‘A dose of reality’

In his rebuttal letter in the Rappahannock News on June 8 titled, “‘Not a right’ reprise,” Mr. Klaus argues that Ms. Willis and I “argue from emotion and not reality.” So here is a dose of reality for Mr. Klaus.

The U.S. is 18th. in the world when it comes to “quality of life.” The life expectancy in the U.S. is the lowest of any of the wealthiest countries in the world. By 2030 our life expectancy will be the same as Mexico. In some counties in the U.S. there is a difference of 20 years or more from one county to another when it comes to how long you will live. Of the 36 wealthiest countries in the world we are 31 in life expectancy and we lead all in maternal and child mortality rates. Of the wealthiest 36 countries in the world we are the only nation that does not offer universal health care.

The above statistics were compiled By the World Health Organization and the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development. Mr. Klaus seems to worry as to who will pay his doctor and if some auto mechanic with a family would have to pay mine. I reject this notion that one individual pays for another. For me. paying for health care is a collective endeavor, no different than when we collectively pay for defense. The mechanic helps pay for you and me. I and you help pay for the mechanic and his family. There are millions of families in the U.S. just like your imaginary mechanic and his family. These families are one step from ruin if one of their children becomes seriously ill and they have no health insurance.

The American Medical Association. (AMA) supports the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that which Mr. Klaus calls “Obamacare.” Over 70 percent of all new internist and a larger percentage of specialist will accept Medicare and Medicaid. Senior citizens, many of whom are on fixed incomes, use these government services. If these doctors refused government payments they would have little or no practice.

Mr. Klaus appears to be a strict constructionist when it comes to the Bible. Mr. Klaus took exception to my interpretation of “I am not my brother’s keeper.” However, Cain’s words have come to symbolize people’s’ unwillingness to accept responsibility for their “brothers” in the extended sense of the term.

The tradition of Judaism and Christianity is that people DO have this responsibility. Perhaps I should have used the parable of “The Good Samaritan.”

Mr. Klaus remarks that “the Europeans that Mr. Gorfein would have us emulate are going broke and losing their culture.” Mr. Klaus uses as his only example Venezuela. Last time I looked Venezuela was still in South America. I do not wish this country to emulate. I wish it to lead by taking care of all its citizens and not just the wealthy. The Europeans and our neighbor to the north and all the other countries of the Commonwealth protect their people from those great predators know as pharmaceutical companies.

I fail to see how we will damage our culture by having a system of universal health care. The motto of this country is “E Pluribus Unum,” “In Many We Are One,” and not “Every Man for Himself” and damn the women and children.

Mr. Klaus argues that the Preamble of our Constitution only allows for the promotion of the “general Welfare.” However, Article 1, Section 8, “Congress shall have the power to . . . provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” I believe Mr. Klaus is a strict Constitutionalist. What is written is the only gospel. I believe that the Constitution is a permissive document. I would suggest Mr. Klaus that you read the ninth amendment of the Bill of Rights. It states, “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Hank Gorfein
Washington

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