The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Health Care Reform and the 14th Amendment. Equal Protection?

I don't hear this argument advanced much, but as I was scolding Bob Ellis below for filing what seemed to me to be a thoughtless, boilerplate, wing-nut reactionary comment, I got to thinking. Mainly because he brought up the Constitution. He says in essence that government health care is unconstitutional and that anyone who supports it is pretty much the "enemy."

Well, I dug around a little and found this in the JAMA archives.

Here's an excerpt:

"Rights may be either positive or negative. A positive, or welfare, right would be the right to actually receive care. A negative right, or right of noninterference, would be the right not to encounter barriers in seeking care. Unlike most other advanced industrialized nations, the United States does not have a tradition of legally recognizing general welfare rights. Positive rights, therefore, exist only within limited circumstances.

Although the US Constitution does not grant any general welfare rights, there is one health care exception. Prisoners have the right under the 8th Amendment not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment; this right is violated when incarcerated people do not receive adequate health care.1"

The article is pretty short. Give it a read, then let's discuss. Is it right that the only people who have a constitutional right to health care are the people in prison? Is it right that some other people have government health care protection and not others (seniors, vets, poor people, etc?)

I mean, we take the 14th Amendment pretty seriously don't we? Hey, George W. Bush was appointed POTUS because of it. So talk to me. If it covers making sure that every vote in Florida gets re-counted or that none of them should, surly it covers every one in America getting equal access to government health care or no one should, yes?

If no, maybe Bob Ellis will take off his tin foil hat for a minute, put on his thinking cap instead, sharpen his pencil, and explain to us why.


Foxwood said...

Do you believe the Constitution is the rule of law? Do you believe in the original intent of our founding fathers? Do you want to reform Congress? If your answer is yes, we have to work together to make this happen.

Bob Ellis said...

You love to imagine you're thinking, but you are only emoting. How sad for you that you can't even grasp how fundamentally ignorant you are.

Everyone in the U.S. already has equal access to health care. What planet have you been living on?

Equality of opportunity does not equate to equality of outcome; with human nature being what it is, it just doesn't happen. That's a fantasy.

Just as not everyone has the same amount of money and the exact same fiscal and economic circumstance across the board, not everyone can afford to purchase the same health care products and services.

You seem to be desperately wishing for a Marxist heaven where everyone has the same thing (no matter how much or how little creativity, ingenuity and work they exercise).

Reality check: it's never going to happen. Not even in Marxist societies does everyone have equality in wealth. If you need a clue on this one that you can't see from examining every Marxist country that does or has ever existed, I suggest you read George Orwell's "Animal Farm." As with the pigs, in Marxist societies the powerful will always be "more equal."

At least in a free market and free society like we're blessed with here in the US, we ourselves determine whether we have more or little.

We can choose to work hard, employ a good work ethic, use our creativity to start our own business and so on...and enjoy the fruits of more rewards for more work.

Or we can choose NOT to employ a good work ethic, choose NOT to work more than 40 hours a week, choose NOT to be creative...and have less.

It just doesn't get more equal than that--not in a free society or in a Marxist society.

Why don't you end this infatuation with un-American forms of government and economics, stop "thinking" with your bleeding liberal heart, and get with the program?

We have the most wonderful nation with the most wonderful opportunities on earth here in America. We don't need to wreck it by trying to mimic nations that have proven over and over and over the folly of such insanity.

Bill Fleming said...

Au contraire mon frere, Ellis. I have heard from those of your very own religious persuasion that ignorance is indeed bliss.

Certainly the self-contradictory nature of your post accompanied by the smugness with which you deliver it lends credence to that assertion.

True to form, you launch into an hysterical, off topic rant all the while pretending you are actually making something other than the usual straw man argument. And then accuse me of being irrational and emotionally sensational. Pretty funny.

I'd be much more interested in your addressing the questions I asked as opposed to the questions I didn't.

For example, how is it that a diabetic convicted criminal in the US has more of a constitutional right to — and indeed enjoys better access to — health care than a 59 year old diabetic woman who has just lost her job — and with it her health insurance policy — and can't get a new policy because of her preexisting condition?

For that matter, how is it fair that her 65 year old sister with the same condition is covered under Medicare while she is not?

How is that equal protection under the law?

Bill Fleming said...

Actually, I can make the question even simpler for you, Bob and "Foxwood." Do either of you advocate for the repeal of Social Security and/or Medicare?

If it were up to you, would those programs be cancelled tomorrow?

Simple, right? You can just answer yes, or no.

Let's start there, ok?

Bob Newland said...

I advocate the repeal of Social Security and Medicare. I also think that Bob Ellis is wrong on most of the issues on which he speaks.

That could be because I believe that no one has the right to initiate force to achieve personal or political goals. Ellis seems to believe that people do have that right.

Taunia Adams said...

If you're of means, you win. If not, sucks to be you.

We have a 56 year old, pain in the ass, Republican friend. He did vote for Obama. He does NOT want health care reform. He does not want to be standing in line for his 7 doctors any longer than he has to. If everyone has the opportunity he has, he's going to be very angry, because he'll have to wait longer in line. (Almost a direct quote.)

I beginning to really dislike this "friend" of ours.

If you're of means, you win. If not, sucks to be you.

Taunia Adams said...

Btw, WTF happened to Epp?

Thad Wasson said...

My 82 year old grandmother had open heart surgery two months ago, paid my medicare. My disabled cousin has been on medicaid for almost 20 years.

These programs help, but remember why the costs keep rising. Medicare does not pay what the true costs are, so it needs to be made up by higher insurance.

Capping malpractice costs would bring costs down 8-25% along with allowing private competition across state lines. This will work and only took two sentences, not 1400 pages.

I also support getting rid of ssn.

Bill Fleming said...

Ok, Newland and Wasson both want to eliminate Medicare altogether. (See how easy that was Ellis? If that's what you think, just say so.)

That at least addresses the 14th Amendment question. Now how about the Health Care problem, do you guys have any suggestions there, or is the status quo alright with you two?

And do you think the government should stop providing health care to prisoners too, Bob N.? Thad?

p.s. Bob N. I didn't see the "initiate force" part you reference in Ellis's comment.

Taunia Adams said...

NASA and the BIA can go too.

Now we should have plenty of money for Universal Health Care.

Bill Fleming said...

Taunia, did you visit the site Foxwood linked to? That looks pretty much like a "tear down the walls motherf***er" situation to me. What did you think?

Taunia Adams said...

Yes, I did read Foxwood's link.

And his last post, responding to someone suggesting the Constitution was written a few years before health care became an issue, was to call that poster brainless, mentally incapable and a product of public education.

With that reply, I think he likely stole the well-written, but condescending, threatening, rabid Republican (hell no, I don't want univeral healthcare and you're an idiot for wanting it!) diatribe from elsewhere and is taking the credit. Whomever wrote it is going to be pissed they weren't properly credited.

The stolen soliloquy talks about the definition of welfare at the time the Constitution was written, which stealer Foxwood says was defined 40 years after the constitution. How does he know what the framers were thinking if the word hadn't been publicly defined?

From Merriam Webster's online dictionary, 2009: Welfare: 1 : the state of doing well especially in respect to good fortune, happiness, well-being, or prosperity (must look out for your own welfare)
2 a : aid in the form of money or necessities for those in need b : an agency or program through which such aid is distributed

I'd say even the definition of welfare has changed since the Constitution was written.

Taunia Adams said...

As well, I'm curious as to whether Foxwood takes issue with the meaning of "well regulated militia"?

Will he be plagiarizing someone's writings on that one too?

betty76 said...

I love Ellis' use of the phrase "get with the program".

Oh, sweet irony!