Friday, July 17, 2009

"Health Care" Issue vs "Health Insurance" Issue - Redux

Following up on our KCDC monthly meeting last night, I just wanted to repeat what I stated here in an earlier blog on July 3 - I wish that we could rename the current health crisis in this country and the push for reform to a health insurance problem and not a health care problem. In my view, the beef is not so much with the health care providers as it is with the insurance companies and their fat cat executives who deny claims and disallow procedures so that people get sicker and die without the necessary health care. Or they retroactively cancel health insurance policies for which people have paid their very expensive premiums faithfully for years as soon as a claim is made against the policy, thus sticking their insurance customers with exorbitant bills which were acquired assuming that they had health insurance to cover the costs. It is the ability to pay for the health care provided and not the health care itself that should be the focus of the debate, and renaming the issue to a health insurance issue might just focus the attention on the real problem and get us away from the red party's argument that we are pushing toward socialized medicine. I believe, as I think we all believe, in free enterprise when it comes to private practice for health care providers, if we only had the means to pay the bills without going into bankruptcy, or having to forego essential prescription drugs because they are unaffordable, as happens all too often.

I also tried to make the point at the meeting that health care is a constitutional right provided under the "promote the general welfare" clause of the preamble, but was corrected by Carl Pease that a SCOTUS decision handed down some time ago ruled that the preamble is not part of the Constitution, so its content cannot be used to argue for constitutional rights, as the gun nuts do with the 2nd amendment. Anyone care to weigh in on this, that we have a constitutional right to health care, from any clause that is part of the Constitution? Could be an interesting discussion!

1 comment:

Ed Lachowicz said...

Nope. No clause in the Constitution that gives us a right to health care. As it should be.

The Constitution exists to set very broad guidelines for the government of our nation. It was never designed to get into the nitty-gritty, thus the amendment process is where you find all those things. But even then, you can point to most of the amendments -- such as ending slavery -- as things the Founders left out for one reason or another.

Health care is not and should not be enshrined in the Constitution. It should, however, become federal law -- which is what we're looking at right now.