Herring – Health care again

At one point a few weeks ago, after the special election when Republican Scott Brown was elected to replace the late Edward Kennedy as the Senator from Massachusetts, it appeared that President Obama’s health care bill was dead. However, a decision was made by the President’s men to make a last ditch effort to pass some version of nationalized “health care reform” legislation before the November, 2010, congressional elections. Thus, the debate on what sort of health care we should have in a free society has started anew.

Paul Ryan, the six-term congressman from Wisconsin who has become a leading spokesman for the Republican point of view on health care reform, tells us that

“[u]nder the terms of our constitution, every individual has a right to care for their health, just as they have a right to eat. Their rights are integral to our natural right to life – and it is government’s chief purpose to secure our natural rights. But the right to care for one’s health does not imply that government must provide health care, any more than our right to eat, in order to live, requires government to run the farms and raise the crops.”

In making these statements, Ryan alludes to the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment (“No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law”). He also indirectly alludes to the Declaration of Independence (“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”).

Jim Herring