Our Declaration of Independence clearly documents our unalienable rights as including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Our right to "Life" necessarily requires we have access to appropriate medical care, without which all our other rights are rendered wholly inconsequential. That our nation, so long a positive example to the world, so long basking in a level of prosperity envied by the world, has this long failed to provide adequate protections for its citizen's health is an outrage. Fortunately the Supreme Court today upheld the constitutionality of the universal heath care mandate mechanism, seeing it rightly as a kind of tax, one which can be collected from all its citizens. Health insurance is unique among all forms of insurance in that every citizen ultimately requires it. We may not all own houses, or cars, but we all possess the spark of life, and we all endeavor to keep it lit.
And of course on this day the voices from the right are loud and furious, many asserting as they have before that Obama and this health care law have betrayed our Founding Fathers, betrayed our foundational mandate of limited federal government, and ushered us into socialism. How conveniently they pick and choose what they see as "acceptable" federal involvement and social aid. And this is why I find their position hard to take seriously. The right accepts without question (or at least serious debate) the existence of so many large federal and social concepts whose existence our Founding Fathers did not foresee. They accept the necessity of a standing army, despite the fact that none existed in the days of the Founding Fathers. They accept the necessity of the FBI, CIA, state/locality (and federally subsidized) police and fire services. They accept the necessity of various federal and state education systems, transportation administrations, building code enforcement, vehicle and driver licensing systems. They accept (if only because they must) the Social Security and Medicare system. All of those things are relatively fine, but the notion of providing everyone with health coverage is evil, socialist, and marks the beginning of the end of America. That is absurd. If the right truly cared about the uninsured they enjoyed quite a few recent presidencies in which they could have taken some action, any action; they chose to do nothing.