COMMENTARY | Execrable can be the acts of a few to obviate the rights of the many. Thomas Jefferson once said, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
I am perplexed that the Supreme Court of the United States has chosen to waste the labors of the people under just such a pretense when it upheld the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act in June on the grounds that it may be levied as a tax. This article on Yahoo! News covers the decision in detail.
The overall effect of the ruling will surely have further reaching repercussions than just healthcare. In addition, it is worth reading the actual bill itself for the “Affordable Care Act” if time can be found to dissect over 2,000 pages. It is difficult reading, but it is important that we educate ourselves in order to argue facts, not opinions.
On July 11 2012, the House of Representatives held a mostly symbolic vote to repeal the act that actually might have more of an affect than is immediately evident. The vote for repeal passed. In truth, more of the American people than ever before are watching the acts of their government, including the way in which their representatives vote. The majority of democratic representatives voted against the repeal.
I am not unaffected by the issue of medical care. My wife has a serious thyroid problem and some other troublesome medical issues, and we do not have insurance to cover our health care costs. Currently, our income of less than $19,500 a year puts us, according to the individual mandate primer by Ezra Klein, with those who are “exempt.” Now that this is a tax as opposed to a penalty, it is fair to assume that it will be a tax that even the middle class will bear.
Still, we would vote against such a notion that healthcare should be free.
Healthcare, in my view, is not a fundamental right. Receiving healthcare requires another individual to utilize his or her free will to assist us. It is not justifiable to argue that it is okay to take another person’s rights to augment one’s own. That line of thought can, and has, lead down many dark roads.
I love my wife deeply, and others in my family with medical issues. However, I feel it is our individual responsibility to take care of each other, and that the government does not know what is best for everyone. Whatever your thoughts might be on the subject, we should all agree to be more involved and educated on the decisions made by our government. America depends on it.