Surely our Founding Fathers could not have foreseen a need for health insurance. While insurance policies have existed since the 3rd millennia BC, insurance was generally limited to the shipping of goods. Health insurance didn’t exist in the US until the early 20th century.
Back in the day, some folks paid their doctor with cash. Some paid their doctor with a piglet or a couple of chickens. Others paid with some sort of barter system. Some folks were treated gratis if they had a compassionate doctor and some folks died because they couldn’t afford medical treatment. However the payments were made, or not, the payments were the exclusive responsibility of the patient being treated.
The US Constitution does not provide, nor is it mandated to provide health insurance for the citizens of the country. The Constitution does say that the government must “promote the general welfare” of the nation. While the general welfare is generally defined as the health and safety of the nation, it does not mean that the government is given a mandate to specifically “provide” healthcare to the citizens. James Madison was very clear that this clause authorized Congress to spend money “only to carry out powers and duties specifically enumerated in the subsequent clauses of Article 1, Section 8 and elsewhere in the Constitution, not to meet the ostensibly infinite needs of the general welfare.” That rumbling you heard on March 23, 2010 was Madison rolling in his grave as President Obama committed one of the most egregious acts of overreach in US history as he signed the ACA.
All hail Caesar! We now have 20 million folks that were previously uninsured, insured. But what does that really mean? How many of the 20 million really cared if they had health insurance or not? How many of them have actually used their new insurance? How many of them actually “can” use their insurance? Think about this, the average 45 year old, healthy male who bought insurance through the ACA exchange is paying a monthly premium of $300 (after subsidy), with a deductible of $6,000 – $12,000. That means he will have to get cancer, or hit by a big fucking truck to ever hope to use his insurance. His odds of either aren’t good, so he is flushing $3,600 down the drain each year. That isn’t insurance my friends. That is a protection racket!
Madison was quite aware of the limitations of government and the tendencies of government to tilt toward corruption. Look at the mismanagement of Social Security and Medicare. Their administrations are so huge and poorly run, they eat up more money than the beneficiaries. Fraud is rampant in both programs. Social Security has been plundered time and again by philandering politicians who spent too much on frivolous programs. Let’s not forget to mention the power of the insurance lobby. If you think the big insurance companies haven’t bought and paid for every single politician in DC, you are very uninformed and naïve. Insurance company executives are pulling down hundreds of millions of dollars per year in salaries and bonuses. They feed the DC crowd with cash like you and I feed the ducks stale bread at the park.
It is time for the government to do the right thing. They just need to STOP! Stop trying to sell insurance! Stop the gouging of the public pocketbooks by insurance companies! Stop defying the US Constitution!