Forced To Buy: Do The Ends Justify The Means in The U.S. Too? (3.24.12)
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23,1
By the rivers of England, our pilgrim forbears planned their freedom in this new (not yet brave) world.
Now in America, hundreds of years later, an over zealous Washington demands we all consume corporate health insurance. When asked why this mandate is so necessary, the mandators end up saying all sorts of things, and yet it seems to add up to "the ends justify the means."
Washington- if you want socialized medicine and single payer, propose it and pass it.
Are not the insurance corpos and their guaranteed profits and their guaranteed clients just waiting to be streamlined and squeezed and bailed out and then owned by all of us (by the way, the Congressional Budget Office just told us the ACA is going to cost a trillion more than we thought- go figure).
A U.S.A. Today poll recently revealed that 76% of us think the individual insurance mandate is unconstitutional. Mr. President you have showed great political pragmatism about various important political matters, perhaps this could also be one of those matters?
You also could take your own counsel and kick the whole thing back to the states where such health and welfare matters have always been:
"...the process of making law in America compels us to entertain the possiblity that we are not always right and to sometime change our minds; it challenges us to examine our motives and our interests constantly, and suggests that both our individual and collective judgments are at once legitimate and highly fallible.
The historical records supports such a view. After all, if there was one impulse shared by all the Founders, it was a rejection of all forms of absolute authority, whether the king, the theocrat, the general, the oligarch, the dictator, the majority, or anyone else who claims to make choices for us." (The Audacity of Hope, Barack O'Bama, Three Rivers Press, 2006, p. 93.
Besides I'm hoping the Supreme Court sees through the lack of insurance hype and notices that a lowly private citizen forced to enter into a health insurance contract pursuant to a law that the health insurance industry wrote is in no position to defend himself from the health insurance company, now in conglomeration with others, or from the government itself.
This is so in that the government is arguably a defacto real party in interest in all health care contracts (not just their enforcer any more) in that it is nowadays always the potential payer of last resort. To date, the government through state adminsitered Medicaid and other programs has not shirked this increasing payment role (40% of all health care is already paid by Federal government), but when the moment comes that Congress balks at this trend, and the insurers balk at expanded or required coverage, and choose to go out of business, at that point Mr. Private Citizen's two party contract is not worth much.
In other words, how involved can the U.S. government be in corporate based health care, with its mandates now popping up all over the place, and its interpretations, and its decrees, and its insurance payment formulas, and its new cost concious based regulations before some court is going to say it too must be a named party (with specific obigations) in every health care contract?
Or to put it more simply, is there really a meeting of the minds between an individual health care consumer and a corporate health care insuror to form an enforceable contract, if the health care regulator- the government- is really the one calling the shots behind the scenes?
And more broadly, if the government can force us to consume corporate health insurance, what can't it force us to do?
In closing, how about a random and perhaps apparently irrelevant literary flash back?
The first Nobel Prize Winning, American Author, Sinclair Lewis, in 1935 wrote "It Can't Happen Here" (Doubleday) a novel about the possibility that the good old U.S.A. would lose its way and embrace the unfreedoms of Europe:
"So it was in September, at the demonstrations on Loyalty Day (which replaced Labor Day), the same wide-flung seraphim sang:
"Buzz and buzz and hail to the Chief,
And th' mystic steering whee-el,
The U.S. ne'er can come to grief
While we defend its we-al."
In mid-Agust, President Windrip announced that, since all its aims were being accomplished, the League of Forgotten Men (founded by Rev. Mr. Prang, who was mentioned in the proclamation only as a person in past history) was now terminated. So were all the older parties, Democratic, Republican, Farmer-Labor, or what not. There was to be only one: The American Corporate State and Patriotic party- no! added the President, with something of his former good humor: "there are two parties, the Corporate and those who don't belong to any party at all, and so, to use the common phrase, are just out of luck!" (p. 185)
Anyway, I'm trusting in the great Physician, author of our freedoms, to speak to all of us about this mandate, and the folks on the Supreme Court who will be hearing the very matter this coming week.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...