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I submit a short letter presenting a novel, conservative argument for the mandate of insurance coverage contained in the new health care reform law.
As a district judge has recently struck down part of the health care bill, it is now becoming clear that the Obama administration may have blundered in trying to justify this in terms of the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution. A more appropriate justification is our reciprocal duty for common defense.
The current and foreseeable world condition calls for Americans to be more healthy and more frugal (and indeed also better educated). Otherwise we may fail to preserve for our children the nation of liberty conveyed to us by our parents.
Given our dismal health and fiscal situation, it was necessary that we, as a nation, go on a prepay health care basis and, 1. Mandate that all of us obtain health insurance; and 2. assist those who will have difficulty with this requirement. While the motive for the mandate will be the security of the nation, good health is also an important element in our individual pursuits of happiness. Thus this mandate is consistent with our long-term individual goals.
If the situation changes and we are rich and healthy again, we can lower our guard and remove the mandate. I am sure that as a result of this self-imposed discipline, we will have developed better habits both in living within our means and in being more careful about our health. As we once had a draft, but no longer need it, let it also be with the health care mandate, for they both share a common justification: our liberty and that of our children.
Concerning those of us who pray for America, I am reminded of John Wesley's admonition, "work as though everything depended upon you and pray as though everything depended upon God." And so at the same time that we ask for the blessings of God on our land, let us be doing all we can do as a people to be worthy of such blessings.
We are not to be reckless with our children's future by assuming God will accomplish for us what we know we can and ought to be doing ourselves, like getting our nation in order healthwise and fiscally. We owe it to our parents to provide hope for our children.
Philip McPherson Rudisill