Friday, September 11, 2009

Health Care and Liberty

I haven't invested myself in too much of the recent health care debates, as most of it has been simple partisan rhetoric, but an article today got me thinking.

It seems that there is talk of mandating the purchase of health care insurance by all citizens, in much the same way that we are required to purchase auto insurance to legally drive on the public roadways. The difference of course being, if you couldn't or didn't wish to purchase insurance, you simply wouldn't drive [legally at least]. With a mandatory health care purchase requirement, there is no out. Hell, suicide is considered against the law in many places.

Americans would be fined up to $3,800 for failing to buy health insurance under a plan that circulated in Congress on Tuesday as divisions among Democrats undercut President Barack Obama's effort to regain traction on his health care overhaul.

The fast-moving developments put Obama in a box. As a candidate, he opposed fines to force individuals to buy health insurance, and he supported setting up a public insurance plan. On Tuesday, fellow Democrats publicly begged to differ on both ideas.

ust as auto coverage is now mandatory in nearly all states, Baucus would require that all Americans get health insurance once the system is overhauled. Penalties for failing to do so would start at $750 a year for individuals and $1,500 for families. Households making more than three times the federal poverty level — about $66,000 for a family of four — would face the maximum fines. For families, it would be $3,800, and for individuals, $950.


Some questions that come to mind in the midst of these debate.....questions that are at the very heart of our concepts of freedom and liberty, but questions that do not get asked.

Is it legal for our government to mandate the purchase of health care insurance, and fine us if we refuse [or simply can't pay]?

What is the motivation behind the desire for public officials to hold sway over nearly every choice we citizens have over our own bodies?

Should our personal choices regarding our health be inviolate from the law, as long as we don't pose a threat to public safety?

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