Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | August 18, 2009

Basic Questions About Healthcare Reform

  • Where in the Constitution does the Congress get the enumerated power to legislate healthcare 0r give the authority to the Executive (POTUS) to implement nationalized healthcare?
  • Why should the Federal Government create national health care policy? 
  • Why should any government create health care policy, rules and regulations?
  • What medical decisions should governments make instead of individual citizens (who, BTW, are the soveriegns of the state(s))?
  • Why should the government force citizens to pay for other citizens healthcare?
  • What evidence exists in Medicare, Medicaid, etc on how well government performs – intervening in healthcare?
  • What are the real healthcare issues in healthcare – not the political issues?

Just for starters.



  1. I continue to find your search for the words “health care” in the Constitution a little brittle in terms of analyzing the power of the federal government, but can’t quibble with the hygienic value of always asking the basic question about any legislation at any level of government – is this something that this government has authorization from the people to do? It’s a fair inquiry.

    A flip response would be that constitutional authority comes from the same place as innumerable silly buggers stuff like the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a measure that is, by this poor day laborer in the Constitutional Vineyard’s view, completely outside the power or warrant of the federal government to enact. (I’m sure every constitutional conservative reader here and elsewhere vehemently opposed that measure with at least as much fire in the belly that has been displayed against health care legislation and that it is just my poor memory that leaves my mind blank as to the constitutional hue and cry of opposition voices to that measure, just to name one example out of thousands).

    But that would be a truly non-susbstantive response, because one extra-constitutional act (or a zillion of them) doesn’t really validate another one. (I still hope I can get a rise out of someone to explain how he/she could oppose health care legislation on constitutional grounds but support DOMA).

    At some point, when I’m not running out the door, I’ll offer up some thoughts on how so much federal legislation of the 20th century got through the constitutional strainer intact in a system that polices constitutionality fairly vigorously. If the current health care legislation does not pass muster, certainly Medicare, Social Security, and a number of other federal programs do not. It’s worth a look to see how that happened.

  2. Your last paragraph is my point. And, BTW, I agree on DOMA.

    Many, many functions the Federal government funds – are none of the Feds damn business. They functions, if they are to be done, should go back to the states.

    In the early 90s I had a fantasy of running for office on the promise to do nothing but spend a couple of years cleaning up the VA or US Code. Updating it for a new century.

  3. What are the real healthcare issues in healthcare – not the political issues?

    The real healthcare issues are primarily financial (surprise!) with a healthy dollop of entitlement. Somewhere along our cultural path (seemingly it followed the ascendance of big unions during the late 1950’s and 1960’s), we came to expect that we were not necessarily responsible for our own healthcare expenses. Insurance became a substitute for personal responsibility – institutional healthcare in many instances ceased to be a personal expense. The lack of personal involvement in health decisions (like our public education journey) was subjugated to the “experts.” Jargon, specialization, and complexity became a substitute for individual judgment and involvement. We simply became passive consumers using services at little or no known expense (unless you happened to be uninsured). The cultural issue is that we decided to leave our healthcare/education to the ‘experts’ and checked out.
    The more pressing current issue is that of expense. When we checked out and ducked behind the veil of insurance, we no longer were able to fairly value the services we received. Similarly, the medical establishment hid behind the insurance screen – playing games to jack up prices, to hide costs from the consumer, to assure cash flow (chickens don’t trade well today), and to remain at the apex of the professional trades. – more to follow –

  4. Thanks Ken. Let the market forces work – and see what miracles happen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: