The Debate Continues on American Healthcare

This is an article replying to the second response by Peter Tutykhin on the topic of Healthcare. Once again I appreciate Mr. Tutykhin’s engagement. I’ll start out by saying that just because I didn’t respond to a specific point doesn’t mean I concede the point. There’s quite a bit to address since somehow my original article of only 750 words has expanded to a second response comprised of 3100 words – which as I said, I appreciate the engagement, but I doubt that we’ll reach any common ground unless we address this one point first – which perhaps would help to decide if this is a discussion that deserves further examination in article form. This may be a bit reductive of an example but should adequately address where I’m coming from and perhaps give a bit of insight to my point of view on this Healthcare topic.

Let’s say you make 1 million dollars a year, I only make 30 thousand dollars a year, and yet we both want health insurance that costs 15 thousand dollars a year. That cost is pretty high for me, so how much do you suppose you should pay for my healthcare? The next question becomes – do you think that you should go to jail if you don’t give me that amount of money? Well I don’t. What if you had the same low-level of income as me, but you’re frugal and I spendmy money on other things? In this case the I deemed it more important to spend my money on other goods and services as opposed to healthcare. If I spend my money on luxury items instead of my own healthcare, that means that if other people are going to be forced to pay for my healthcare, they will in turn be subsidizing my luxurious lifestyle unnecessarily. I’m not saying this is the majority of people who would benefit from such services, but it most definitely is not an uncommon thing. However, either way I think that people should be able to spend their money however they see fit, and that includes whether or not they want to pay for their own health insurance (or other peoples’ health insurance for that matter). Any other way of going about it will never be able to hold the moral high ground, since it will amount to theft being backed up by violence of the state.

I would also like to briefly address the point that as Mr. Tutykhin inferred, I definitely support certain state functions and think that they warrant taxation. He claimed that I was inconsistent when it came to what government programs I did or did not support, so I’d like to explain the general litmus test for what would be acceptable to me. Since the state’s purpose is to protect the peoples’ rights to life (safety), liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (or property depending on who you’re quoting) there are definitely government programs that are justifiable. While it could be said that socialized healthcare would protect life, there are a number of issues with this belief. One is that I believe the protection of life is a protection from others infringing on your right to life, not from the natural functions of life. Also, it could only protect life at a massive cost to liberty. Due to those beliefs, I support government’s role in military protection against foreign threats, police protection against domestic threats and other programs that ensure the people’s safety. However, when I say “state functions” I usually mean “state” functions (aside from the military of course). The United States of America is a federal democratic republic with a history rooted in self-sufficiency, and a healthy skepticism of centralized power.

The country started out with an even weaker central government, and the founders disagreed as to whether the Constitution should even be ratified due to the worry that the federal government would hold too much power over the states. The amount of power the federal government has currently would absolutely blow the minds of the Founding Fathers. So like I said in my first response – even if someone does believe that socialized healthcare is the way to go, it is perfectly within their rights to try to implement at the state level. That power was not explicitly delegated to the federal government in the Constitution, and thus would be held by the states or the people. On a similar note regarding the Constitution being an outdated ~200-year-old document, I say this: there is already a process with which to make updates to the Constitution if it is deemed necessary and it has been 27 times. This Constitution laid the groundwork for an enormously flexible system in which the individual states could enact many of their own policies, while at the same time ensuring that the country overall would be held to certain moral standards based in the concepts of individual liberty.

So in conclusion, my main problem with the idea of socialized healthcare at the national level in the United States is the fact that something that has been based on voluntary charity for a few hundred years would overnight become just another addition to the list of things people will no longer have freedom to make their own decision on and the state can imprison people for. If citizens of the United States were to rely entirely on the federal government for any services other than those used to uphold the rule of law, it would ensure the erosion of the core values of self-sufficiency and individual liberties on which this nation was founded.

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