World War One, too many American boys were found to be unfit for service: Underfed, too short, no dental work leading to terrible teeth that had to be worked on at the expense of the service if the person was accepted, and other untreated medical conditions. This was seen as a national problem leading to calls for national solutions out of the federal budget. A weakened population meant an understrength military.
Why isn't the health of the population in general seen as a national problem? The nation winds up paying for it anyway, in various forms, out of taxpayer dollars. How many federal health programs were initiated as a result of that WWI experience? I don't know, but I expect some important ones.
The sooner healthcare becomes affordable generally, the better the health of the nation, it would seem.
"Internal improvements" were initially thought to be unconstitutional; now the national highway system, inaugurated under Ike as a military-support system, is seen as an essential part of American life and commerce. Healthcare seems like the ultimate 'internal improvement.'
Healthcare in the workplace for women, children, and workers in dangerous occupations was ultimately seen as a national health problem.
Social Security, a federal, national, safety net: Likewise seen as a national solution to a national problem.
The almost all-inclusive expansion of understanding of the word/power 'commerce' was also thought by opponents, originally, say in 1819 (Gibbons v. Ogden, Steamboats), to open the door to federal entry into virtually all fields of commerce, which is about what developed, for the good, I believe.
My guess is that this is what will happen to the national healthcare initiative, or should. As national life becomes more complex and interrelated, this would be a peculiar time to start cutting back on what may properly be considered 'national' in character.
On Mar 21, 2012, at 2:13 PM, Richard Dougherty wrote:
> I think that Frank has hit the nail on the head here. What we have is a situation where the government has decided that it would be wrong to not treat someone who showed up for medical treatment. The consequence of that decision is that it can then turn around and compel everyone to participate in funding the system. Are there any parallels to this? (not a rhetorical question.)
> Richard Dougherty
> On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 2:11 PM, Frank Cross <crossf at mail.utexas.edu> wrote:
> Actually, Rick, to take care of the free rider problem you would have to declare that someone without health insurance will not receive medical care. Which is a plausible position but clearly one our society is unwilling to adopt.
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