[In February, 2006, I was part of an educator's trip to China. We visited a number of Chinese educational institutions, including a medical school, where we were introduced to this high-tech resuscitation simulator named "Medi-Man."]Weighed in today at 185.7. I'm pleased to report that I ran 3 miles, covering 6.55, and I caught up on my grading.
The big news today is that 14 states, including mine, have filed suit against the federal government, charging that the new health care plan is unconstitutional. The principal argument seems to be that the federal government cannot compel people to purchase anything from a private company, much less health insurance.
By extension of that logic, is it not unconstitutional for the states to compel drivers to purchase automobile insurance from private companies? Of course, one could argue that requiring drivers to be insured serves a compelling public interest. Uninsured drivers who have accidents drive up insurance rates for the rest of us. But the fact of the matter is that people with no health insurance drive up health insurance rates by receiving emergency medical care they can't pay for,
Of course, one could argue that the analogy doesn't hold because driving is a privilege and not a right. I still remember that the Delaware state driver's manual of my youth made that point most emphatically. I have to wonder, therefore, if the people so upset about the new legislation hold health care to be a privilege and not a right. If so, what sort of comment would that be about America?
Also, I have to wonder just what we've become when the opponents of health care reform engage in ad hominem attacks grounded in race and sexual orientation instead of the issues. The demagogues and hate mongers have whipped their followers into a frenzy. I keep hearing Obama and his administration called fascists and Communists both. (The people mouthing this rhetoric don't seem to understand that these two political philosophies are antithetical.) The irony is that the Tea Baggers and Obama's other populist opponents have more in common with the mobs that helped Hitler to power than Obama and his supporters. Yet Obama is the one we see caricatured as Hitler. I humbly submit that either Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh's image would make a better caricature of Mussolini than Oama does of Hitler.
It's time for people to get a grip. --EFP