Tear Down That Wall
Submitted By Todd on November 26th at 2:57pm
thinking of Junior.
President Barack Obama will soon have to make a judgment to reform the nation's "wall" if he is, as he so often says, to build a more perfect union. The wall I refer to is the U. S. Constitution.Jesse Jackson, Jr. thinks Barack will have to "tear down that wall," to save the nation.
If Barack Obama is going to be a truly transformative President I suggest he also can't bring the change we need, and he wants, with the Constitution as it is.Saving the nation, according to Junior, would be unconstitutional.
Because our current economic crisis is forcing us to think outside the box, one topic worthy of renewed discussion is health care. What if the Constitution said: "All citizens shall enjoy the right to health care of equal high quality and the Congress shall have the power to implement this article by appropriate legislation?"Let's see. Then we wouldn't have achieved such an incredible level of success as a nation???
Beyond the obvious benefits of greater and better health care itself, imagine the economic consequences: thousands of doctors and nurses being trained; new medical colleges established and older ones expanded; increased medical research; a massive preventive health care industry springing up; new hospitals in needy urban and rural areas with the private sector, federal, state, county and local governments all working cooperatively under the authority granted by the Constitution and Congress.Mmm. I'm imagining. Long lines. Long waits. The government telling me I'm not eligible for that surgery. The same level of excellence I get at the motor vehicle department.
The absence of this human right as a health care constitutional amendment has major economic consequences as well. Preventive medicine is almost entirely missing from our current health care system, which costs taxpayers billions.Human right? I think he skipped over the explanation regarding how health care beat out guaranteed meals and housing as a human right.
Of course, even without an amendment, Congress can pass legislation granting universal and comprehensive health care to all Americans. That's possible and candidate Barack Obama promised to do so in his first term in office.How exciting. As we're getting crushed by an economic meltdown that doesn't even take into account the degree to which we're heading off the cliff due to the cost of funding Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, the only choice left to us is to create another unsustainable social program.
However, while high quality health care for all Americans can be established without a constitutional amendment, it can't be sustained without such an amendment. Future presidents and Congresses are under no legal obligation to continue past legislative programs. For the new wall of health care to be built and sustained for as long as the nation exists it must have a constitutional foundation!I see. It wouldn't be enough for the new social program to be as transient as the big three existing social entitlements. We can't risk the idea that when we're being brought to our knees by the burden of free health care for all, some evil president might try to reign it in a bit. We can't risk a moment so devoid of compassion.
How can we afford such a system? Without a constitutional right to health care we already spend nearly twice as much as any other developed nation in the world -- about $2.5 trillion or 16% of our GDP -- yet nearly fifty million Americans are without health insurance and often receive their care in the most expensive manner possible, in the local hospital emergency room.What everyone fails to mention when making this point is that our system got so expensive because of the government regulation that has already been bestowed upon it. It's like they tried to screw it up enough that everyone would favor socialization out of frustration!
With a health care constitutional amendment, instead of plugging a hole in the dike, we would be building a wall with a strong and solid foundation. Instead of spending money on more band-aids, a revised Constitution would give direction to a unique American purpose and, over time, solve an historic problem. And with American innovation we could put millions of Americans to work expanding a more balanced economic system on the solid foundation of health care for all. Health care would be a human right protected by the American people in our Constitution.Health care would be a human right? Can something become a human right - or doesn't that make it not a human right?