I understand how it is possible to have reservations about the recently-passed government Health Care Reform bill. Having been through the immigration system, believe me, I am the last person to put the government on the pedestal. And yet... I do not understand people who argue against it so vehemently, who want so badly for it to fail. So I thought I would summarize some of the most popular objections in hopes that some of the opponents of the bill will spare a few minutes and look at this thing reasonably.
1) "It's unconstitutional!" The word "unconstitutional" is being tossed around quite a lot. Well, let us not forget that "constitutional" (and therefor "unconstitutional") is a very relative notion solely dependent on which era in American history you happen to live during. For example, would you like to have lived in the United States before 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery was passed? Up until then, slavery was constitutional. Or how about - prior to 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment was passed, which finally forbade the Federal and State Governments to bar citizens from voting based on gender? Would you like to live in the United States where throwing a woman out of a voting booth would be constitutional? Be careful how you use the term and realize that it is highly flexible.
2) "The government will screw up my health care!" News item - it's already screwed up. I described in great detail why I personally think it's screwed up based on a few of my own experiences. I would like to add that I also get rated up on health and life insurance because of a mental illness that was diagnosed eight years ago, has been treated via therapy and medication and is currently under control. Four different physicians agreed that I was low risk in that area, but the insurance companies don't seem to give a damn.
The new bill will bar insurance companies from declining people based on pre-existing conditions, and from rating them up or dropping them if they get sick. Parents of children born with health issues will be able to breathe easier because they will finally be able to get insurance for their kids. Yeah, that's just awful...
3) "I will pay through the nose for other people's medical expenses!" Umm, you already are. How do you think your insurance premiums get hiked up? So, actually, you should be happy about the new bill, because it will put in check those unexpected and unfounded premium increases by the insurance companies.
4) "Health care should change - but not by the government." Fabulous idea - like I said, I am not enamored of everything the government does. But then who? I am not seeing crowds of private individuals just climbing all over each other's heads begging to be the ones to set our health care straight, do you? How long do you want to wait for some health care knight in shining armor to come and rescue us all? Somebody has to initiate the change and presently it happens to be the government.
5) "The government never does anything right - it always screws things up. Not a single government program or project has ever worked!" Really? Well, first of all let's start with the big one - the Constitution. Had that pesky government not passed all those amendments, it would still be ok to burn witches, own slaves, and prohibit people from voting and owning property based on race and gender.
How about the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act? Sure, now everyone thinks that FDA is the root of all evil, just behind the Homeland Security and the IRS. But actually, you should all be jumping for joy that FDA was put in place to keep chemical, biological and physical contaminants out of your food, medications and cosmetic products. Those of us who ever worked in food manufacturing, remember that required video we all have to watch - the one on the history of FDA and what our foods would be like today, had it not been created. If you want to know read the book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Yes, recalls still happen, yes things slip through the crack, but believe me - for every one that sneaks through there are tens of thousands that are prevented every day, and you don't even know it.
What about United States Highway System? ...A government project if there ever was one. The next time you want to bitch and complain about your local rush hour, imagine if the highways you take every day to work weren't there at all. Huh...
United States Forest Service - how is that for a good idea? Do you have any clue how many countries do not have anything - anything at all - in place protecting their natural resources and habitats? 155 national forests, 20 national grasslands - 193 million acres all in all - and you have a group created by the government as early as 1876 to look after all that for you.
My favorite - National Guard. Originating from the Militia act of 1903 (passed by the Congress), and then evolving with the 1916 National Defense Act (also passed by the Congress) allocating about half of the U.S. Army combat troops and one third of army support organizations to National Guard units. Go ahead, tell these men and women how that government initiative had failed, when they haul your ass from under the rubble after an earthquake or rescue you from a flood. Do it, I dare you.
6) "It will just never work!" Ok, fine. We are all wrong and you are right. Do you really want to be right? Think carefully. Success of government enterprises is driven by the faith and support of its people. Do you really want this to fail? Just to prove you right? If the answer is yes, then you are an incredibly selfish person. Wanting for hundreds of thousands of people to not get the health care protection they need - just so that you could say "I told you so!" Is this truly the kind of person and the kind of citizen you want to be? Oh well, the choice is yours.