I have always looked at life from a perspective that the individual has the sole right to exercise dominion over their own life including health care needs. Neither the masses nor the government have the right to impose on the individual sovereign right to life. Along with my right to individual sovereignty I accept full responsibility for financial costs associated with my decisions. Because of my personal positions I prefer a life of privacy and seldom venture out in the world unless necessity demands.
Last week on a trip to a medical facility I had an exchange with a medical professional which explains why I am considered by most in my community to be anti-social. My spouse is forced to obtain an expensive test (expensive at least to us at over $4,000) to satisfy Department of Transportation Commercial Driver’s License requirements. The DOT medical review for commercial drivers is required but stricter standards have been mandated for anyone who has had a cardiac event.
This test is done in stages so we were in and out of the waiting room three times. There were eighteen other individuals awaiting their procedures while a newscast was on with coverage of the Boston bombing. The first set of comments and observations from those in the waiting room never strayed from approval of the way in which Boston officials handled the response to these “terrorists,” expressing shock and disbelief that this could even happen. After all, since 9/11 the government is controlling and stopping “terrorists.”
We were called for the first stage of the test where we were asked the usual medical questions by the test administrator and why we wanted the test. My spouse and I explained that it was a government requirement and not a result of a medical determination from our cardiologist. And that as usual for the past ten years we would be paying out of pocket since insurance would not reimburse. Now she understood the DOT requirements as she had done tests for this reason many times. Though she considered herself conservative on most issues, these types of medical requirements were necessary to protect society.
She went on to complain that she paid over $600 monthly for family coverage and that this national healthcare was needed. She continued explaining that she would like to work less but could not because of this type of necessary expense. OK, I don’t generally confront ordinary individuals especially when there for a test being administered by this individual, but feeling stressed anyway I all of a sudden found myself asking, “Why?”
She said a good example is that society will pay for treatment of a motorcycle accident when an uninsured person comes to the Emergency Room just because society has decided it is the thing to do. Now since she was part of society that paid for this treatment of the uninsured through higher medical cost and insurance rates costing her family their money, she has the right to control the reckless behavior of all such individuals. She explained it is a right for society to demand cycle riders wear helmets and other safety gear to provide less chance of injury and less cost to society when they do not pay, just like seat belts and other safety requirements for automobiles.
“What if someone has insurance and wants to ride without helmet or safety gear?” I asked. That would be reckless she said and it was their tough luck because society has the right to protect ourselves from the acts of others. Those wanting to do anything risky whether responsible or not just have to be expected to comply or be forced through more laws to protect the greater good. After all, we are all part of society and compliance is owed.
She continued that national healthcare can put a stop to the rising costs by controlling the behavior responsible for the expense. I asked what if people decide not to buy insurance and are forced to pay the fine, they will still have no insurance and the bills may still not be paid. She agreed, but her take was that was one of the problems with the plan is that the fine would only only be $50.00 a year. Many without employer insurance coverage might let it go which is when the government has the right to force coverage and charge them.
Like I said this was a stressful testing situation and I was not going to go any further. But I have been an activist against “Obamacare” and for nullification for several years and having read many reports from insurance companies, companies restricting coverage or dropping coverage and some of the Health and Human Services reports, I never came across mention of a fine as low as $50.00. But, I could be wrong. The programs have so many volumes and agencies involved no one could know or guarantee anything, not even the government. This part of the test was over so we returned to the waiting room.
Several patients had gone and were replaced by newcomers. The same news station and coverage with speculation and what to do to make sure another bombing does not happen again with the usual “terror attack” media spin continued. Perhaps the “right of society” position explained by the administrator is why none of the eighteen individuals I observed exchanging opinions in the waiting room during the three hours we were waiting commented against anything the government did. I listened to comments and the fear that no one would take care of them except the government in these “terrorist” situations as the reason we all need to do what we are told because “they know best.” And, one by one, they agreed that Indiana owes us the same response should the “terrorists” strike here.
There was no dissension. All thought what the government agents did to apprehend the suspect causing the “lockdown” of Boston was admirable, heroic and completely within the authority of government. No one saw anything wrong with the tactics towards either the suspect or the citizens. So much for the average individual respecting the individual sovereign rights I have believed were mine as protected by the government limits contained in our Constitutions.
Now sovereignty apparently has been once again redefined this time by the masses of society not as individual inalienable rights but instead as the comprehensive “all irresponsible actions controlled” right society is owed as a whole, a true Democracy. In a republic form of government individuals have rights to self-determination and to guaranteed protections of those rights which cannot be compromised by the masses for any reason. If what I observed last week is an accurate random sampling of America today, I now understand why the Indiana General Assembly leadership refused to bring to the floor the bill which would have nullified the national healthcare acts. They really do represent the people in this democracy.
Government has been handed authority by society to execute control in justifying the loss of any individual responsibility based on reckless behavior and to implement the use of martial law, compromising constitutional protections, when society needs defense from “terrorists.” We used to be self-reliant capable hands-on brave individuals.
Where is my America, land of the free and home of the brave?
Klosinski is a guest columnist from Brown County, Indiana. She is a frequent contributor to the LPIN website and “We Are Libertarians” online media site.