понедельник, 20 июля 2009 г.

Why Universal Coverage is Manifestly Unconstitutional

One of the most contentious issues in US politics at least since the presidency of Lyndon Johnson has been universal health insurance coverage for all Americans. Up until now, all the attempts to adopt it have failed, including Hillarycare in the nineties.

Nonetheless, today the proponents of universal coverage from the Democratic Party are closer than ever to the fulfilment of their longtime ambition. They now control both chambers of the US Congress and the Presidency. Thankfully, they do not control the Supreme Court.

And I strongly believe that the Supreme Court must strike down universal coverage, if it passes through, since universal coverage manifestly violates the US Declaration of Independence which is part of the US Constitution.

The US Declaration of Independence famously says that "all men are created equal". What does this wording mean? The answer is that one does not need to be an originalist to conclude that it refers to formal as opposed to real equality.

The key word here is "created" and it was not used just by accident. One can only be created equal in the formal sense. In other words, this wording means that those who are created equal must be treated as equals. If you are already created equal you can only claim equal treatment.

Which brings us back to universal coverage.

The concept of universal coverage, whereby every American may claim insurance if he/she does not have it, strongly implies a right to health insurance, since a right is a claim that every member of the polity may put forward against the polity.

But the notion of a right to health insurance inherently violates the principle of formal equality, since it divides the people into the haves and have-nots, and maintrains that the latter should be treated differently from the former by the polity on the grounds that they are uninsured.

The concept of universal coverage therefore manifestly contradicts not just the spirit but the letter of the US Constitution. The US Supreme Court must be prepared to confirm that.

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