Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Healthcare: A God Given Right

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Framers of the Constitution relied heavily on their own prior declarative thoughts when devising the laws of our land, yet were curiously silent with regard to the "life" portion of our rights.

We ought to fix that.

We have guarantees that, no matter how destitute you are, your liberties will be protected. We have an army and police forces that will protect, serve, and defend your property, no matter how meager. We guarantee you access to an attorney should you run afoul of the law or your neighbor.

We don't provide the same protection for your life, however. We don't guarantee you a doctor. If we guarantee you any care, it's emergency room care and the hospital will still sue you for money until they've bled you dry.


I could get into the whole "well, you know, back in those days the doctor was the local chap who applied leeches and leeches were free" argument, and accept that the Founders were men without vision.

Not impossible. Just unlikely.

I don't think the Founders, as they could not with the Second Amendment, could foresee a day when we'd have advanced diagnostic tools, nuclear medicine, the ability to delay death for decades.

In the 1700s, you were lucky to live until forty if you were a man and fifty if you were a woman. Why worry about maintaining your health if all it would do is give you a few weeks?

They didn't have antiseptics (Joseph Lister wasn't born until the 1820s). They had pain-killers after a fashion...basically, rum... microscopes were a relatively new thing as was the concept of microbiology and bacteria and viruses causing human diseases (remember the whole "leech" thing?). Antibiotics weren't even on the horizon. Sterilization and pasteurization were half a century in the future.

Who needed healthcare coverage?

Well, now we do. And as the Delcaration of Independence requires government "to secure these rights," the only solution to this perplexing problem is the most obvious and simplest one. As well as the most patriotic.

National health care.