Skip to comments.Newsflash: Founders favored "government run health care" (uh, no, not exactly...)
Posted on 01/20/2011 12:39:29 PM PST by markomalley
Forbes writer Rick Ungar is getting some attention for a piece arguing that history shows that John Adams supported a strong Federal role in health care. Ungar argues that Adams even championed an early measure utilizing the concept behind the individual mandate, which Tea Partyers say is unconsittutional.
I just ran this theory past a professor of history who specializes in the early republic, and he said there's actually something to it. Short version: There's no proof from the historical record that Adams would have backed the idea behind the individual mandate in particular. But it is fair to conclude, the professor says, that the founding generation supported the basic idea of government run health care, and the use of mandatory taxation to pay for it.
Here's the background. Ungar points out that in July of 1798, Congress passed "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seaman," which was signed by President Adams. That law authorized the creation of a government operated system of marine hospitals and mandated that laboring sailors pay a tax to support it.
Ungar argues that this blows away the argument made by many opponents of the individual mandate: That it's unconstitutional to mandate that all citizens purchase health coverage, or that this violates the founding fathers' view of the proper role of government.
Is this true? In some ways it is, according to Adam Rothman, an associated professor of history at Georgetown University. He argues that it's a "bit of a leap" to compare the 1798 act directly to the individual mandate, because the act taxed sailors to pay for their health care, rather than "requiring that sailors purchase it."
(Excerpt) Read more at voices.washingtonpost.com ...
There is no way that this Act could be compared in any fashion to Obamacare.
But it goes to demonstrate the lengths that liberals will sink to make their point. No lie is too damnable. No perversion is too grotesque.
So what it really justifies is the existence of Walter Reed Military Hospital.
Gee, I wonder if that’s controversial..?
This proves the founders wanted Federal health care benefits for all Americans.
A system of GOVERNMENT-run hospitals is NOT the same as requiring every single American to purchase a private product.
I’ve already had this conversation today with a liberal, and this meme is being pimped HARD today by all the Usual Suspects in the Democrat Propaganda machine.
(DailyKos, MoveOn, MediaMatters, etc.etc...)
Adams also passed the short-lived Alien and Sedition Act to deal with dissent.
John Adams was from Massachusetts. ‘Nuff said.
Adams also signed the Alien and Sedition Acts so let’s use him to support newspaper censorship.
This rant from Neil Boortz on how a Congressman said healthcare is a right sums it all up nicely!
“Oh really? So you believe, Congressman Lewis, that people have a “right” to the time and property of other citizens? After all, you can’t receive health care unless someone else spends either their time or they devote some type of property (drugs, medical implements, etc) to the effort, can you? Health care doesn’t just appear out of thin air. That time a health care practitioner provides belongs to him. Just how much of that health care provider’s time does a citizen have a “right” to? All of it? Only ten percent of it? And just how much of that person’s property do you have a “right” to? Do you at least have to leave that person enough property for them to sustain themselves in business? Why? You have a “right” to that property, don’t you? Oh! That person will be PAID for their property ... the drugs they produce, the medical implements they develop ... right? Fine; then were does that money come from? Oh yeah ... the taxpayers. I forgot. So, Congressman Lewis ... the person in need of medical care has a “right” to someone else’s money, right? How much of it? What if they need all of it? What if they need a medical procedure that is so expensive that there is almost no limit to the amount of money that is going to be seized from some other taxpayer to pay for it? Doesn’t the taxpayer have a right to the money they earned? Uh oh. We have competing rights now, don’t we”?
we already have government hospitals, called County Hospitals.
M.I.L.I.T.A.R.Y. YOU KNOW-NOTHING MINDLESS SOCIALIST SCUM!!!!
WE ALREADY HAVE A ***KING VETERANS ADMINISTRATION!!!
THESE F***ERS WOULD SCREW UP A WET DREAM!! I COULD 'PROFESSOR' BETTER THAN THESE FREAKS!!!
The similarity to the mandate is superficial. Think of it like charging a fee for using a national park. Any sailor who didn't wish to pay could leave his job, once ashore. There were opportunities to sign on with foreign flag vessels or leave the profession.
The govt's idea was to attract and keep as many able seamen as possible for the Republic's commerical wellbeing.Hospital care was beyond the reach of most in the early 19th century, and giving those in a dangerous but vital occupation a chance at obtaining itat reasonable expense was in the national interest of the Republic.
Try Medicare; every dollar taxed at 3+%
“Here’s the background. Ungar points out that in July of 1798, Congress passed “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seaman,” which was signed by President Adams. That law authorized the creation of a government operated system of marine hospitals and mandated that laboring sailors pay a tax to support it”
1798? Too late. The Constitution was ratified and became law on September 7, 1789.
There’s no way the Founders even thought of such a thing. The world just didn’t work that way. Medicine was so primitive back then.
ON the other hand, it was also an unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of the sailors. They should not have been required to pay taxes and use these services, if they didn’t want to.
Oddly, it turns out that our founding fathers were not perfect. I’m sure though that every liberal today making this argument also thinks that slavery was a good thing, since John Adams signed a document that institutionalized slavery for our country.
Besides, in this instance Congress actually had the guts to call it a tax.
Obamacare could have been funded the same way, without recourse to the Commerce Clause and individual mandates, but Pelosi, Reid and Obama knew that if they called a tax a tax, the whole thing would have gone down in flames.
As I read the article, all I could think of was the waste fraud and abuse. I bet that “tax” went though the roof.
Having read a number of your posts over the years... I agree.
The maritime world was different back then. We didn't have a significant standing Navy, and relied on augmentation from experienced merchant seaman to staff naval vessels when needed. We also, it should be remembered, could militarize merchant vessels via letters of marque. Congress also was given specific power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, as well as control over navigable waterways.
Now you put all that together, and it seem to me that the nexus is the unique position merchant seamen occupied at that point in history, and express powers Congress was given relating to the navy, letters of marque and reprisal, foreign trade, navigation, etc.. Especially when you consider that many of those seaman were operating outside the jurisdiction of any state, and were representing the U.S. in international waters.
Such a precedent based on admiralty-related factors has absolutely nothing to do with providing health care coverage for the citizenry as a whole.
One of the great flaws of Glenn Beck is his ascribing to the Founders a homogenous outlook on govt.Madison, for example, saw things much as Quincy Adams, but wanted to pass amendments to allow govt these powers, and would be surprised by how few amendments have been passed.
Not sure how to take that.....:/
Next they’ll be trotting out the US Sailors and Soldiers Home (USSSH) deductions we had taken out of our paychecks as proof.
Relax... It’s a good thing. %^)
Ungar is patronizing and dismissive in his response to those who disagree with him following the article. I guess my response is a simple question: why didn’t this act extend to the farmers, the laborers, the clerks, the merchants, and everyone else who carried out business in the U.S. at the time? The use of this act as justification for Obamacare is a stretch, and shows the desperation on the Left. It was for relief of people who carried out a risky and valuable service to this country, and extended only to those areas in which the federal government already had authority.
That won’t stop the drones from reposting and arguing this for the next week or so. I hope the attorneys general who have filed against Obamacare can shut this one down definitively so it doesn’t clog the intertubes.