March 27th, 2012
07:17 PM ET

Letters to the President #1163: 'Courting a health care kerfuffle'

Reporter's Note: The president’s health care reform plan is under review by the Supreme Court.

Dear Mr. President,

This was a tough day in the Supreme Court for your health care reform plan, I must say. Some of the justices went after it like yard dogs on a pork chop. Of course, we can never be sure what the black robe gang will do in their fortress of solitude, but it does not look particularly good for your side.

I’m not terribly surprised. Passing this reform package was not easy for your team, and even at the time I seem to recall legislative analysts suggesting that the way it was cobbled together practically begged for a court challenge. Now you have one.

In terms of the public reaction to this whole affair, I tend to agree with folks who say this is not really about health care, but rather about a bigger issue: How we see our government. When I talk to people on all sides of this debate, they speak with such passion that you can’t even start to think it is just about Band-Aids and aspirin.

Some people insist that a government which can’t provide basic health care to its citizens (or at least a means of obtaining it) is clearly, woefully falling short; a failed state of sorts. Others say, with just as much certainty, that a government which would order its citizens when and where and how to spend hard earned money (with private companies no less) is little better than tyranny. And that, I fear, is really the crux of it.

An awful lot of our 50-50 elections, our poisonous rhetoric, and bitter feelings in political circles seem to swirl around this basic sense of how much government ought…or ought not…be involved in our lives. It is, for debaters on all sides, so tied to their basic understanding of the country’s identity, that they can not bring themselves to back down for fear of losing their sense of who we are, what unites us, and where we are headed. That’s why I suspect, no mater which way the ruling goes, the outcry afterward will be something to behold.

Anyway, just thought I’d mention it. Hope all is well.


soundoff (One Response)
  1. George Kenyatta Muumbo

    Conversation with a friend about Comprehensive Healthcare Reform in the USA

    Americans who can not afford private coverage are demanding for affordable coverage, removal of coverage caps, an end to restrictions based on pre-existing conditions, and so forth. Senior citizens as well are making known of their case. The government is simply a catalyst in the process, effecting the wishes of the majority while balancing on the obligations providers have, a question of fairness in the backdrop of discriminatory practices. The Constitution of the Land has something to say about this Christena. On the other hand, do you think the government is mandating people who are begging to have insurance get insurance or do you think it is a case of the haves in society, who lay in the Corporate slumberbed, colluding to distort the vista to show (rather unfairly), that it is actually individual citizens, who have-not, who are being mandated to get insurance coverage? What about the healthcare exchanges?

    Small business do not want to be mandated to provide medical cover for their employees, who have not, despite the fact that they, the small business–employing over 50 folks–gets tax break for doing so as an incentive! The position of those against Comprehensive Health Care Reform is amazingly unAmerican. It is unAmerican for folks to go broke because they have little to no insurance just as much as it is unAmerican for a child in America to suffer or to die because he or she/the parents, cannot receive/ afford to provide critical care upon expiry of 'life-time' coverage benefits which ought not be be imposed as caps on the child's medical coverage in the first place.

    Government must be allowed to act in good faith as a catalyst for human capital development versus an engine to benefit the haves in society. Now we have a government that acts as a catalyst (versus a reactor cum reagent) in society to benefit all American and not just some...including the have-nots. What do you have to say my friend?

    March 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |