Thursday, February 03, 2011

Constitutionally mandated health care

It seems odd but I find myself in agreement with Federal Judge Roger Vinson’s decision that the health reform law has fatal constitutional flaws.

I’m with the judge: The government shouldn’t be forcing you and me to make private purchases.

That said, the reasons for the reforms in the new law still hold true. Prior to the reforms, the American health care system was both absurd and cruel.

The Judge’s opinion alluded to the system’s injustices and outrages in more mild, but in no uncertain terms, when he wrote:

"... I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system.”
Note the use of the word “reluctantly.” The Judge “gets it.”

What we need is not an “individual mandate” but the implementation of a constitutionally derived mandate on our government.

Our constitution’s preamble famously requires government to “promote the general welfare.” And by any measure, welfare includes providing the citizenry with adequate and equitable health care.

Without waiting for the Supreme Court’s inevitable concurrence with Vinson’s decision, our government should proceed to do what other nations, rich and poor, have done: Establish universal health coverage through a single payer.

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