Fight Club: Is Healthcare (aka Obamacare) a Right?

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Frank Marchant: Welcome to the Entitlement States of America

The always vocal, usually incorrect and always extremely left Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee recently said:

"Healthcare is a right! It should be in the Constitution. Although it was not listed per se in the Constitution, it should be!"

Many who support Obamacare think socialized medicine is a right.

I tuned in to a national television show to see how she would defend her silly dribble, not surprisingly she was a no show!

My short answer to her and my opponent this week: "What a load of crap!I don't believe anything tangible can be a right." And neither should you!

Healthcare is a tangible item, like a house, a car or a wide screen TV.

Just to clear up any doubt: You are invited to read my cliff notes on the Constitution below but it would be better if you took the time to read them in their entirety.

It had been awhile since I read the Bill of Rights, I had forgotten how rich with human spirit they are!

My abbreviated version follows.

These are the rights granted you in the constitution:

Amendment I Freedom of speech and religion and right to free assembly.

Amendment II The right to bear arms.

Amendment III No soldiers may be quartered in a home without permission of owner.

Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their houses without unreasonable searches and seizures.

Amendment V To not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of the law.

Amendment VI Right to a speedy trial.

Amendment VII Right to a trial by jury.

Amendment VIII Excessive bail shall not be required nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by people.

Amendment X The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

I have never believed anything tangible should be a right. I still don't!

Healthcare, houses, cars, flat screen TVs and cell phones are all tangibles.

The US Government does not have the authority to grant the right to a cell phone!

Did you read anything in the Constitution stating every citizen should be given a house, car and flat screen TVs or cell phones?

If you find that part in the Constitution let me know. Maybe I'll reconsider.

I believe the patriots who framed and signed the Constitution as well as the 13 states that made up the union in no way intended for medical bills to be paid by the government any more than they would have included the right for all citizens to be given a horse!

Although I have not read my opponents words yet, I can imagine my opponent will say something like this (I've heard them before!):

"In this, the most powerful nation on earth we should provide for the sick!"

In short we do, and we have for years, and by law! No one can be turned away from a hospital for treatment.

Any person who is unfortunate enough to be injured in an accident is rushed to the hospital and treated. You are asked if you have insurance. Whatever your answer, you are treated. You're not dumped in front of the hospital in a heap.

I believe Obamacare is positioned to destroy the financial wealth of our great nation as well as the quality of healthcare that was so respected around the world.

Nearly 90% of our country had excellent healthcare before Obamacare. About 10% of us were without health insurance and that 10% by law were never turned away from emergency rooms. All were admitted and were treated!

We could have easily included the 10% uninsured in a modified Medicare program. It could have been created in a few months at a fraction of the now more than $1.5 trillion Obamacare will cost!

Granted, healthcare is a necessity of life, so is a place to live, food, electricity, transportation, a good job, entertainment, a computer and a cell phone. None of these things are part of our Constitution, none of these are rights and none of these tangibles should be!

Anyone who has read and understands The Bill Of Rights surely understands the difference between a tangible and a right!

You and I have been sold a bill of goods we can neither pay for, or swallow no matter how many bleeding hearts and social reformers say we must!

Have we been so indoctrinated in the Entitlement States of America? Have we forgotten the rights that have made us who we are and from where we came?

We should help those in need, but too many of us who should not be, stand on the sidelines with two hands reaching, waiting and expecting to be given whatever they feel they are entitled too!

If elected representatives like Sheila Jackson Lee choose to spend all of our tax dollars giving entitlements to as many people who want to get in line, that's her right!

My right is to know what a right actually is Representative Lee.

Greg Madison:
Access to Health Care is a Fundamental Human Right

I was relieved to hear my colleague Frank Marchant turned and set his hand to writing. It gives him something to do between taking food out of children's mouths and beating up on the sick and poor.

In all seriousness, I'm grateful to be given the chance to debate the issue of healthcare, whether or not it should be a right of every citizen in the wealthiest nation on Earth. I believe it absolutely should be.

Not a constitutional right, like the Fifth Amendment, or the Eighth Amendment, but the right of access to quality healthcare should be seen as a human right, something we're all endowed with by virtue of being born here.

If this country, which claims to cherish human rights, wants to continue to be a leader of the world, it must come to the same conclusion.

Americans are fond of going around saying "We're Number One!" I hate to break it to everyone, but that's just not the case any longer. Here are just a few fields in which the United States still leads:

  • Child mortality among developed nations
  • Obesity
  • Teen pregnancy
  • School shootings
  • Death by child abuse

Anyone who considers these public health crises (and yes, school shootings and child abuse are public health issues) and not feel at least a twinge of shame could use an extra dose of introspection – and a reality check.

We can sure as hell do better than this. It's not "my country, right or wrong," but rather, "my country, right or fix it." Any red-blooded American should look at this dismal situation and desperately want to improve it at all costs.

Of all the countries in the West that offer their citizens free healthcare, exactly none of them are socialist dictatorships.

The National Health Service in the UK is such a point of pride they even showcased it in the Olympics. The UK is where capitalism was invented.

Do children die of preventable diseases in Western Europe or Canada or South America? Sure they do.

The difference is that it's an actual outrage in those societies. They've made a national priority of taking care of their people. Not the biggest priority. It's not even their biggest expense (America spends the most on healthcare already). But what do we really like to spend our dollars on in the United States?

Oh, that's right, the military. Most of the Western world doesn't spend $700 billion a year on maintaining an ever ready Global Killing Machine… they've got us to do it for them.

Wouldn't it be something to take just a fraction of this huge sum we spend on death every year, all the blood and treasure we fritter away, and spend it on life – here at home?

We Americans tolerate the expensive care and feeding of some 5,100 nuclear warheads – enough to turn the entire planet into a glob of fire but we won't tolerate the government stepping in to help out with the care and feeding of our people?

"Oh, you can't have a right to healthcare in this country. It's too radical."

Of course, since politics has bi-furcated the electorate and the politicians into two unproductive and fearful camps, and since the media has made people allergic to introspection and critical thinking, many just want to tune out.

"It's not my problem… Why should I pay?… Universal healthcare is socialism!" And so on and so on, in a dreary chain of denial.

Our current system is an absolute mess. The healthcare system rips people off six ways from next Tuesday. It's shot straight through with inefficiency and corruption.

People – children, the elderly, everyone – fall through the cracks if they're not busy being gouged. Healthcare today rips off the government. It rips off the citizens. It even rips off other businesses.

In a case of nearly incomprehensible irony, President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act is really, when you drill down, less of a socialist nightmare and more of a massive nod to the insurance industry.

Less Chairman Mao and more Chairman of the Board.

For a man decried on the right as some sort of Bolshevik fist-bumper, Obamacare seems suspiciously capitalistic. But then again, if President Obama were president of anywhere else in the free world, he'd be seen as governing from the center-right.

So we're supposed to sit back and let these corporations, "the free market," handle it? Really?

Contrary to popular opinion, I'm a free market guy. I think the free market has done just as much for human progress as nearly anything else I can think of. But the emphasis is on free markets.

What we have now isn't free at all. It's a rigged game in which the deck is terminally stacked against a large portion of the market.

Where is it written that healthcare has to be a for-profit concern? Is that in the Constitution? Would you care to re-write the Constitution to enshrine the right of corporations to hand out life or death based on the ability to pay?

American citizenship and the rights we're born with don't entitle you to retreat from your fellow man, wash your hands of the problem because you don't think the government should handle it. Or you feel like you shouldn't have to pay for it. If you live in a human society, you pay the costs of maintaining that society.

If you're interested in a society in which there is minimal government and a hands-off approach to running a country, you may want to consider moving to Somalia or Yemen.

If we don't start turning life into a national priority in this country, if we don't start thinking of access to quality healthcare as a natural right, we will continue to be defined as a country by this problem.

And after that, we may even be consumed with the problem.

How do you come down on the issue of #healthcare? Let us know on Twitter, or drop us a line on Facebook.

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

  1. Richard | June 28, 2013

    The Scandanavian model works much better that the US one, they have much higher taxes and you get free healthcare. Look at any happiness indicator and they are much happier than American citizens.

    Healthcare is a necessity to a productive workforce. how many Americans have to worry about paying healthcare bills and stress leading to them being less productive. Letting poor people have inadequate healthcare smacks of selfishness of the highest order and comparing to caring for your neighbour's health to a TV purchase is ridiculous.

    • sharon keller | June 28, 2013

      I want to say this. Healthcare is not a "good". It is not the same as buying a sofa or having a tv or a cell phone. It is necessary to maintain life in this world. Education in nutrition and the unacceptability of food sources being contaminated from the large corportate farming and packaging model should be part of our government, (elected representatives of our whole constituency) oversite. The government's role in health care is to ensure that all citizens have access and encouragement to be healthy, mentally and pysically. I can do without a cell phone and still remain in this world. I can use inferior goods and still remain healthy, like a used sofa or a small house, or a car that needs a paint job, but to not be able to go to the doctor when I am sick, or not have an x-ray when a bone is broken, or not take medicine when I have a bacterial infection will impact my ability to stay alive and be of use to others in the world as well as have life for myself. Some people like to think anyone with a health problem caused it themselves, smokers, fat people, drinkers, people who use illegal drugs. But the truth is everybody gets sick sometime. The question is how much to charge people for staying in this world. If we want people to pay for there own health care then it much be of an amount that not just a few, but most can afford. That is where the rub has come in. If you are extremely poor and own nothing, AND you have a dependent under the age of 18, or you are over 65, or officially disabled you can get help from the government to pay your medical costs. If you have insurance many can still not afford the deductibles and the copays. Not to mention the stress created by the insurance companies refusal to cover things even when their manuals say they do. If you have insurance the doctor must work within THE INSURANCE COMPANIES, guidelines for the cost to be paid. This puts more stress on your doctor to find a way to comply with the insurance company rather than simply considering your best option of treatment. If you are wealthy you do not particularly have to worry about this type of thing. You will purchase insurance and you will be able to pay for anything they do not cover. But how many Americans have money to do this? 80% of American's make less than $55,000 a year. This is not enough to pay for many health problems. Corporate America traps and enslaves people with mediocre health insurance. To leave a job even when they are taking advantage of you is almost impossible for someone with a family member with a health condition. You will continue to be their slave, work longer and longer hours, never ask for a raise or promotion, if you wish your family member to get the medicine they require to stay alive. What would happen to Ameria if these people did not have to remain with companies they do not respect just because they need the insurance no matter how inadeqate it is. Why not go it on your own. Just pay the doctor or in other words become a self pay client. But the medical profession has become in some respects tied to thinking that there must be insurance. Maybe they are ashamed of there prices. With insurance no one bothers really thinking about the $375 office visit to a specialist. And why is it $375 a visit, overhead to figure out how to file the insurance. Certainly the office help is not getting paid enough to afford a visit that costs that amount. NO, health care is not a good that can be modified to income. If doctors won't be doctors unless they can be obscenely wealthy, if that is what motivates them, I seriously wonder if I want them caring for me. Health care is not a commodity like others. Is it a right, I think so and I think that is covered by the inclusion of were are "Endowed with certain inalienable RIGHTS". And I believe to have health care costs line up with the income and resources of not the few but the many is one of them.

      • Paul | June 28, 2013

        Well, it's the LAW. Accept it. You can fight to change it but it's the LAW. How about overturning the speedinglaws? I like to go fast on interstates.

      • Deborah | June 28, 2013

        I work in an inner city MD's office as a Nurse Practitioner. I see more young people trying to get disability and everything else they can get free. I see elderly patients who can not get food stamps even through they only have a 1000.00 a month to live on. Why because they worked all their lives, saved and did without to own a home. Because they own their home, they are not able to get help with their basic needs. We pay young girls to get pregnant, give them free care, a welfare check, free food, and when the child gets a little older free daycare. So the mother can keep on having babies and collect a check. My elderly patients have been caught stealing soap and toliet paper. I have even given some of them money to buy food. So adding 30million more people to this system is not a good idea without everyone making payments to this system.

      • Pedro Piporro | June 29, 2013

        Anyone who believes that any good or service can be acquired at will without the consent of the person who is providing or paying for same is promoting slavery. I am always amazed at the arguments made by slave owners and wanna-be slave owners to promote their position. How can anyone be entitled to something that requires the labor of someone else? The only way that you can have nay rights to someone else's labor is if you have a contract with that person. All of "you people" can get together and set up any kind co-op that you want to as long as it is voluntary. If you can convince me that it is in my best interests to join your co-op then you are probably doing a reasonable job of running it, but if it becomes mandatory for me to participate then it WILL become corrupted

      • Pedro Piporro | June 29, 2013

        Healthcare costs do line up with the resources of the many now. Since it is a luxury item anyone can purchase as much or as little as they want to. The way you can tell that it is a luxury item is that most of the healthcare services that are available now were not available even to kings a few decades ago or for thousands of years previous to that for that matter so people who choose not to purchase any or can not afford it will just live and die the way people have for, well forever.

    • Michele | June 28, 2013

      Rights are political, not economic: no one has a "right" to anything that is paid for by someone else.

      • Les | June 28, 2013

        Do you have a right to police protection, Military protection from Foreign invaders? These are paid by someone else.

        • Peak Vie | June 28, 2013

          To your question, no, these are not rights. These are part of a compact between citizens.
          To your statement – huh? Most readers here pay far more than their fare share for these services. Do you not pay property or federal taxes?

          • Peak Vie | June 28, 2013

            Haha. OK. fair share. Although the misspelling is not so bad. Fare share is not so far off.

    • 000037498411 | June 28, 2013

      Scandanavia is much much smaller than U.S. Their model works for them. Neither it nor Obamacare will work for the U.S.

      • Paul | June 28, 2013

        Romneycare ismore liberal thanObamacare and it'sworking well in MA.

    • Harold | June 28, 2013

      Americans are still negligent, pig ignorant, obese/fat slobs who don't care about anything. Socialist systems are a failure. Sweden has been turning to the the right after 20 years of failed socialist decay. Socialist healthcare is a failure, too. You wait 8 months for a new hip in Germany. And doctors in the Netherlands are paid what street sweepers make. Capitalism produces great technological medical advances, not socialism. Scandinavians are healthier because they THINK healthier. Throwing good money after bad has produced the American nightmare where students are the worst performing in the industrialized world, yet Americans spend more on education than anybody else. Socialist controlled American media and Hollywood is what poisons kids with constant commercials promoting fattening or sugar filled foods. Europeans have a culture o f healthy living. 5 minutes with a doctor because of socialism? No thanks! 8 months too wait for a mammogram? No thanks, somebody will die of cancer in the meantime waiting for it. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world with among the highest standards of living. They have private and public hospitals. Everyone has a health insurance policy by law. Socialism is for lazy freeloaders. That is why Scandinavia has been opening up its sclerotic, rotting socialist economy and experiencing great economic growth because of it. The socialist healthcare of Britain is notorious for poor quality care and cost overruns.

    • JR | June 28, 2013

      Hold on a second. If a person born in this country becomes poor, with so many opportunities (including educational) available to everyone who lives here, where was it written that poor people were destined in the US to live a life of poverty? In the U.S., what makes people destitute to living either an externally poor or rich life? What does any person have to do legally in this country to be able to afford a TV purchase? Is what that person did to accomplish themselves considered an opportunity fulfilled which a poor person was unable to achieve? The difference is choice! There are those who are determined to achieve no matter the cost once they have the ambition to succeed. This is something only in this country which every citizen has an equal opportunity to choose if they want to become part of the “haves” or “have not’s!” Do not be mistaken, there is no complacency in a productive workforce. Blaming healthcare is certainly not enough to describe a non-productive workforce. Paying bills is everybody’s problem. As a fellow citizen, I believe in you and your ability to succeed and you will succeed as you help those who are in fact less fortunate! Medicare has not yet been entirely tainted by any overhaul.

      • Paul | June 30, 2013

        It seems as if youve never really exerienced adversity in your life. I have a good friend who has a great voice and sang in the Metropolitan opoera (supporting roles). He had a job with Disney which paid him $250K/yr. and traveled the world. Then one day he fell down on concrete and was in a coma for 6 months. When he came out of the coma he was partially paralyzed and got around in a motorized wheelchair. After $6M of followup operations to keep him alive the insurance he had at Disney cut him off. Their "Death Panel" decreed that paying more to keep him alive wasn't going to happen. He then went on Medicaid Disability and lived in subsidized housing. Medicaid was about to cut him off. The only thing that saved his life was the passage of Obamacare. I think you're saying that he deserved to die ecause of his accident. I violently oppose that twisted view of morality.

  2. Jerry Pittman | June 28, 2013

    When World War Two ended F.D.R. was going to propose a new bill of rights , including health
    care and education for all American citizens . He died four months before the war ended . The
    people must have loved him , he was elected and reelected four full terms !

    • don | June 28, 2013

      Jerry,

      The nerve of anyone thinking that American Citizens deserve either Health Care or Education. What are they thinking? Nor, are they, "entitled," to Disaster Relief from Killer Storms; Public Roads; or any protections from the exploitation by Corporate Types; no Regulators; no Prosecutors; no nothing!

      But, oh yes; The Rich deserve bailouts for huge financial failures; and lapses in moral and ethical judgments. The TARP Bailouts of the Richest among us; the very people who caused the Economic Collapse, that wiped out Trillions from the Balance Sheets of Middle America; that, is certainly provided for in the Constitution! The TARP Bailout has now been called the most ANTI-DEMOCRACTIC – – ANTI-CAPITALISTIC, ACTION EVER TAKEN IN WASHINGTON D.C.! Where in the Constitution does it say, that Corporates, are, "Entitled," to Welfare – – Subsidies – – to further enrich Big Oil, Big Ag., Big Tech., Big Boeings, Big Ethanol; and, so many others?

      The Writer of the Article that we are responding to; is one of the most biased, and, poorly educated and informed bloggers that I have ever read. His writings are pure crap and B.S.; and down right anti-intellectual. The Guy; and others like him; wouldn't share a Dime with the Poor; let alone; decent Health Care.

    • Harold | June 28, 2013

      Sure, people can propose free stuff, but NOTHING is free. Everyone else has to pay for the freeloaders. In the end you have collapse, which is what will happen in the U.S. Libtard blood suckers fail to realize that 222 trillion in unfunded liabilities (debt) has to be paid somehow and the budget fairy is not going to appear from nowhere and pay it. It is going to be done with inflation which destroys the economy. Margaret Thatcher, who brought Britain back from near economic collapse (caused by socialist freeloaders who paralyzed the economy with their greed), said," Socialism works until you run out of other peoples' money." Unions were sabotaging Britain and their were blackouts and garbage was not even picked up regularly because everybody was on strike. Typical selfish socialist parasites.

    • Pedro Piporro | June 29, 2013

      Communism does have a certain allure to it. Not everyone loved FDR just the crooks who were looking for a free ride.

  3. Richard Dohack | June 28, 2013

    It is really government policy that got us into the healthcare mess. When I was on a hospital board more than a decade ago, I saw it coming. In order to remain "not for profit", any revenue over costs were not allowed to be kept. So what happens? Management had to buy more assets to dispose of the excess. Yes, certain reserves could be kept to provide for future needs, but any money beyond these reserves had to be spent, so hospitals purchased assets they really didn't need. Nice to have, but not necessary. Over decades these assets grew to be enormous and with them came overhead. Now we are paying the overhead in excessive healthcare costs. Doctors are not the problem. Nurses are not the problem. Most of them are making a decent, but not excessive income. In terms of medical care, administration (including insurance company administration) is overhead. Maintenance of bloated building and equipment assets is overhead. Government bureaucracy is overhead. All to the point that only 30% of healthcare costs actually go to actually pay for healthcare. If you want to solve the problem, there is only one way. Get rid of tons of overhead.
    It's silly to argue about the rights of people for healthcare. We can easily afford it for everyone if we get to the base of the problem and trim the overhead down to size.

    • Chuck S | June 28, 2013

      So how would it work if you were a for profit business? Why be non-profit?

    • Les | June 28, 2013

      Why did.t the hospital just charge less for services do there would not be excess income to worry about?
      I do see your point though, its like the budget process in the government. If an agency does not spend all the budgeted money this year (maybe aircraft maintenance for a fighter squadron was light this year over last) then if they dont use it they will lose it for next year, even if they know they will have higher expenses next year.

      Maybe hospitals could be set up like mutual insurance companies. the policy holders own the company, any excess income over expenses are returned to the owners as a devadend

  4. Robert Watson | June 28, 2013

    Healthcare isn't a right… it's personal attribute, we exercise some personal control over our future health condition(s). Federal subsidies and additional taxes to assist those who rather need duct tape put over their mouths to keep from overeating or smoking cigarettes; contracting heart disease with the rest of us from having to pay for the quadruple bypasses for their lack of personal accountability for their own health is not the panacea. Likewise, similar could be said of HIV, alcoholism and drug-addiction… these are personal choices; few a born with such addictions/diseases. If a person's health is so valuable to them, why don't they take an interest in it instead of allowing the government to manage it for them in expensive State of the Art health management organizations ((HMOs)? Sure there should be caps on malpractice payouts; lawsuits have become the norm for bad patient outcomes… not necessarily due to lapses in care. Some lawsuits aren't frivolous either when the Standards of Care are clearly violated, but there has to be some balance. The ambulance chasers have to park their cars as they are driving good physicians from practice, due to increasing malpractice insurance premiums. Putting small businesses in the position of firing a single worker to pay the Obamacare premiums for those that remain is unconscionable, and the Congress should not have put them in that situation. The Monsanto Amendment for blanket exemption is yet another matter. Had the government through the FED's collusion and Treasury's management myopia reacted and performed well, instead of atrociously; there probably would have been enough surplus capital for outright Federal Funding instead of forcing a healthcare subsidy to paid by employers, employees, and other citizens. (We all remember that Ted Kennedy had been pushing this agenda for humpteen dozen years without success… surprising they didn't name the Bill after him instead of referring to it as Obamacare; possibly take the edge off? Where are those spin doctors when you need them… sadly Obamacare doesn't include their medicine show of smoking mirrors on the Beltway.) All joviality aside, I expect the next rash of frivolous lawsuits to be over door widths being too narrow for obese employees… as part of making Reasonable Accommodation for them to enter workplaces/spaces. NOTE: If all of them were born with thyroid problems, we have a national epidemic on our hands; call the NIH, the Surgeon General, the DHS – send out the drones!)

    • Les | June 28, 2013

      In Michigan we have health care tort reform. There are limits to the awards from a law suit and it is very hard to meet requirement to have a case that would hold up in court. so our medical costs due to law suits should be less, correct? but we have not seen the insurance rates for Michigan go down, the insurance companies just keep the excess as profits.

  5. Harold Jones | June 28, 2013

    Do a little research on the Affordable health care bill and then let us know if you consider it to be the answer to your problem.

  6. PHIL@STEINSCHNEIDER.COM | June 28, 2013

    Unfortunately, Greg Madison has probably never been to Brazil, where free healthcare is available to everyone. As a former colony, however, that was never a world power that pilfered other nations, it has continued to write checks it cannot cash. Therefore, although the poor in Brazil have access to healthcare, the system is horrific. That's why Brazilians are protesting in the streets today.

    And what will their solution be?

    To create even more government to give people what they believe is their "right."

    While in Brazil one time, I went to the public hospital for some very basic assistance. The line was so long, the hospital so dirty, and the service so awful, that I left. My host, who wasn't a doctor, treated me for my problem at home.

    Western nations that have universal healthcare are living on borrowed time. In order to fund these boondoggles, they have resorted to huge deficits that were made possible by being former great nations that can borrow cheaply from each other, while also shifting from real money to fiat currency in order to extend and pretend that their economies are solvent. In reality, virtually all of them are bankrupt, and have to borrow from the future in order to finance the promises they will one day no longer be able to keep.

    And in case Greg Madison hasn't noticed, Brazilians are currently protesting in the streets. Yet in order to now give these citizens their "right," the government will strangulate the productive with more taxes, steal from the middleclass by devaluing their savings, and grow the government even more as a percentage of the overall economy.

    If things continue this way, it's only a matter of time before the world shown in The Hunger Games is a reality; where elites control all of the resources, while the rest of the people live in misery. Oh, but wait, they'll all have free healthcare! Of course, however, as everyone knows, you get what you pay for.

    Worst of all is the fact that when something is free, the governor that prevents overconsumption is eliminated. Consequently, a very scarce resource is overconsumed, causing a shortage that must be spread out among all of the participants. This causes a decline in the overall quality of the service while also removing the economic incentive to improve it.

    If Greg Madison has his way, things will seem fine for a time, but in the long run, the thing that he loves will be destroyed.

    But don't we have Obamacare? Oh wait…

  7. ID Shearer | June 28, 2013

    I have lived all my life with National Health Service care, here in UK. It is a monster, the NHS is by far the UK's biggest employer. It is always hoovering up cash and being blamed for not doing enough. If you think about it the NHS is a self defeating enterprise. Fixing up the middle aged for free helps them live to be geriatrics and a real drain on resources and cash.

    I am quite proud of it too, a broken leg and two hernias account for my only adult visits to hospital and I am full of respect for the care and professionalism shown. However my father ended his days in the same hospital and the terminal care wards are grim. I hope euthanasia is legal here before I reach that age.

    Healthcare is not free – of course. We pay higher taxes to help cover the cost of the NHS and we have a parallel completely private enterprise system where you pay for the work done. This sector helps subsidises the NHS because if those patients who "go private" went state instead the NHS would run out of cash. Dentists here used to be NHS but now they are all private, you cannot get your teeth fixed on the NHS.

    I cannot get my head round the compulsory insurance idea, that is just a racket to benefit the insurers, if it is compulsory it should be collected by tax. I disagree with the socialism involved in a state funded medical system, it always runs out of other people's money because freeloaders abuse what they do not directly pay for.

    You will not like what it becomes in the USA – I warn you now.

  8. Jay | June 28, 2013

    Government does not "grant" us our rights. As stated in The Declaration of Independence, our rights are endowed to us by our Creator and, to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

    The implications of the foregoing are significant with regard to the relationship between the individual and the State. America's government is unique in the history of governments because it was created to "… secure the blessings of liberty …" for its people.

    In a letter to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson wrote: "I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people."

    "To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition."

    And that is what we have today – a government that has taken possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition; a government that refuses to be bound by the enumerated powers specified in Article 1, Section 8 and the 10th amendment.

  9. Jim | June 28, 2013

    How ironic is it that those arguing against socialism and in turn, against socialized health care fail to see that the US has the most socialized health care system in the world. How so? Just look at the 17% or more of GDP the government spends on health care, the most per capita expenditure of any nation in the world. And to add a touch more irony to the picture, not everyone is covered and coverage starts late in life.
    The reality is that countries like say a Canada or Sweden with their socialized health care systems accomplish this with spending in the order of 12% of GDP and everyone is covered their entire life.
    I know the contention is that these other countries with their socialized medicine programs limp along with inferior medical technology, waiting lists for surgery etc. but this is simply not the case. Those buying into this appraisal are simply drinking the health care propaganda Koolaid that’s so plentiful these days.
    The US health care system is in crisis and in serious need of intelligent reform which I have little hope for in the near future.

    • Peak Vie | June 28, 2013

      The government does not spend 17% of GDP on health care. That figure is the total amount of the GDP spent on health care by everyone in the US. Agree that it is too high. Soooo glad that the ACA is going to bring that waaaaay down.

    • don | June 28, 2013

      Jim, you ARE correct when alluding to the FACT that the U.S. spends 17%, of it's GDP on Health Care. Are not the Bills you and I pay, not to be included? You bet! The opponents just want to play games. in trying to manipulate opinions.

      Those that oppose Obama Care can't be suggesting that we keep our current corrupt and fraudulent system we have now in place – – can they? A recent Study of Health Care Costs in 2010; revealed that about $785 Billion is lost through Waste, Fraud, Special Interests; and more. In fact, everyone has been scamming the Health Care System: Patients, Doctors, Big Pharma, Hospitals, Health Insurance Companies, and Emergency Services. That is one of the Reasons this Country spends at least 2.5 times what other Developed Nations spend for Health Care. There is no argument here; the facts are what they are. If one allows Politics to determine one's belief system; then the arguments are not rational; and the conversation is over!

  10. Vincent F. Celli | June 28, 2013

    In the preamble to the constitution it speaks of forming a more perfect union, establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defence, and promoting the general welfare. If you pay attention to promoting the general welfare, it alone would give the green light to fostering health care for its citizens.

    According to the High Tower Lowdown, a populist news letter. one in three Americans are now poor. If you haven't lived on another planet these past few decades this is largely due to a corrupted Congress on both sides of the aisle and a financial establishment running amok.

    As a result more people are homeless and kids are going to bed hungry. Should the government be involved in solving these problems? I, for one, feel the answer is a resounding yes.

  11. Bob Marcum, Sr. | June 28, 2013

    Obamacare is not about healthcare
    It is designed to destroy healthcare in this nation, while gathering personal information about the
    citizens, for the dictor's use, as he sees fit.

  12. Greg Czora | June 28, 2013

    One of the greatest confusions in the minds of many people is the nature of rights.

    Many believe rights are actual goods and services as the author has pointed out. The problem with that idea is that it does not match the Bill of Rights as the author demonstrated. But there is a deeper and worse problem. As Ayn Rand pointed out, to define rights such that they are a GUARANTEE people will receive actual goods and services requires the ENSLAVEMENT of the people who produce those goods and services, as well as a dictatorship to take them from the producers by threat or actual physical force to redistribute them to those to whom they are guaranteed. Is that what we want in the United States of America?

    What the Bill of Rights actually does is guarantee INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, which means that each individual is free to ACT to gain and keep whatever values, goods, and services he/she needs by hard work and freely trading with others. Individual rights are an ABSOLUTE requirement of a free society. Their denial ALWAYS leads to dictatorship of one kind or another, such as fascism or some form of socialism. Today, the we are fast becoming the United Fascist States of America. Fascism means you have rights but in NAME ONLY, because there are so many regulations that it is a practical impossibility to exercise them. As evidence, consider the 2000 plus page Obamacare bill that no one fully understands because they are still adding pages of regulations, or the EPA regulations that are constantly being put in place by executive fiat, or our economy that has been totally corrupted by regulations. That seems an awful lot like a fascist dictatorship to me. Yes, the original authority for all this was passed by Congress, but tyranny by majority vote is still tyranny.

    I urge everyone to think very, very carefully about the issue of individual rights because it WILL determine our future, one way or another. Here is an excellent article that provides the clearest explanation I have seen so far. Whether you agree with it or not, I urge you to read and think about it like your life depends on the outcome, because it probably does:

    http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2011-fall/ayn-rand-theory-rights.asp

    I appreciate my individual right to freely express my opinion.

    Greg Czora

  13. Jake | June 28, 2013

    Of course health should be a right in this richest country now or ever in the entire world. Pure meanness on the part of those against it. It's totally hipocritical to espouse the extreme Christian positions from the Right, and yet do everything in their power to act in ways that cetainly would not make Jesus proud or happy. Do those against health care for all actually believe that if Jesus was sitting at a table with them he would give them a pat on the back and say " now you are acting in my way of thinking, attaboy". Bull.

    • Tom Kelley | June 28, 2013

      Not on the federal level. Let states decide what healthcare to provide. It is impossible, and even moronic to believe the federal government can come up with a plan to help the many different kinds of people in this country. California has different needs than Maine or Indiana. Let the states decide their own fate. This is the way the Constitution intended it to be anyway.

  14. greg kypta | June 28, 2013

    Frank Marchant ,obviously understands communism and opposes it. While Greg Madison doesn't . Or he does ,and like so many legislator's deciding the fate of our nation supports it ! Great debate Frank , you kicked his butt! Score one for the "REAL AMERICANS"

    • Frank H. Marchant | June 28, 2013

      Thank you for the kind words Greg!

      As Maggie said, The trouble with Communism is eventually you run out of other people money!" Obamacare is a very expensive train wreck about to happen! Proud to be a
      real American and flattered you said it!

      Frank H. Marchant

      • Greg Madison | June 28, 2013

        Frank! I think I left my copy of Chairman Mao's "Little Red Book" in the upstairs conference room. Let me know if you find it up there. It's a first edition!

  15. Dr Rexus | June 28, 2013

    There's a fundamental conflict of interest attendant in a "health care for profit" system. The financial health of the company by way of profit maximization can ultimately only occur at the expense of the health of the consumer. Let's not forget that one of the pillars of capitalism is self-interest and, in this case, that of the health care insurer. That aside, we need to disabuse ourselves of the idea that our system is the best in the world. The simple fact is that by any number of measures it is not. If we do have a right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness then most assuredly we do have a right to expect superior health care.

  16. m-girl | June 28, 2013

    amendment 5 says it all… right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

    if you don't have your health, then you don't have a life.

    I am always by Americans that say we take care of our own but then have no qualms about telling people to bootstrap it.

    We are Americans. We should all have a right to healthcare and not lose our entire savings because we got sick. It is a screwed up mentality that thinks this is an acceptable circumstance in America.

    This country isn't one based on Lord of the Flies mentality. It is one based upon being united, we stand and if divided, we fall.

    • Joe | June 28, 2013

      Joe If we could only ask all of the aborted babies if they are enjoying their right to life. That went out a long time ago.

      • ImagineDAT | July 11, 2013

        But wait, People only care while their IN the womb. Once they are born its SCREW YOU. HOw dare your mother want a few cans of milk IF she can not breastfeed because she has to go back to work(o you people didn't know you can work and get "free" milk. I pay taxes too. It is NOT free) How dare she want you to have healthcare.

        Soon people will want to get rid of free public school….

  17. Greg Hermann | June 28, 2013

    Neither Frank nor Greg got to the root of the problem, although Greg's writing was dripping with typical socialistic drivel.
    My personal perspective that health care is a personal responsibility, NOT a right comes from what was passed down to me via family:
    On one side a grandfather was a founding member of the Academy of Orthopaedics. He was good enough to have been chosen to repair Ted William's shoulder after 'Splinter' tore it up in an All Star game. He is likely still at St. Peter's elbow cussin' Landslide Lyndon Johnson (most likely in German) for initiating Medicare !! Perhaps Obama's more recent actions have brough about a modification (or an addition) to his rant !!
    On the other side a great-grandmother was a homeopathic nurse and mid-wife–and a classical great plains Populist. One of her daughters ran the Red Cross in Belgium during and after World War I. I grew up hearing the AMA referred to as the 'Doctor's Union', and being given classic homeopathic remedies rather than 'drugs' when I was under the weather.
    Until we as a nation develop the wisdom to tear down the ENTIRE health care/ drug/ industrial/ financial 'complex' and START OVER, FROM SCRATCH, we shall ALL continue to get ripped off in the name of health care !!
    The two most egregious developments– which have ruined our health care system –occurred a bit over a century ago:
    First–the 'Flexnor Report'– a document which advocated actions which restricted the supply of properly trained medical professional and horribly influenced the government into taking policy initiatives in areas where it NEVER should have even thought about treading.
    Second: the 'Harrison Act'–which laid the foundations for the entire system of the FDA, controlled substances, the CDC. and all of the other horrible institutions which have infected and permeated our health care (and law enforcement) systems, and which are in the process of of destroying them in much the same way as a cancer can destroy one's body.
    Essentially–we don't have a prayer of getting health care RIGHT unless we tear down (or nuke) the entire bureaucratic edifice. start over, purge the lawyers and insurance parasites from the system, and go back to getting health care, on an independent, market based bases, from an adequately large group of ethical, well trained (not indoctrinated !!) , sensitive professionals !!

  18. Neil Matthews | June 28, 2013

    While health insurance is a necessity, it should be treated as any other item not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution: get the federal government OUT OF IT. One of the only duties listed as a responsibility of the federal government is the defense of the American people. The $700 billion we spend each year could be cut and – rather than spending that money on "health care" – given back to the taxpayers from where it came!
    We could improve upon our current health insurance system simply by getting the federal government out! There is no reason insuance options must be limited to those offered in the state in which you live. The Feds mandate that.
    If Obama Care is supposed to increase coverage, why are "golden plans" penalized with a huge tax? Isn't that discouraging coverage? What business is it of Washington how good – or bad – my health insurance coverage is?
    To me, it does not matter that health care is a tangible good and not a right. It is a matter to be dealt with be the capitalist system and/or states – not Washington!!

  19. Doc in Chicago | June 28, 2013

    Rights are intangible (not able to be touched) but are none the less "things." The Constitution was created to protect rights that Americans already possessed. Greg said we are granted rights. That's not technically correct. We are granted protection of rights we already have. The Constitution specifically limits what the government's role is allowed to be. It's primary role is Constitutional protection of basic rights given us at birth by Creation. The government has no responsibility to guard your health….unless you grant them that right. From a humanitarian viewpoint, health care for everyone sounds like a nice idea. However, did you or I vote on a referendum to authorize the government to enact a health care bill? I think not. Government control over any business enterprise is usually a disaster. George W. failed at every business he owned, but we gave him the biggest check book in the world. Barry never owned a business, now he has the checkbook. Neither of these men are Constitutional minded, and the actions bear this out. People need to learn to be self reliant and not expect the government to take care of them beyond Social Security Benefits, which you and your employers paid for. Just sayin'….Peace Out!

  20. adrian | June 28, 2013

    good health is a right to anyone living on this planet. America must begin by ferreting out corrupt
    agents to dismal health, e.g.: frankenfoods, rampant pollution of water, soil, and air; pandering of congress and the FDA to the likes of Monsanto (terminator seeds-really!). America is doomed to DISEASE CARE, for which no amount of money will fix. Our environment is destroying health, otherwise cancer and heart disease would not be so rampant. The cost of cancer alone needs to be born by corporations who contribute so little of their profits to the society that supports them.
    So, yes-universal health care is a must for a least that segment of DISEASE care.

  21. Jeremiah | June 28, 2013

    The Constitution does not grant rights, and as such the "bill of rights" is a misnomer. The Constitution references "rights" in its clear command to government at all levels NOT to pass laws that infringe upon those rights. You are BORN with ALL rights — including the right to what one might refer to as health care — let's call that the right to contract with another for an insurance policy or with individual doctors or whatever (1st Amendment, right of association). However, the Constitution obligates no other person nor the government to pay or otherwise provide it for you.

    This notion that the government has the authority to grant rights has wreaked immense havoc on this nation. The way I think about it is this: My Rights are Your Obligations, and Your Rights are My Obligations. That's largely missing today — the sense of obligation on the part of each of us to the basic structure and operation of the original system. The Government was AUTHORIZED by The People to perform a limited number of specific tasks, period. Those authorized authorities do not include about 90% of the so-called "benefits" which the general as well as state and local governments nowadays reference as "your rights."

    For whom, then, might these "benefits" lawfully pertain? Therein lies the real source of confusion among virtually all Americans. I, by way of example, was born in one of the original sovereign states — California under its Constitution of 1849 — without a SS # (nowadays typically assigned at birth) nor any other means of identifying me as a "Federal" citizen. I was in fact born a US National, and a citizen of the original state of California (the so-called "Revised Constitution" creating THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA notwithstanding as ONLY "US Citizens" were allowed to vote on it and in fact created an administrative territory and boundary defining a new US Territory). At 14 years of age, I was told I could not exchange my labor (i.e., "work") for another human if it involved any kind of compensation (gold, fruit, cows paper money, etc.) unless I acquired a "work permit." That permit, as it turned out, was a Social Security Number and Card which required that I COMPLETE AN APPLICATION — a voluntary act (as in opening a US bank account, etc.) Among the boxes to be checked on that Application is one entitled "Check if you are a US Citizen." What very, very few people in this County know is that that action constitutes a voluntary act of acknowledging one's self as a statutory US Citizen (nothing to do, incidentally, with being "an American"), and re-defining one's claimed domicile from the original sovereign state in which one was born to domicile in the Federal Zone. At that point, one is no longer a Citizen of one of the sovereign states and a US National, but a federal citizen (14th Amendment Citizen) of the federal zone and subject to ALL OF THE PRIVATE LAW passed by Congress. So what is this distinction?

    Did you know, Americans, that Congress passes both (1) Private Law under authority in the constitution to administer only "its business" in the District of Columbia and other lawful Federal Lands, and (2) Public Law which captures all Americans, those claiming domicile in one of the sovereign states as well as those living in the Federal Zone. The difference is that the Federal Zone (Washington D.C., and its linked "states" such as Puerto Rico, etc.) was never elevated to the status of a sovereign state, such that laws passed by Congress to administer the behavior of people living therein only have to meet obligations of the Constitution referencing 14th Amendment citizens, which Amendment DOES IN FACT itemize the "Rights" of those citizens; 14th Amendment "citizens" are in fact referenced as "Persons" created by statute, as opposed to human beings created by God, and among the Statutes regulating 14th Amendment souls are Title 26, and Obamacare, and insofar as you are obligated/required as a 14th Amendment citizen to participate in payments to both, you have contractual "rights" in them.

    How is it that virtually all human beings living in this Nation have become subject to these private laws of Congress? Through hook and crook, intimidation, threats of violence, and every other species of mendacity one can imagine. See my brief reference above to how I was "captured" into the ranks of Federal U S Citizenship (Congressional private law obligations) at 14 years of age, a change in status that created a 14th Amendment U.S. Person subject to all the Private Law of the US out of a private natural citizen of an original sovereign state. Lastly, laws passed by Congress are coded (you can figure it out!) as to whether or not they are "private" and "public." Guaranteed, your elected representative cannot, or if he/she could, will not, acknowledge that fact.

    Until and unless a huge number of Americans start immediately to figure some of this stuff out, this Nation is doomed to the Federal takeover which is now nearly complete, as evidenced by the nature of the present discussion on this website.

    Good luck to us all, Jeremiah

  22. Doc in Chicago | June 28, 2013

    Adrian…good point. If America protected her people by not giving carte blanch to companies like Monsanto, who are poisoning us, we would be healthier right from the start. Very insightful comment, Adrian!!!

  23. Retired130 | June 28, 2013

    The most important part of Frank's letter: "Nearly 90% of our country had excellent healthcare before Obamacare. About 10% of us were without health insurance and that 10% by law were never turned away from emergency rooms. All were admitted and were treated! We could have easily included the 10% uninsured in a modified Medicare program. It could have been created in a few months at a fraction of the now more than $1.5 trillion Obamacare will cost!"

    That would take care of all the concerns mentioned by those who agreed with Greg, & it would take care of all those millions who will still not be covered by ObamaCare.

    One question to consider: If the government run healthcare program in Canada is so great, why are so many Canadians, including Canadian politicians, coming to the US for their healthcare? When you answer this question by doing diligent research on the subject, you will see why government run healthcare does not work.

  24. Tom Kelley | June 28, 2013

    I am a firm believer in the Constitution and enjoy reading the Federalist papers (which for those who don't know, are the comments of the Founding Fathers on how they interpret the Constitution they wrote). Obamacare is unconstitutional. If a state wants to pass a healthcare bill for their state, that is legal . This is so because the Constitution left all other rights not listed in the Constitution to the states. I believe this is a power grab by the federal government. Let states decide what to do with their own healthcare. This is what the Founding Fathers had intended. The power needs to go back to the people and the States except for what is spelled-out in the Constitution.

  25. Raginbull | June 28, 2013

    MY Take, Spend Less Save More. Too many people with their hands out. We are a corrupt system, broken, and hurt. No one cares!!!!. Not the politicians, media, lobbyist, and corporations. This country will spend away the freedom of every citizen in the United States. We are becoming very POOR fast. Health Care Cost is OFF THE ROOF. the non profit organization I work for,had to re structure its employees health care so that my boss can afford it. We went from PPO/ to HMO. In other words we are paying More for less. Is that Fair. NO its Called THE MOB. The Cost of living is surpassing hard working citizens salaries. People have to work 2 or 3 jobs to pay rent.food, auto, utilities, etc. That is not how its supposed to be. Our Right to the pursuit of happiness has fallen way through the cracks. We are also being Taxed More and More. How are we supposed to live like this in a triple dipping government. IF our government continues this route. We will have poverty in this country beyond what it can handle and that's when crime will continue to rise. People will rob, steal, kill to survive in this country. IT's already happening.

  26. m-girl | June 28, 2013

    Harold Jones | June 28, 2013
    Do a little research on the Affordable health care bill and then let us know if you consider it to be the answer to your problem.

    Harold, the question is: do you think healthcare is a right, it is NOT your opportunity to bash a program that is enabling many to obtain and/or keep insurance without being gouged.

    Answer the question and don't be the typical bagger by going off point to express your political beliefs.

    The question is: Is healthcare a right? YES OR NO?

    Don't be fooled by the writer who is incapable of understanding the definition of healthcare. Obamacare is NOT healthcare. It is the nickname for a government program, The Affordable Healthcare Act, but it is NOT healthcare. The writer is uneducated and anti-intellectual, right up your alley, but you have time to walk away from the writer's wrongheaded opinion.

    He calls Obamacare socialized medicine. It is not. The problem with it is that it is NOT socialized medicine and instead is still capitalism medicine. Please, put on your thinking cap and read the correct definition of socialism and capitalism. Medicine in America is still for profit; that is capitalism.

    • Peak Vie | June 28, 2013

      m-girl, for someone so caught up in semantics you should recognize that our health care "system" is fascist. Large corporate enterprises constrained and directed by the government. What move can any of the large insurance companies make on their own? It is much further from capitalism than it is from socialism. Free market capitalism with a smallish safety net and reasonable government regulation would solve the health care mess. The mash up that is the ACA is only designed for one thing – to be so complicated and costly that it drives us (so the proponents hope) to nationalized health care. We already have universal health care.

      • m-girl | June 28, 2013

        WRONG. look up the definition of socialism and capitalism in the dictionary.

        You are throwing around bagger terms — I was shocked you didn't say Benghazi…

        You don't have socialist medicine at all here in the US. Your ignorance is stunning.

        The problem with the Affordable Healthcare Act is that it has capitalism in — that is PROFIT. Look at Medicare, most efficient system going and yet you baggers are screaming don't let the government touch my Medicare. Willful ignorance.

  27. Jos Mak | June 28, 2013

    You can't throw 30 000 000 patient on the same medical infrastructure …To keep the same quality of care It would be necessary to build Hospitals before installing Medicare

    Canada now ranks among the lowest quality care and Canada used to be before the Medicare the best…..Above that that the Obama system is not clear …The best idea is to postpone its apllication and take the time to make it clearer and better

    • Frank Marchant | July 5, 2013

      You are so right did you read Dr. A. Strocel remarks below?

  28. Peter | June 28, 2013

    Obamacare is not free. I am 61 and pay 394/month with a 2,000 annual deductible and 30% co-pay. I could not buy coverage anywhere at any price because of a pre-existing condition. If the pre-existing condition copout was eliminated than Obamacare would not be necessary.

  29. Brian | June 28, 2013

    If something is truly a right, then you never have to ask, "How much does it cost and who will pay for it?" Healthcare is a service, not a right. Rights are the exercise of certain activities that involve no cost to anyone.

  30. Doris Kelsey | June 28, 2013

    Health care in not tangible. You can not take it out of your pocket and set it on the table. Education is not tangible either, but it is free via the government. The question is, how much of it is free? My parents had to pay out of their pockets to attend high school, only a grade school education was free. I think our society benefited when high school became free, and would benefit more if college was free too! Emergency room service may be free. They will treat you, but you WILL get a bill! I guess it is free if you die anyway. Our society suffers when its members are not well. We have been getting pre-school medical care. Obama care gives us grade school (basic) care. We could get high school care if we had medicare for all. And if we could change our agriculture system to promote the production of HEALTHY foods, we could be getting college level care.

    • m-girl | June 28, 2013

      high school is free if you choose to go to a public school. Otherwise, private HS education costs whatever they want to charge and you are willing to pay.

  31. Peak Vie | June 28, 2013

    Greg Madison seems either confused or disingenuous. He states that he is for free markets and that the current "system" is clearly not one and then concludes that we need a "non-profit" solution. He doesn't actually conclude that – just kind of throws it in without concluding anything. He also uses so many tired lefty shibboleths – Obama is really center-right, people that want less but better government regulation want no regulation, etc. No matter how they try to argue it, the people that think health care should be a right are just arguing we should subsidize poor people. That we already do seems of no concern to them. My mainly county collects over $20 million a year in local taxes to pay for poor and indignant health care mainly in the more urban sections of the county. This doesn't count state and federal money. Yet we still hear that people don't have access to health care. There are cheap and often free clinics everywhere in the nation. But Greg will argue we don't have access. We have a massive Medicaid program, but still to Greg we have no access.

    Greg, what do you really want by calling health care a "right"? How much health care paid by someone else ("free") do you want? Do we really need to bastardize the meaning of a right to improve health care cost and delivery in the US? The answer is "no". Minimizing government's role to oversight and a small safety net while using true free market principals would get us there. The ACA does just the opposite.

  32. Ian | June 28, 2013

    80% of American packaged foods are banned in other countries because they are POISON. GMO crops from the U.S. are also banned because they are linked to cancer and infertility. They are frankenfoods. They are genetically engineered to absorb huge amounts of insecticides. No wonder cancer and autism is through the roof. FDA are collaborators in this vile, iniquitous endeavor. Companies like Nestle need to be held accountable for their GMO ingredients that are damaging people's health.

  33. Hamish | June 28, 2013

    How about all the fat/obese slobs in American stop their suicidal lifestyle and the government do more to educate people on the dangers of sugar and fried foods, which kill immune systems and make people age prematurely, in addition to causing obesity? That right there would reduce healthcare spending by by billions of dollars.

  34. Dr. Morton Mower | June 28, 2013

    Healthcare is not a right. It is a commodity to be governed by the free market. Even if an "individual mandate" were constitutional, it will not further provision of better health care. Instead, like all other previous Governmental interventions into Healthcare, it will be inflationary, and ultimately result in poorer care at vastly greater cost.
    We have had the best system of care in the World. However, when the Government intervenes as with Medicare, it distorts the system in such a way that cannot ever succeeed in improving outcomes, and in which services will invariably become hyper-inflted in cost, physicians will have an unbearably increased workload, and in which there will be no way to avert a Socialist model. There areinnumerable examples of that system failing to work, and inevitably leading to poorer Healthcare. I too wish for affordable Healthcare for all legal Americans, however I think it is only attainable through efficient systems.

  35. Mike | June 28, 2013

    I can't wait to retire (or should i say quit working as i won't be old enough to actually retire)early and not worry about health care. I won't have income so ill be eligible for food stamps and government housing. the government will give me a house after all i can't be healthy without shelter from the elements, then a car because i won't be able to get to the doctor. don't forget we can get Obama phones now. ill gamble and party every night with the money i make doing odd jobs, which will be cash and unclaimed of course. i won't need money for anything else the government is paying. why would i want to pay into this anyway. then when my kids have grown they'll have kids and ill live with them and teach them how to work this system.
    Thats my current 2018 retirement plan because there will be no incentive to work.

  36. Ashlee Canada | June 28, 2013

    I was born and raised in Canada until age 23 then moved to the USA and now live here with my husband. I'm 6 months pregnant with our first child and also experienced a very bad car accident in the last year. Besides those major health care related things I've experienced plenty of encounters of the health care in both Canada and the USA through out my life . Being unbiased and having lived through both very different systems I would chose the Canadian health care system for my family and I any day. It's not socialist at all and props to Greg Madison for pointing that out. His argument was great and he honestly made his opponent look like an un educated in humane typical "American" who are known by other countries such as Canada to be very ignorant . I know this is not true as I married and American and am surrounded by many wonderful American people, but it's that old tunnel visioned way of thinking and preaching and selfish attitudes that gives the USA a bad rep. I think Obama is the best thing that this country could have happen to them , even if half of the country hates him …. Has half the country ever lived in any other country or even traveled there … Such as Canada ?? Maybe you should .

    • Frank Marchant | June 29, 2013

      Ashlee, I do wish you all the best with your "future blessed event" and I am glad to hear you are on the road to recovery. I worked for a period of time in Canada and the majority of people I came in contact were great folks. Canadian Health Care for anything more than a "splinter" is questionable at best and a death sentence at worst. Patients wait for months or even years for treatment. (From the City Journal) A three year wait for a sleep study. A man with persistent pain recovering from a hernia operation was to referred to a, "pain clinic". A woman needing treatment for breast cancer's waits four months for radiation treatment when standard US care is 4 weeks.
      Canadian's used to come to the US for treatment, where will we all go now?

    • Steve Canada | July 31, 2013

      What a breath of fresh air! You are so right in all your comments. The Canadian system has worked for me, my parents, my brothers and sisters, my friends, my co-workers. One of the last things we sit around and whine and cry about is our health care system.For every article that I've read here that knocks our system its obvious those people have not lived or breathed our system. Is our system perfect, no. Can it be improved, yes. Last year I watched 3 health care systems at work for 3 people I was close to. All 3 were average working family people. My brother in law (American) lived in Bolivia/Chile got cancer and in 4 months, ran out of money and died. My sister in law (Canadian), lived in California, got cancer, ran out of money and went home to die ( 8 months before her brother). My wife got cancer (same as her brother and sister),has been treated,is going to live, and we are not broke because of it. For the American who wrote that all they want to do is collect personal info about you, is crap, because the Tax guys already have it and besides when you are sick, who cares if the system has my address and phone number, I'm more concerned about living. The Americans who oppose a universal medical system must of read the 1949 Swift Current, Saskatchewan ( for our American friends- where our medical system was first introduced in Canada) handbook on how to oppose the medical system. The only one I haven't heard yet is only those of the Protestant faith will get treated by the new medical system doctors. It's quite comical to hear Americans spout the same rhetoric that the Canadian opposition used 64 years ago. Watch some of the old black and white news footage, its quite funny. Finally, for the record, I believe in the free enterprise system, I practice it, and I'm not a communist as so many Americans refer to us because of our medical system.

  37. Dennis | June 28, 2013

    The right to pursue life. We cannot grow our own food. Our food is manipulated into something that makes us sick, kills our enviornment, and then fed and sold to us without our knowledge of its implications. My life is no ones "product" but God's (or my parents for all you atheists out there). I don't know that forcing people to buy healthcare is the correct answer, but the government has no problem interfering with almost EVERY aspect of our lives. If that is what they are going to do then it should be done across the board equally.
    Anyone who thinks that a hospital cannot turn anyone away is naive. It happens ALL THE TIME here in Texas. Doctors take accountability for anything? not likely. They are as accountable as the jerks on the "hill" dictating the choices we can and cannot make (not accountable at all).
    Obamacare is a compromise which is not ready to happen. Healthcare is expensive as the current system stands. Cut those high costs to medical school, cut the wages of the doctors and surgeons, and you are left with those practicing who WANT TO HEAL rather than just make money. Cut out the executive paychecks in the tens of thousands of dollars per month. Insurance may not even be necessary anymore. People can turn to physical therapy and holistic medicine instead of mind altering addictive pharmaceuticals. Suddenly healthcare isn't that expensive anymore. People will get mad, but more people will get healthy. When we no longer have to live for the money we can start living for a higher purpose.

  38. Dennis | June 28, 2013

    The constitution states the right to life is inalienable. However we have allowed corporations to poison our food (and our environment), sell it to us and feed it to our kids in schools without anyone knowing what is happening. We have a right to pursue life, and I see that as pursuing health. That has been taken from us over a decade ago, probably longer than that.
    Obamacare is a compromise between money hungry capitalists. A capitalist society attempting to pursue a socialist agenda? And those on the "hill" know it isn't right or they would not make themselves exempt. However all humans have a right (and they will) protect themselves from harm – yet we are being harmed without our knowledge. How can our system make that right? By forcing us to spend money on doctors and surgeons who pursue that career because it "pays well".
    Want to cut the cost of healthcare? Bring down those salaries of doctors and surgeons to a middle class wage. Now the healthcare professionals will be in the business because they want to HEAL not make money. Why do the executives who really do nothing but stupidvise and hide data make so much money? They are earning their living on the hard work of others. Cut that salary and the only one doing the job will be the one who wants it done. We may even find that insurance companies aren't necessary once this is done.
    If we are truly concerned about the health of our people, we would allow them to grow their own healthy, nonmanipulated food. We would endorse the pursuit of non traditional health techniques which do not rely upon mind altering, addictive and corrosive pharmaceuticals. Instead of going straight to surgery, try physical therapy. Instead of diagnosing a child as ADHD or ADD, try paying attention to them, talking to them, playing with them – let them be a child.
    Is it health insurance that Americans need? Or is it just health? Do you think those who support a family working two min. wage jobs have the time or energy to take care of themselves and their families? They can hardly afford the interst rates, grocery bills and gas prices let alone some other added expense. The wealth in this country has been hoarded to the point that it is all anyone can see, but in the end it is only an illusion. It was made by man, and it will not be a factor once man is gone.
    Lets take the focus off the money and put it onto the human.

  39. Jay | June 29, 2013

    As reflected by many of these comments, Americans are willingly giving government more and more power. The foundation of America's constitutional republican form of government is actually the lesson taught by English history and repeated elsewhere throughout history, that the more power we give government the more likely it is that government will be corrupted and abuse that power.

    The Welfare Clause is probably the source of most of our government's accumulation of power, incorrectly interpreted to mean that government can do anything it pleases under the guise of acting for everyone's benefit.

    But James Madison foresaw the danger: "With respect to the two words 'general welfare', I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them.
    To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."

    "For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars."

    Our government has "morphed" from a constitutional republic and is in the process of becoming something else. We live in the transitional phase and what we are in the process of becoming can't be known with any certainty right now – perhaps just another failed Euro-socialist State.

    But one thing can presently be known: the 13th amendment abolished slavery; the 16th amendment reinstated it.

  40. Dr. A. Strocel | June 29, 2013

    Let me give my views as a physician who has been involved in 2 different systems (ie Canada and the United States). First let me state that WHO has come out with a statement ( after studying all systems in the world), that the best health care systems are a combination of of a public and a private system. What most people don't realize now, if I can compare with our northern neighbours, is that the Canadian system is slowly bankrupting the country. Right now, in nearly all the Canadian provinces, the provincial budget is nearly 50% consumed by health care expenses.. That leaves 50% for roads, schools, police, fire departments etc. and guess how they are dealing with this? Rationing – but in both obvious ways and in less obvious ways. Obvious ways are long waits for appointments and special diagnostic evaluation, age restrictions for certain treatments, and for most people, no prescription coverage or not even having some of the better ( yes and more costly medications available in their country). The least obvious way that they are rationing is not obvious to the people of Canada. They restrict the number of new physicians being trained so enterprising young people have to go outside of Canada to train. My proof has come up in the last few years. In our community hospital, in our intern and residency programs, last year we had 8 Canadians and this year we have 9 Canadians – all doctors who couldn't find a place in all of Canada for their postgraduate training.
    I'll end with a couple of truisms:
    1. There is nothing other than our basic rights given to us by the US constitution that is free. And the government is trying to push free health care.
    2. You cannot strengthen the weak by trying to weaken the strong. This is really what redistribution of wealth by the government is trying to to do.
    3. The socialist concept which is what this country is trying to push into has been a proven failure historically eg. Russia

    • Frank H. Marchant | June 30, 2013

      Well said Dr!

      How well do you think the lawyers that make up Congress would embrace a group of doctors were they to decide how Lawyers should operate their law practices?

  41. Neil Matthews | June 29, 2013

    A couple of comments have referred to education at public schools being free. They have also indicated treatment at an ER is free (although you receive a bill). One could say our military and roads/bridges are free, too. We never get a bill to pay for them, directly. The problem with that thinking is WE ALL PAY for those things through taxation or higher costs/premiums! Have you ever wondered why a box of facial tissue in a hospital room can cost so much ($10 or more)? Its to cover the cost not PAID FOR BY THOSE WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY. NOTHING IS FREE! Health care is not a right – read the Constitution and the Federalist Papers! We all need good health to thrive, but it is not an inalienable "right" No one – especially a government – can grant you a "right". As human beings, we were born with rights -ACA is a law – not a RIGHT!
    We have become a society willing to bend to the government and willing to concede our thinking to Washington because "they know best" What a crock! The concept of the ACA is no where to be found in the Constitution or Bill of Rights!

    • Paul | June 30, 2013

      Nothing has to be in the Consitution nor the Bill of rights o be th law in America. It simjply has to be the law. Do you recognize the laws of the United States? You don't have to like thgem. You just have to abide by them. If you don't like a law then write your Congressman and be certain to vote. That's the way it works in a Democracy. I t sounds like you and many others on the Right no longer believe in ourDemocracy. Whast kind of government would you prefer, a "benevolent dictatorship?"

  42. Tom Deighan | June 30, 2013

    We are not a democracy.

    With the Fourth approaching – an article I read today had opposing positions on Obamacare that brought this revelation to my attention. Briefly the two sides had opposing points of view on Obamacare , which is not really the subject of my comments. But in a broader sense the discussion centered around the Constitution and whether "tangible rights" were constitutionally protected, specifically.

    As a young man I had the audacity to propose to Dad that there were merits to the concept of Communism. Dad was a passionate history teacher, with the importance on the term teacher. His response was calm, straight-forward, not de-meaning. And I quickly learned the difference between democracy and autocracy. Obviously it is a lesson I never forgot.

    If you doubt what I'm saying, just come live under my roof, where I provide all your "tangible rights". You will quickly learn what I'm saying is true. Or rather, should I reside under your roof where you provide my "tangible rights", I will experience autocratic living just the same.

    I'm not saying that autocracy happens overnight but remember, or rather observe for the first time if you haven't an instance to remember, that the energy for autocracy began many years ago. Plenty of examples are there if we just observe. And lest we need a little physics lesson, the force of that energy can be felt…stronger…stronger…then one day… realization.

    I realize the Founders never intended this to be a democracy – but a republic. I just wish people would not use terms to describe our nation that is not true. Because the truth reveals untruths sure as a skin-dipper. Go ahead – make fun. You get the point.

    Another lesson learned…

  43. George Lindsey | July 1, 2013

    Obama health care is the future. We must all look at it as an upgrade for America.
    The bill of rights Frank, was ignored by those who were in positions of power.
    There will always be the haves and the haven't, health care gives safety to all.
    America gives away so much money to other countries to keep us safe. Health care is safety for all of us. I'm a have not, Frank. Good job Greg.

  44. Buck OFama | July 1, 2013

    Screw Obama! He's a Marxist ideologue bent on undermining the essence of what the Founders have worked so hard to start: a self-governing people. He wants to turn us into France, only worse. Health care, however, is interesting in that people seem reluctant to address the core issue of the phenomenon: why is it getting increasingly expensive? Well, because we, the people, choose to use it in an attempt to extend our lives. How much of the overall cost of health care goes to keeping alive people in the last 30 days of their lives? Half? More?
    Hence the ethical issue: Who should decide where the money goes? If health care is a tangible, it is the buyer's decision. (current situation) If it's a "human right", some faceless bureaucrat will let the (rich) old people die a little sooner, in order to "allocate" the funds to child care and prevention. And, is the CSH has it his way, birth control.

  45. Linda | July 3, 2013

    If we were actually taking money away from defense spending to pay for Obamacare, Greg would have a really valid point.

    • Frank Marchant | July 5, 2013

      Well said! Good point! Thank you!
      Don't miss next weeks debate!

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