Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion

He’s got you covered!

14th May 2012   ·   0 Comments

By Dr. E. Faye Williams Columnist

He’s got you covered, and it will stay that way! Obviously, I’m talking about President Barack Obama. Of course, some know little about the intention of the Founding Fathers who required health care and health insurance for employees. President Obama is a constitutional scholar, so he didn’t just decide to take a chance that what he was proposing was legal. He knew it was constitutional. We know there are several examples of individual mandates that were passed by the Founding Fathers which directly refute the current claims that the original intent precludes affirming the Affordable Care Act. Contradictions between historical fact and contemporary conjecture are laughable.

Reliable scholars tell us that:

• In 1790, a Congress including 20 Founding Fathers passed a bill requiring that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. President George Washington signed it into law.

• In 1792, another bill signed into law by President Washington required that all able-bodied men purchase a firearm. (So much for the contemporary argument that Congress cannot mandate citizen participation in commerce!)

• In 1798, a Congress including five of the original framers passed a bill requiring all seamen to purchase hospital insurance for themselves. President Adams signed this legislation into law.

With a full understanding of the precedence established by the Founding Fathers, it’s obvious that President Obama knew there was a problem with the Founding Fathers’ model of health insurance. The problem was not that it was unconstitutional to require participation in or purchase of health insurance. It was the fact that the Founding Fathers’ plan did not include women! In his Affordable Care Act, President Obama has corrected the sole deficiency in the original plan by including women! We thank the President for his insight and concern.

Presumably the President’s critics have read something about the Founding Fathers and what they did concerning health care; yet now, they condemn the notion of a mandatory universal healthcare plan and reject a nearly identical plan to that of the one created by their current presidential standard bearer, Mitt Romney. Funny, these same critics were silent or agreeable when Mr. Romney thought a mandatory healthcare plan in Massachusetts was the solution to that state’s healthcare management. This leads the critical thinker to wonder what factor (s) really motivate the vitriolic condemnation of President Obama’s attempt to bring us a similar form of health insurance that is essential for millions of our citizens. I will bet you can guess why there is a difference in sentiment and treatment!

Although the Affordable Care Act is now law, its fate has been taken out of the control of those who support it. Those who reject it have forced the debate of its constitutionality because of the historic nature of the accomplishment. They would mislead us and have us believe that government does not have the authority to regulate the conduct of citizens in a manner similar to our requirement to pay taxes.

Later this summer, nine Supreme Court Justices, some of whom may or may not allow partisan consideration to influence their judgment, will rule on the constitutionality of affordable care for us and our fellow citizens. Ultimately, these Justices will determine whether competent health care is a right of citizenship or a privilege of wealth.

I am confident that whatever the judgment of the Supreme Court is on the Affordable Care Act that President Obama will champion quality health care for all of us as long as he serves. He jokingly gave the guarantee at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that should it be necessary, he’d make its passage the hallmark of his second term! That is something we that we voters will decide!

This article was originally published in the May 14, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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