The Free Press, Mankato, MN

September 8, 2013

Health care still privilege, not right

The Mankato Free Press

---- — To begin my six point response to Dr. Shores letter of Sept. 5, my “rationale” for separating the ACA from the rest of the budget is because the Democrat-controlled Senate has refused to even call up for debate most of the 40 or so ACA related bills passed by the House. And for purely political reasons, I think. Moreover, it is Congress’ responsibility to decide what programs to fund and not to fund, considering the consent of the governed.

Moving on, admittedly some (not me) using the phrase “death squads” a/k/a death panels might have been a little harsh. Lets try “Independent Payment Advisory Board.” The IPAB is an unelected, unaccountable board of 15 members which many say will lead to reduced access to health care, especially for those on Medicare.

For example, if later in life a doctor decides someone needs kidney dialysis the IPAB must not have authority to deny payment under Medicare. We must reject the idea that medical professionals are slaves destined to serve others at the behest of federal bureaucrats. We must also reject allowing the federal government to set reimbursement rates for medical providers, regardless of the providers actual costs.

I think the fact that many employers are cutting employees hours making them part time so they are not required to provide health insurance under the ACA could qualify as a “job killer” — at least a full-time job killer. From what I have read recently it seems the AFL-CIO agrees.

Although Republicans may have considered a Heritage Foundation federal health care proposal in 1989, after further consideration they decided against it based on the abrogation of liberty rights. Most Republicans did not support the failed Clinton Administration federal health care bill of 1993. It could not pass the Democrat controlled Senate. “Romneycare” was a state health care law.

The Supreme Court did not rule health care “is a right.” In a controversial 5-4 decision the Court mandated Americans buy health insurance, or pay a tax.

Our unalienable rights are specified in the Declaration of Independence i.e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those are natural individual rights. They do not impose obligations on other people for anything.

The way I see it, with the exceptions of charity and those eligible for Medicaid, health care for most Americans should remain a “privilege.” Under our Constitutional Republic form of government we do not have a “right” to something just because it exists, or we want it or even need it.

Bob Jentges lives in North Mankato. He is a former teacher, coach and insurance claims superintendent