Nancy Pelosi vs. the Founding Fathers
we will honor the vows of our founders, who in the Declaration of Independence said that we are ‘endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ This legislation will lead to healthier lives, more liberty to pursue hopes and dreams and happiness for the American people. This is an American proposal that honors the traditions of our country.
I have a question. Speaker Pelosi, if government-provided health care is essential to “the vows of our founders,” then why didn’t they put it in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution–or even discuss putting it there? Did they simply fail to draw out this subtle implication of their theory?
Hardly. The ideal of government-provided health care, aka a “right” to health care, is in complete contradiction to the proper understanding of rights put forward by the Founding Fathers. This is why the acknowledged “father of the Constitution” James Madison said “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government” and “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
The “right to life” refers to each individual’s right to freely take the actions he deems necessary to sustain and fulfill his own life, including his own health, free of coercion by others. The right to life means that every individual has a right to choose what kind of work he wants to do, to work as hard as he can, to keep what he earns, and to use his money to buy whatever food, clothing, shelter, and health care services others are willing to sell him. A government that recognizes the right to life enables all individuals to survive and flourish to the best of their ability, without any one being sacrificed to anyone else. For example, witness the inspiring progress, plummeting consumer prices, and high producer profits in freer industries like high-tech.
The right to life is the right to act to keep oneself alive to the best of one’s ability. But Nancy Pelosi and millions of others have perverted it to mean: the “right” to be kept alive at the expense of others–of doctors, nurses, hospital owners, insurers, and other taxpayers. Morally, this has taught Americans that health care is an entitlement they are owed regardless of their lifestyle or their budgeting or the cost they impose on others–least of all medical professionals. Economically, it has led to rapidly-increasing demand for health care under third-party-payer health plans, and to strangled supply of health care services that the government asserted a right to control–a foolproof formula for skyrocketing prices.
Nancy Pelosi is right that she is contributing to making “history” by expanding government control of health care even more than it has over the last 60 years. But it is a history that is a desecration of the Founding Fathers.
Source: Wikimedia Commons