To the Editor:
I appreciate Mary Kenney's contribution to a robust debate on Obamacare.
Ms. Kenney raised two important questions, central to the issue. I hope I can restate her concerns accurately. She first questioned whether I had experienced lack of health insurance and second, regarding the proper role of government, offered the general welfare clause found in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution.
Regarding the first question: People will suffer from life circumstances, perhaps lack of food, health care, and so forth. The government could offer a program that seeks to alleviate that suffering. If any person, such as myself, has not experienced this suffering, do I have the right to question or oppose that proposal? (By the way, I have experienced such situations.) Does opposition indicate insensitivity or lack of concern for the poor?
I suggest that citizens do have the right to oppose any proposal based on the merits of the program. I suggest that the example of Obamacare is quite a good one. From everything I've seen, this program has, even prior to full implementation, actually harmed the very people it promised to help.
How many working poor have had hours reduced or have lost job opportunities because of the onerous costs associated with compliance? How many citizens are finding their insurance premiums rising by 40 percent or more? I have personally observed both effects.
Ms. Kenney also suggests that a program such as Obamacare is consistent with the proper role of government based on the general welfare clause.
James Madison wrote extensively on the reasoning behind each part of the Constitution. If you study his work, you will conclude that the general welfare was intended to provide the environment in which the people could freely live their lives, not to provide for specific needs.
Michael Kerner, Lisle