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.
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
- 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.