Sunday, March 28, 2010

More Health Care Debate

I read an article today in the Phila Inquirer by John Yoo. He is against the health care reform bill and is especially concerned about the mandate to buy health insurance that is included in the bill. His article focused on the coming legal battle over this mandate aspect of the reform bill and cited a number of cases that may affect the eventual court decisions. If you don't know you John Yoo is, he is famous for being one of the lawyers who helped fashion the definition of torture as applied by the Bush Administration. Here is the letter I sent.

To the editor:

While I generally disagree with Mr. Yoo's opinions, I read his latest column "The individual mandate an intrusion on civil society" in its entirely. I found it refreshing to read an argument against health care reform which didn't focus on misconceptions such as death panels or sound bites such as socialized medicine. However, I do have a problem with Mr. Yoo's assumption that we live in a civil society. Is it a civil society that allows its citizens to lose their homes due to medical bills? Is it a civil society that stands by while upwards of 40,000 of its citizens die each year from a lack of health coverage? Is it a civil society that spends $850 billion in one year for "defense" yet argues about spending $950 billion over 10 years so that those citizens with serious health issues will be able to have health insurance?

Clearly, Mr. Yoo has a brilliant legal mind. Unfortunately, his concern for his fellow man is not as developed. The coming legal battles over the health care reform bill may make for interesting mental gymnastics but will do nothing to help America figure out how we are going to pay for the health care services that are required by those with severe physical issues such as heart problems, diabetes and cancer. No matter how you slice it, a society that worries more about money than the health of its citizens has some ways to go before it can be called civil.

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