(Fred Weinberg/The Penny Press) – They were members of a U.S. Congress but they probably never needed to raise a dime to get there.
Yet, compared to what passes for today’s Congress, the 56 angry white men who, 236 years ago this week, declared that the United States of America would become “and of Right, ought to be free and independent states” were pretty special people.
The worst thing which might happen to a Congressman or Senator today is losing his or her cushy full-time job in the next election.
Had things not turned out the way they did back then, these 56 guys, who “mutually pledge(d) to each other (their) Lives, (their) Fortunes and (their) sacred Honor” could have ended up in a hangman’s noose. The Brits, back in those days, took a fairly dim view of our desire for freedom.
You would think, from today’s media, that being unhappy with the fairly highhanded actions of a President with whom the media happens to be in love, should be handled with a law called the alien and sedition act. It would be interesting to watch today’s MSNBC report on King George III.
Put in the context of what 56 angry white guys did 236 years ago this week, what happened at the Supreme Court last week is just another bump in a long road.
But, those who think that the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the so-called Affordable Care Act was some kind of a win for the Obama administration must not have studied this nation’s history.
One of the problems with the health care debate is that it is about the wrong issues.
The questions surrounding health care are really not about accessibility or availability.
If you have enough money, you can have all of the health care you want. Probably more than you need. Ask the folks in Canada who have enough money to make the Mayo Clinic a destination akin to Las Vegas.
The issue is affordability.
The premium for my wife and I—assuming we were willing to do this—would be north of $2,000 a month.
Who’s got twice their house payment to spend on health insurance? And, by the way, that’s for a policy which is not particularly generous.
The problem with Obama-Pelosi-Reidcare—forgetting the aspects revolving around freedom and Democracy—is that it tries to regulate the wrong things.
Costs in a free economy are directly related to incentives. If you have no incentive to compete, you can set your prices at whatever the traffic will bear,
Take, as an example, the MRI. That’s short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The machine is truly a work of engineering art and a wonderful way for a skilled doctor to look under the hood. It’s not cheap. A new machine can cost upwards of a million dollars. Used machines are listed on eBay for less than $100,000.
But a company like WalMart could easily keep one busy 24 hours a day.
Why are most machines used a few time a day and costs run from $900 to $3,000? Because the government sets a floor for Medicare reimbursement purposes.
Why not put it out for bids?
Because Wal-Mart didn’t write the bill—insurers did.
Not having been there in 1776, I don’t know this for sure, but I think I’m on pretty safe ground when I suggest that the 56 angry white guys wrote the Declaration of Independence all by themselves and didn’t rely on staff or outsource it to pressure groups who had a vested interest in the outcome of the impending revolution.
For the President to proclaim this monstrosity of a law—all 2700 pages of it—his signature achievement sets the bar pretty low on signature achievements.
Whether or not the Chief Justice did the right thing, the last thing he said in the opinion rings true—especially in view of the signature achievement of 56 angry white guys 236 years ago:
“The Framers created a Federal Government of limited powers, and assigned to this Court the duty of enforcing those limits. The Court does so today. But the Court does not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act. Under the Constitution, that judgment is reserved to the people.”
In short, if you don’t like the law, repeal the lawmakers.
That’s what 56 angry white Congressmen did 236 years ago. And today, we don’t have to mount an armed revolution because nobody is going to shoot you for acting like our founding fathers.