In an statement by Harry Reid (D-Nev), he compares opposition to the health care bill to those that defended slavery in the 19th century. He defends his position by stating:
“If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right,” Reid said. “When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, ‘Slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.’ ”
In a way, I do agree that the current health care debate and the question of slavery do have some parallels, but not for the reasons that Reid intends to portray. I detest that any opposition to the reckless policies that are currently coming from the Obama Administration are decried as racist, but I do think that Harry Reid has struck upon something that begs deeper discussion.
Carl Paulus wrote an article titled "Slavery and the Health Care Debate" on American Thinker, in which he does a side by side comparison of both debates, distinguishing the differences between the two debates. I encourage you all to read it in it's entirety, but for those unwilling, I will break down his major points but also add my own commentary.
To begin, within the slavery debate, the two sides were so solidly polarized, that there was no chance for compromise, no chance to reach a middle ground. That is not the case with the health care debate. While the leftists announce that America supports their goal of reform, they are twisting the truth to fit an agenda. There is no debate with regards to the fact that both parties, that Americans, want health care reform. There is no doubt that all Americans would like to see health care more affordable and accessible to all. Using this, Leftists have progressed their utopian ideal of universal coverage, but they missed the mark in that it is abundantly clear that Americans do not want this kind of reform. According to polls beginning in June 0f 2009, the average outcome has been with 53% opposed to the health care bill compared to 43% favoring. Granted, there is a pure partisan divide, it must be noted that among those not affiliated, 59% oppose while only 34% favor. With health care ranking within the top five issues facing America, how can there be such discontent with a bill that is sold to address that issue? The reason is that the majority of Americans feel that this is the wrong way to resolve our health care woes, with 55% wanting to scrap this bill and start over again and find another method.
Within this debate, there is very much a chance for joint measure, for compromise, to come to a program that will benefit the people, while giving the reform that everyone so wishes. So like the slavery debate, the American people want a change, but as shown above, they want responsible change. The amendments that instituted the change in mind set regarding slavery took over a year to plan in Congress and another to get it's passage thru states via bipartisan action. The debate regarding slavery had the time to be worked thru rationally and thoughtfully due to it's enormous public support, therefore there was never a need to ram a bill into action for fear of losing that support. Compare that to the health care debate and we have a completely different picture. With the health care debate, as shown above, there is no popular support for this bill nor was it bipartisan in nature, therefore, the Democratic party felt the need to ramrod the bill into legislation for fear that they would lose the little amount of support required to enact it. Further more, they had to result to less than moral practices of buying votes and coercion to even enact at time.
Now to the real comparison, which is the fact that this health care bill does, in fact, amount to an era of new slavery of the American people. Slavery is defined as the following:
1. (Law) the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune
2. the subjection of a person to another person, esp in being forced into work
3. the condition of being subject to some influence or habit
Now, let's compare that to the dictum that is now ObamaCare. A civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune. The health care bill mandates that a person must buy insurance. If they do not, they will be subject to financial punishment. By telling me what I have to buy, is the government not controlling my life, liberty to chose, and my fortune by confiscating my wealth via penalty for not participation? Furthermore, if a person has a "right" to healthcare, then is it not also true that they have a "right" to the labor of another? In this case, they have a right to the services of a physician or the right to the money made by the taxpayer via additional taxes to pay for those services. Within the health care bill, doctors will be dictated how much they can charge, companies will be dictated that they must provide coverage and who they can/cannot chose to cover, and the citizen will be dictated that they must provide additional taxes to help provide this right to others.
If a person has a "right" to the labor of another, then the person providing that right has no rights at all. They are, in fact, beholden to the recipient of their labor. Much like slavery of the 19th century, slaves had no right to the fruits of their labor. Their labor was used to provide for others, and in return, the slave was "looked after" those that had the "right" to their labor. Today, we see the same thing. Government has determined that all people have the "right" to health care. They have taken over the role to "look out" for us and ensure that all people are given access to what they "deem" as a right. For those that cannot, or chose not, to partake in that right, then they will have that right granted regardless. In order to provide that access, they must confiscate the services of the physician and the money of the tax payer, to provide.
In looking at points two and three of the slavery definition, we also see the parallels. As described above, when a recipient has a "right" to the property (money), labor (physician services), or liberty (inability to have personal choice) of another, then the provider of that right is subjected (forced) to the recipient. Like wise, if we face penalty, either financial or legal, for not providing to that recipient, are we not being subject to the influence of power by the federal government?
Now I, nor do most Americans, want to see any person go without health care. We do not want to see the horror stories so often heralded by the leftists of children suffering due to lack of care. As we are the most advanced nation in history, I believe that all our citizens should have accessibility to the best health care system ever known, but I do not believe that can be done by enacting an era of New Slavery upon provider class (American Taxpayer) by recipients (welfare class). To do so takes us back to the 19th century and derives all citizens of the tenants of American ideal, which is the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Instead, the focus should be lower costs of, and improve access to, health care in a way that enables the recipient class to provide for themselves, while maintaining the natural rights that exist to all people. For too long, we've allowed those rights to be chipped away in the name of social morality, but the time to take a stand is now. We do not wish to block accessibility, but we do wish to provide that accessibility in a prudent, responsible manner. We do not need big brother to provide for us, as it is the American way to provide for ourselves. This country has suffered the ills of slavery once, we need not do it again.