Health Care Reform, the Tip of the Iceberg.
The Titanic Sunk by Iceberg.
Most accounts that I have seen believe that the Titanic did not strike the tip of the iceberg that sunk her. More than likely she was sunk by the larger portion of the iceberg that wasn't seen, that was just under the surface of the water. What does this have to do with the Health care reform bill that was just past. In my view, the Health care bill may not sink us, but what is just under the surface will.
The statements made by the politicians, just prior and after the vote, created some problems. Many referred to Health care as a right of every American, were they referring to American Citizens or just anyone in the western hemisphere, was unclear. My larger concern were the statements referring to it as, the Right thing to do. There is a big difference between what is the right thing for an individual to do, as opposed to what the right thing is for the government to do. Just a little history to illustrate this point. When colonists first arrived many did not survive the first winter. Food was in short supply, the water was bad and winter was setting in. The first settlers were people of faith and knew that in order to survive they had to count on everyone to do their part. Their rule was simple, you don't work you don't eat. This rule was made by the people directly involved and was later dropped as their rate of survival increased. However, family members, friends and the local communities, would always pitch in to help each other when it was needed and deserved. This was the responsibility of each individual, not the government, to decide who they wanted to help and who they did not. Today, we as a collective have decided that we will no longer control who we help or why, we let the State and Federal Governments make the decisions, we just give them the money.
What Lies Below.
Since many consider Health Care a right, and I have talked to alot of people, that also consider the following should be a right;
Right ot a Job
Free vocational and professional training
Right to housing (a home)
Right to Education
Right to Childcare
Freedom of speech, the press and to assemble
Right to rest and leisure
Looking at this list one could make the case to either agree or disagree. On an individual level these maybe good things and most people would be hard pressed to disagree. Now should the Government ensure these "rights"? What do you think?
All of these items have been ensured by Government, and that Government had failed. These items are listed as the rights of the citizens of the former, USSR and are written in their Constitution dated 1977, Chapter 7, articles 40 Thu 45, 50 and 53. In fairness the remaining articles of chapter 7 deal with the individual responsibilities. Instead of listing them all here, they all have one thing in common. They connect these rights to the well fair of the collective, or the phrase for the good of the society. How do you feel about these rights now?
Listening to Pelose last night she made the statement regarding our rights under the US Constitution as, the right to, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. She then described the passage of health care as being the pursuit of happiness. I personally can think of thousands of things that would make me happy, are all of those rights? Just another historical note, the writers of the Constitution initially wrote the right to life, liberty and property. They removed the wording property and replaced it with pursuit of happiness, as slaves at that time were considered property. The founders believed that slavery would wither and die on its own and did not want to saction it in the constitution.
What lies Ahead
Through out our history there has always been the battle between, those that wanted a strong central government, and those that wanted a week decentralized federal government with the powers given to the individual states. This is where we are today, should a strong centralized government retain the power to govern our lives, or Should the States hold the power. The bottom line was that the big government people felt that a strong federal government could best protect the individual, and in most cases from themselves. Those that wanted the states to hold the power felt that since the state was closer to the people and accessible by the people, the state would protect the individuals rights better. In a nutshell, big government followers felt that individuals did not have the knowledge or ability to control a government and that the majority would repress the minority, it would be too easy for people to control the State government.
Odds are this will continue going back and forth for as long as the United States is here. It is like a teeder-todder, one group is up the other is down, they become equal for awhile, and then the other group is up and the original one is down, back and forth, up and down. The greatest fear is that one group or the other will eventually figure out a way to keep them on the upside of the teeter-todder.