How Can Health Care Reform Equal a Loss of Liberty and Freedom?
An intriguing question arose at the comment thread of my article, This Shouldn't Happen in America, here at NowPublic, regarding the current volatile discussion/debate raging over health care reform. The focused point of the question was how does U.S. health care reform translate into loss of liberty and freedom in general?
For an unknown number of American citizens across the nation, for an undetermined period of time, it has been believed elected officials have gone to Washington D.C., drafting and enacting legislation and policies that are not in the interest of those who've voted for them.
One issue now highlighted in the midst of this swirl of loss of faith, distrust and apprehension of elected officials is the issue of health care reform.
Some discontented citizens feel a sense of betrayal, that their former candidate Representative(s) and/or Senator(s) have/had proclaimed they would do one thing prior to being elected yet did something else once elected to office.
That reality is a well known phenomena that has been referenced when it has been said that politics make strange bedfellows, the inference being that to get things done, odd or unexpected alliances may be/have been made to achieve a goal.
For some citizens, discontent is due to the less than clear articulation of an actual plan for health care reform, as there is not a bill that represents the fruits born of the efforts of both branches of Congress hashing out details, providing something that is ready for a vote and a signature.
Many questions loom on the horizon while the details of any and all of these plans cannot be addressed until Congress has completed its work in streamlining and designing health care reform. At the top of the list of questions: How will the plan be paid for and how will the plan effect those already insured?
For others, discontent seems to arise from the fact that this nation is a republic and not a true democracy. As a republic, the United States is a representative form of government that wields power using democratic principles, with its citizens voting for representation in the government.
There are citizens in the U.S. who now find themselves faced with a government not to their liking, for a variety of reasons. Intertwined among those reasons are concerns related to the current administration and the changing demographics within the country, which has been characterized by conservatives, like Pat Buchanan and Right Wing elements in this country as the 'browning' of America.
Among these citizens, they believe this will result in certain, inevitable upheaval in their lives, as has been widely reported upon by Right Wing Conservatives who have warned of a demographically changing America for more than two decades.
A palpable portion of opposition to health care reform centers around concerns from some elements of U.S. society that legislation will be enacted that takes resources away from truly worthy citizen recipients to be given to those who are being characterized as undeserving, undocumented persons, also known as 'illegal aliens', in conjunction with care being dispensed to other American citizens, who are being characterized as lazy, nonproductive members in American society.
There has been renewed emphasis and clamoring for states' rights in the United States, with the motivation being portrayed as too much government interference in individual states' rights and what each state may want to do, which has evidenced itself in the resurgence of those identified as sovereignty and patriot movements.
Government interference in individual states' rights was the cry shouted by members of the Confederacy as they fought to maintain the institution of slavery. The trampling of states' rights were lamented by those in opposition to dismantling segregation and the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
When the first civil rights act was passed and enacted, 1875 Civil Rights Act, among other actions, it was declared illegal to discriminate on the basis of race.
Following the Compromise of 1877, a deal brokered between the Republican and Democratic Parties to name Republican Rutherford B. Hayes president in the disputed 1876 election, Republican sponsored federal troop protection, necessary for promoting the safety of the formerly enslaved descendants of Africa, was removed in the southern states.
The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was later made impotent by a ruling issued from the U.S. Supreme Court in 1883, allowing for the re-establishment of many of the discriminatory laws and practices that had existed before the emancipation of the formerly enslaved in 1865. Not until the legislation signed in 1964 and 1965 would those practices finally be outlawed.
Today, in 2009, there is are those seeking to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Right Act of 1965, among elements within extremist and White nationalist/supremacist groups.
The states' rights argument, in the case of the call to repeal the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, of 1964 and 1965, puts forward the belief that in this case, these specific pieces of legislation were not voted into law on a state by state basis, therefore, the acts are not representative of the will of all of the people.
It is proposed that the acts be placed on ballots in every state, in an effort, it is argued, toward making the acts truly democratically decided and enacted pieces of legislation. This argument is meant to emphasize 'big government' infringement on states' rights.
This strategy is not likely to be successful but, there is similar passion that relates to this issue that fuels the ire of elements within American society, who respond with a visceral reaction to change that has come and is coming in America, change that does not set well among these elements.
There are those who feel, as evidenced by the hate filled rhetoric propagated through cable network news, radio airwaves and the internet, that the government, with the word 'government' spoken in low, snarling and ominous tones, has overstepped or will overstep its bounds, as has been alleged it has done in the past.
For those individuals who subscribe to similar beliefs being expressed by extreme elements within American society, and for some others, it is felt there will be a loss of liberty and general freedom with the passage of a health care reform bill that will provide care to individuals that some feel to be undeserving of care and who, it is perceived, may receive care to the detriment and at the expense of all of who feel they have lost or are losing their ability to turn back the rising tide of change.
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Victoria,, British Columbia, Canada