Health care and constitutional rights
I don’t agree with everything in George Will’s column
on health-care reform. Example: distinguishing between government coercion to buy auto insurance and health insurance. Hmmm. Isn’t this the same government that reserves the right to draft able-bodied young men ("just because an individual exists") and send them off to war, the ultimate anti-health-care choice of them all?
But the column is thought provoking. Example: If liberals claim health care is a “right,” then don’t free citizens have a “right” to choose the health care they want? Defining health care as a right and then forcing individuals into certain types of health-care plans is akin to declaring protests to be a right and then narrowly restricting individuals to certain types of protests. … It’s an interesting argument, though I’m sure constitutional lawyers could pick it apart. But on principle, it holds up – and it’s why so many people despise the thought of a top-down single-payer system.
The Senate health-care plan
unveiled yesterday is better than the House bill. But that’s not saying much. Once again, it includes a “public option,” which is adamantly backed mostly by single-payer supporters with an eye of one day expanding it to everyone. Once again, the idea of universal health care is bogged down by an obsession with the means to an end, i.e. many on the left REALLY want government running a universal health-care system. That obsession killed a chance for universal health nearly 40 years ago. That same obsession remains at the heart of today’s debate.
Being a backer of universal health care, I wish Congress had simply mandated that people buy health insurance, maximizing choices and not micro-managing types of choices. It would have taken compromises on both sides (Democrats axing single-payer proposals and their bastard cousin offshoots; Republicans accepting the notion that universal health-care’s time has come.) But I guess I’m living in my own moderate utopia by thinking such compromise deals can be hatched into reality.