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Anti anti-everything
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 • Posted November 18, 2009

Dear Gerry,

I was heartened to see that a response (Joe Pinter’s) to the anti-everything letter was published. I won’t reiterate all Joe’s frustrations with the far right. My primary frustration right now has to do with the right’s opposition to health care reform.

It seems to me that in order to curb progress in health reform the right has maliciously tampered with our national ideals. These aspirations are expressed in several places and famously include such sentiments as its being the government’s duty to "promote the general welfare." "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" constitute national concerns and they are inalienable rights in that they cannot be sold. Indeed, throughout the Constitution the government is seen as the protector of the people and people’s natural rights.

It isn’t a stretch for me to see that access for all Americans to health care can be referenced by "general welfare." When huge numbers of citizens lose their homes or are forced into bankruptcy due to exorbitant health costs, surely we can agree that "life" and "the pursuit of happiness" have been breeched. And since our founders saw fit to categorize natural rights like life and the pursuit of happiness as commodities not for buying and selling, then I comprehend health care to be a constitutionally ordained government mandate. "The general welfare," and "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" were never construed as having purchase prices obtainable by some but not by all. Right now a person’s wealth dictates the quality of his health care, even his ability to have health care. Money dictates life or death. As I’ve shown, that violates our ideal of inalienable natural rights. That’s un-American; it’s unconstitutional. In fact, as I see it, for the government not to step in and see that all Americans have access to health care is unconstitutional.

But look at how the right has distorted things. National health is an affront to our Great God, Capitalism. I’m not a legal eagle, but could someone show me where in our national documents the words "capitalism" or "free enterprise" are mentioned, much less revered, much less guaranteed per se? The national ideal is no longer to accomplish the greatest good but to amass the greatest fortune. National defense plays a part in the general welfare, so it’s fine to use government funds and leadership for that, but health is apparently not part of our general welfare. Figure that one out. Health insurance companies must be protected, despite their aversion to providing health insurance, because free enterprise must be protected. Wrong, right: the citizens and their natural rights are what is supposed to be protected. The right is rewriting our national character; I really, really resent that! Why do people fall for it?

Helen Liston

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