A muddled argument against healthcare

I am a bona fide independent, I have friends from all over the political spectrum. One of them is a frustrated woman who lost her husband when she was in her 30's and has since been relegated to the life of an old maid. She is an adamant and vociferous Christian Conservative, using her catholicism as a kind of shield against the world. In many ways, she is almost fundamentalist in her perspective. She is a nice person, and we've known each other for years.

She made an argument tonight against Healthcare that I wanted to share with you. She started our conversation off by telling me that she asked her congressman, "Where in the constitution is it written that we have to provide healthcare?"

Lets reflect for a second , the role of the constitution. It says that the government shall make no laws which shall abridge the right of a person to assemble, speak, bear arms, or worship in their own way. It outlines, in the tenth amendment -

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Which she secured to mean that , if she were a young college student - wouldn't she be able to forego healthcare coverage and simply pay her own way? Her argument being that it is her right, as a citizen of that state to decline coverage and simply pay her own bill. And therefore, in the upcoming healthcare legislation - not be required to comply (there is a provision in the bill, which requires all Americans to have insurance).

I wondered for a second why someone who so adamantly anti-abortion would also be against the chance that a young woman who may have had an unwanted pregnancy to receive care. It is not a linear process for a young mother to safely give away her child for adoption. It may be the right choice, but it is not a simple corporate progression from the point at which she decides to try, to the point at which she knows she and her child will be safe. Would a young college student bearing a small child be given to for the healthcare of that child - if she had no job, and was trying to establish herself in her career. No.

Which is why her position (and by position, I mean evangelism) against almost anything Obama does - including his latest idea for reform, in healthcare - is muddled.

A friend of mine went to the Netherlands, and had a small child while she was there - and she raised the child to be a healthy young man - and all the while she created the work of her life and is currently living off the royalties - a person I admire, first and foremost for having the foresight to know when America is so broken, that it is time to leave. Perhaps it would be better for us, to make America into a place that they can return - or never had to leave, to begin with. The Government of the Netherlands certainly appreciated her work (she won a grant, and her work is now in the Museum of the Netherlands and the royalties are split 60/40 with the government, as I understand... it is called 'The Big Myth'. Check it out.)

Women like my friend - who also supported George Bush, that are arguing against healthcare - see themselves as conservative. There is a place and a time for conservatism. There is also something to be said for choice, and freewill in the philosophy of conservatism. That which can be given freely without coercion.

And conservatism appeals to children and other living things. With her posters and her graphic stories told to 10 year olds, and vigilance against such evils as the Girl Scouts - she who would run halfway across the neighborhood to yell at her 25 year old son in public. She who would drive around town with a "free Teri Schiavo" bumper sticker on her car. And now, her latest profound agenda item to deny healthcare coverage to unwed mothers struggling with the choice of whether or not to bear a child. Isn't republican propaganda great?

There are mothers who have given their children up for adoption - or even had abortions. Such is life. After all, God is the biggest abortionist on the planet - miscarriages occur all over the world and are the number one terminated pregnancy. But that is not why we are friends.

You see. The Netherlands, and many other good countries - have a simple solution that has worked better for them, there - than our solution here: simply make anything to do with having, or not having a child - safe, legal, and gentle on the person who must bear that child and raise them. Having a child is easy. But being there to raise them is not so easy. Letting them go when they're 25 can be downright hard.

Healthcare coverage comes in handy when you're raising small kids. Its not a state's rights issue. Any more or less than having a public library is a constitutional issue. We have all simply decided, that we don't want the ACME brand library in our community - that conveniently and selectively delivers only the finest ACME corporate approved books to our library. Instead, just as we plan to do with healthcare, we follow the spirit of the constitution and pursue democracy from a simple majority rule.

Which is why Christian conservatives comprise so many of the people in the 24% that , when last polled, oppose national healthcare. Under their candidate, George W. Bush - they saw an unprecedented expanse in Government, but specifically tailored to corporate favoritism and bureaucracy and just paying lip service to the Christian principles upon which the country is founded. Perhaps a big part of being a Christian conservative , during that era - was to be neither conservative. Or Christian.

I would welcome change, at least in that regard. There is nothing wrong with Christianity. Nor Conservatism, in the mold of William F. Buckley and Kevin Phillips and Teddy Roosevelt.

Bush Republicans, on the other hand... ? If you put a paper bag over their head, they couldn't think their way out of it.