April 4, 2010
First of all I hope you are doing well. We are doing better and a lot of the credit goes to you.
Here is a smart tactic that will work. We have health care reform, but we need to understand better why we have it and especially why we have mandated that all Americans take part.
The fundamental principle of our union is this: we agree to live together in a free realm (like that conceived by Immanuel Kant). The first principle of that realm is that all people are equally endowed with dignity and respect. This is Kantâ€™s mighty moral law that impels us ever toward perfection in our existence. That is the great given. What within those universal and categorical bounds are we trying to accomplish in a union together? We want, all of us, to live freely without external restraint and we agree to guarantee to all of us that our rights, given by God, may be restrained only universally (and not for just some of us), and that we have to agree by majority vote as to what those restraints might be. With regard to foreign relations and dangers we agree to bind together and be a single people and pledge ourselves ready for defensive duty if called upon. [This is not unlike a marriage where before the law is there is a singularity and no division.] We have a duty to each other to help ward off any restraint of our liberty by a foreign power. This now leads to health care.
We cannot expect to continue as a free people, making our own destiny in freedom, unless we are militarily strong and well educated and creative and productive and healthy. Our military readiness is in good order and we are well served. But we are not so well served by our health care, not well enough to be ready for the challenges that we face today for ourselves and for our children and for all who will live in our free realm. Consistent with our need for a better health as a nation, we will now impose a tax upon ourselves for the express purpose of making health care available to all people at no cost to the individual but only to the society. This is what health insurance is all about. We agree to pay up front and we do it as a society by means of a self-imposed compulsion. We will tax ourselves in the name of our common security from foreign advance and then say to our citizens, â€œLook, in the pursuit of happiness you will find little that is more important than good health. But even more importantly we need to be healthy for our security in this competitive and dangerous world. Now you can go to the doctor (at no charge to you*) and he will advise you how to get better health. Itâ€™s up to you then and upon your confidence in the doctor. The point is you really ought to go to the doctor now and then in order to be more healthy and thus better help us all together as a free nation to be on owr toes and in shape and ready for whatever may be coming at us.”
[* I am ignoring any co-pay and am focusing on the brunt of the doctor's bill which will now be born by the entire society via the mandate.]
So, Mr. President, you can reach across the isle and give credit to the Republicans for suggesting this justification of the mandate (and its like jury duty too) and accordingly proclaim the mandate to be bipartisan and an example of how you are willing to accept a good idea once it is fleshed out.
In this way, I think, you could score a few points and catch the Republicans off guard, and find greater solidarity with the conservatives, be willing to accept many of their principles, e.g., legalizing medicinal marijuana. You ought simply to do this. Call for the rationalization of medicine but letting the doctor decide with the patient. Let the doctor be given all the facts of this drug and of his patient and then prescribe what he thinks is best regard bodily and mental health. Furthermore you might then also agree and side with the (true) conservatives with the recognition of the same-sex marriage. As we should get the government out of the doctorâ€™s office with regard to therapy, we should also get the government of the driverâ€™s seat with regard to marriage. The concept of the marriage is two free people who enter into a union of total identity with each other and with respect to others. It is a restriction of rights to say to the world that these two people have to be of the opposite sex. It would be like saying that two left handers could not get married. Imagine that. Two people who write with their left hands cannot get married. Or two people of different color. Or two people of different hair color, or all this never ending involvement in the lives of two people. This really ought to expand to include more than two people in communes (and this is a bit risky, I suppose), but letâ€™s keep it at two until the divorce rate approaches 0, and we might decide it is more practical always to keep it at two. We are a free people. We decide together what shall bind us all. Either we will have a marriage of two people, or we will have no marriage at all, for we cannot restrain the rights of just some, but only of all together.
So letâ€™s take what is intelligent and right for us our and our future in our common liberty, and letâ€™s pull together and insure that our liberty shall continue and be an alternative for all people.
There is a logic which derives the health insurance/tax mandate from the commerce clause of the Constitution, but a more powerful logic can be developed in the name of national defense.