Sick and Tired

23 08 2009

Against my better judgement, I’m going to hurl myself into the breach of rational debate regarding the proposed reformation of health care in the US. This action I deem necessary due to the total lack of rational debate on the subject. Demagogues and pundits on all sides are substituting volume for facts.

Please take a moment and review the Constitution of the United States, particularly Article I. This article identifies the powers and limitations of Congress. Please note that this was written a long time ago by men who were among the intelligentsia of their place and time. They realized that they could not possibly foresee every aspect of future life in their newborn nation, and accordingly wrote the operating instructions to be a broad as possible.

This particular section (Section 8, appropriately enough) of the article seems to be the operative one:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Note that there is nothing specifically written permitting Congress to deal with something as complex as modern health care. Congress was never intended to be so deeply enmeshed in the private lives and businesses of the citizens. This was originally assumed to be a power relegated to the States. That said, the first paragraph might contain a loophole, sufficient for Congress to interfere in the day-to-day lives of the citizens.

provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States

Here’s where the baby goes out the airlock: Congress is empowered to provide for the general welfare of the United States.

The Founders made their Constitution deliberately ambiguous to allow for changing circumstances in a future they could not foresee. Many legislators are lawyers. Lawyers just love to make hay by wringing whatever meaning they can from ambiguous legislation. And therein lies the problem today.

Looking at the offending paragraph one way, Congress must provide for the general welfare of the United States as an entity. Therefore, Congress should not have the power to get involved in health care. On the other hand, the citizens are part of the United States, so one could use the exact same paragraph to justify Congress getting mixed up in private health care decisions. It is the nature of Government to create more government. Given that, Congress will interpret their operating instructions (the Constitution) in such a way that suits Congress’ purpose.

I am personally horrified at the idea of the US Government providing health care. I have lived through that while I was on active duty and since then through the Veteran’s Administration. Due to my service-connected disabilities, I am entitled to “free” medical care from the VA. And yet, I have private health insurance. I pay roughly five thousand dollars a year to a health insurance company because government-managed health care sucks donkey balls.

It is a truism that Congress is the opposite of progress. The US government is patently incapable of efficiency or cost-effectiveness. It is not possible for the Government to make a profit- government is inherently wasteful. It is often, however, useful and necessary.

Let us now cut through the layers of bullshit being tossed about by everyone involved in this alleged “debate”. There are US citizens who- for a variety of reasons- do not have access to adequate health care (however one defines “adequate”). Most of those citizens are living below the poverty line or are otherwise on government assistance of one sort or another. The government programs put in place to help those people are so badly managed that they risk bankrupting the entire nation and still fail to deliver adequate health care to those dependent upon it. We, the People, have a responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves. It is an inherent responsibility in our status as citizens and as humans.

If Congress insists upon trying to “fix” health care, let them create a program to help those who need it. The vast majority of Americans do not need the Gummint’s help to get adequate health care. Junk the Medicare program and replace it with a program allowing people making less than the poverty line to get medical care for a nominal fee per month. This care would be in the form of an identity card issued by the Government which would allow the card holder to get whatever medical care is required at any hospital. Card-holders who manage to get themselves out of poverty and no longer require the card will be required to maintain the nominal fee until any costs incurred while in the program are repaid.

As for the rest of us, we’re going to have to pay into this program as well. The hundred and fifty million or so workers in this country are going to pay a little more in taxes to cover this program. Done properly, this could take care of the so-called “health care crisis” without violently ass-raping the Republic to death. All of the various bills being bandied about in Congress are horrible examples of legislation. Here’s a clue to everyone in Congress: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Because the current “debate” is making me sick and tired.

Current status: Annoyed

Current music: Bad Day by Daniel Powter

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3 responses

23 08 2009
Sick and Tired | Be Happiness

[…] rest is here: Sick and Tired Share and […]

30 08 2009
The BoBo Carnival of Politics - August 30, 2009 Edition | The BoBo Files

[…] presents Sick and Tired posted at A Dark and Sinister Force for Good, saying, “Make the stupid […]

31 08 2009
Wenchypoo

Let’s look at the definition of “welfare” in a governmental context: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare)…”Welfare or welfare work consists of actions or procedures — especially on the part of governments and institutions — striving to promote the basic well-being of individuals in need. These efforts usually strive to improve the financial situation of people in need but may also strive to improve their employment chances and many other aspects of their lives including sometimes their mental health. In many countries, most such aid is provided by family members, relatives, and the local community and is only theoretically available from government sources.

In American English, welfare is often also used to refer to financial aid provided to individuals in need, which is called benefit(s) or welfare benefits in British English.

Welfare can take a variety of forms, such as monetary payments, subsidies and vouchers, health services, or housing. ”

Much emphasis on the term IN NEED.

The vast majority of us are NOT in need, so therefore, government is NOT responsible for providing health care benefits to anyone except those who are truly in need: those who cannot provide for themselves on a permanent basis (physically/mentally disabled, and advanced elderly, or conversely, disabled elderly).

Anyone with at least 2 working limbs, a pulse, normal respiration, the mental capacity to perform a job however mindless, and some sort of power of speech (voice or computer) have the capacity to provide SOMETHING toward their own upkeep and maintenance (if only Democratic society would let them, but it seems these people are to be shut away and fed daily diets of stipend checks). To say the unwashed massed throngs screaming in favor of HR3200 actually NEED governmental assistance with health care coverage is ludicrous at best, and a false economy at worst.

Just as the TV has been extolling the virtues of St. Kennedy for days now, the REAL thing he (and other Democrats) is guilty of accomplishing is the effective corralling and harnessing political power from the least of us: disabled, elderly, low income, and those who wish to be treated as such by our government–those who “lack.”

As time marched on, this begging for handouts–even going so far as to PURPOSELY get assessed for handout qualification–has evolved into the path of least resistance when it comes to surviving. Can you imagine what cave people did back in THEIR time when someone of the clan became old, infirm, or defective in some way? These people certainly didn’t sit around complaining about how some unseen Uncle Sam isn’t taking enough care of them at taxpayer expense!

Are you aware of how many Medicare recipients are upper income? Medicare only had age as a qualification, not income. These people consider this benefit a “freebie”, and ride it until the end, even though they could easily afford their own health insurance, or even afford to pay cash. Threaten to means-test them, or take away their freebie, and you risk political annihilation.

That’s what this whole argument is really about: political power, not health care. Political power to end life at both ends (pre-birth by allowing abortions, and at old age with rationing), power to decide who gets what treatments, when and where such treatments will be carried out, and by whom (probably some discredited hack with a computer-generated diploma because they can no longer afford a credentialed doctor). The spending they aim to reduce is THEIR OWN by consolidating about 5 health programs into one, and getting access to your finances (for the deficit) as stated in the bill. They want into everything except your shoes and underwear….oh wait–they WOULD be getting into your underwear, as well as under your skin.

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