Monday, August 3, 2009

Won't Be Fooled Again?

The Kaiser Foundation, started by the founders of the first HMO in America (and builders of the hospital where this writer was born) studies issues regarding delivery of health care in America. The Foundation has released a study of the history of the struggle for health care reform in the U.S. The report is facsinating, because it shows how many of the heroes of 20th Century American History (TR, FDR, Truman, etc) fought for universal health care, and how the special interests kept it from becoming a reality.

Now some of the same special interests (the AMA having seen the light) are trying to scare the American people into rejecting the Obama Administration's attempt to -- finally -- give the American people a right to health care. Will we be fooled again by slick marketing that tries to convince Americans that the current HMO and health insurance controlled health care system gives us "freedoms" that a government controlled system would take away?

How is it that Americans have a right to a lawyer, but not a right to a doctor (or nurse, medicine, etc)? If I had to choose, I'd take the right to a doctor any day. But why do we have to choose?

This report is worth pondering as we enter a month-long ad campaign to sink health care reform:

History of Health Care Reform (Kaiser)

3 comments:

Christopher said...

How is it that Americans have a right to a lawyer, but not a right to a doctor (or nurse, medicine, etc)?

Methinks this is a softball. Americans have a right to a criminal defense attorney because it is one of the means the Founding Fathers recognized to protect against governmental tyranny. Making sure the government cannot deprive someone of fundamental rights without them even knowing those rights or how to protect them is clearly a government function; it's a form of self-regulation.

But there is serious debate as to whether the government has any legitimate role to play in the health care context. Sure, we all want health care, but why does that make us entitled to it, and even if we are, why should it be involuntarily socialized?

Another way of answering your question is that perhaps Americans don't have a Constitutional right to a doctor because the Drafters believed in small government.

grspore said...

perhaps Americans don't have a Constitutional right to a doctor because the drafters were a crew of white, property-owning men with ample means for medical care. the old line that the Constitution is a dead document is played. please realize that it lives and breathes..

Christopher said...

Greg,

Hope you didn't break a sweat knocking over that straw man. :)