Why I Support President Obama (Part I)

February 5, 2012

Contributors


Post by Joseph M-

My principal reason for backing President Obama is his support and initiation of healthcare reform, and ultimately his signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in 2010. Republicans have pejoratively labeled it Obamacare; meanwhile President Obama has embraced the term, saying, “I have no problem with people saying Obama cares. I do care.” I care too, and this issue is the political lynchpin for me. I cannot support any candidate who does not appreciate or understand the need for an expansion of access to healthcare in this country. Healthcare should not be a privilege of the wealthy, but a right for all. I believe that if we can get behind public monies for libraries, sports arenas, museums, parks, wildlife protection, and Bombs over Baghdad, then we should also ensure healthcare access.

And so you might further see my point: are you aware that through local tax payer money, you (and your children) can check out Saw I, II, III, IV, V, VI, and Saw: the Final Chapter from the Seattle Public Library and the King County Library System? And I just checked – you can get it at the Salt Lake City Library as well.

My belief is that providing healthcare is the right thing to do; it is the Christian thing to do, and this aligns with my Mormon faith. I echo the words written by Boyd Peterson in his essay entitled, Why I’m a Mormon Democrat:

“I believe that the Democratic party takes the strongest position on many moral issues. For example, King Benjamin’s address in the Book of Mormon admonishes us to prioritize, ‘feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants’ (Mosiah 4:26). I believe the Democratic party works harder to protect and defend these moral priorities.” 

And so I feel about President Obama. When I decided to vote for Barack Obama, I did so with the belief that he would bring change to America and especially its healthcare system. Of course, there is more to be done. However, President Obama has fulfilled his promise of change in so many ways; therefore, I will continue to support him and his presidency.

In addressing the specific issue of healthcare, I like these two quotations, one from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the second from the American Medical Student Association:

“Our approach to health care is shaped by a simple but fundamental principle: ‘Every person has a right to adequate health care. This right flows from the sanctity of human life and the dignity that belongs to all human persons, who are made in the image of God.’ Health care is more than a commodity; it is a basic human right, an essential safeguard of human life and dignity. We believe our people’s health care should not depend on where they work, how much their parents earn, or where they live. Our constant teaching that each human life must be protected and human dignity promoted leads us to insist that all people have a right to health care.”

 USCCB – June 18, 1993, “A Framework for Comprehensive Health Care Reform.”

 “In a time when thousands of people lose their health insurance every day, when health care is becoming elusive to even well-to-do Americans, and when any person is just one pink slip away from becoming uninsured, it becomes clear that health care for all is not just important to achieve, but imperative.

 At its root, the lack of health care for all in America is fundamentally a moral issue. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have some form of universal health care (defined as a basic guarantee of health care to all of its citizens). While other countries have declared health care to be a basic right, the United States treats health care as a privilege, only available to those who can afford it…

 Americans purport to believe in equal opportunity. Yet, in the current situation, those who do not have health care are at risk for financial ruin and poorer health, both of which disadvantage them in society and thereby do not give them equal opportunity…

 The Declaration of Independence states there are certain ‘inalienable rights’, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If Americans believe in an inalienable right to life, how can we tolerate a system that denies people lifesaving medications and treatments? Similarly, if Americans believe in an inalienable
right to the pursuit of happiness, how can we allow millions of dreams to be smashed by the financial and physical consequences of uninsurance?”

AMSA – Aug. 27, 2009, “The Case for Universal Healthcare.”

 It feels dang good to be on the right side of history on this one.

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7 Comments on “Why I Support President Obama (Part I)”

  1. lauraclubfancy Says:

    Great post!

    Our country chosen to have elite health care for the few. Yet as we now realize that we also created a system that constantly increases in cost and waste.

    Of note, the Affordable Care Act passed by 219 votes to 212 in the House of Representatives, with no Republican backing.

  2. Ace Says:

    As you appropriately noted, one of our key responsibilities as Christians and Latter-Day Saints is to take care of those who are unable, for whatever reason, to care for themselves. I would submit, however, that doing so via the government is the least efficient and least effective way of helping. Any charity with an overhead of 60+ per cent would be hounded out of existence by the news media, and rightly so! And yet we tolerate a government that dilutes our “contributions” by that much or worse. The amount of water that makes it to the end of the row is shameful. It is a far better use of my charitable dollars to care for the poor directly or through a responsible charity with low overhead. I then have the added benefit of having voluntarily offered of my God-given surplus and receiving the attendant blessings. Forced “donations” (taxes) bring no blessings. It’s very convenient to turn that responsibility over to the government, but unfortunately it does not exempt us from our duty.

  3. Bradley Wade Coslett Says:

    I am not with any religion, but find this page quite interesting.

  4. Frank Stark Says:

    The basic flaw in your essay is the assumption that health care is not, or should not be, a commodity, the idea that it is a right.

    A right is defined in at least one dictionary as:
    a. Something that is due to a person or governmental body by law, tradition, or nature.
    b. Something, especially humane treatment, claimed to be due by moral principle.
    c. A just or legal claim or title.

    When I lived in Kenya (1995) there was roughly 1 doctor per 8000 people. By contrast, the US has about 1 doctor for every 500 people. To speak of a right to health care in Kenya was a joke. If you got other than first aid you were fortunate. You don’t have health care without health care providers.

    If health care is a right, no provider should ever be able to refuse treatment to someone who comes to them with a health complaint. You should be able to buttonhole a doctor on the street, at their front door, in church, anywhere, and demand immediate consultation and treatment if health care is a right. It would not matter the time of day or place. No doctor should ever turn someone away simply because it is not business hours. As long as there is a waiting line, no health professional would be able to take a day off from his duty to provide as long as there was one person yet untreated. In fact, doctors should be drafted from countries with low doctor/patient ratios to countries with high doctor/patient ratios, just to make it fair, because everybody has a “right” to health care, whether the doctor wishes to move or not.

    That is slavery. Nobody with the mental capability to be a good doctor will willingly be a slave.

    Health care is only available if you have health cared providers. That is the basic truth. There is a limited number of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. Health care is scarce because doctors are scarce. Their services will be rationed by government bureaucracy, or by money. Money is flexible, and signals that persons moving into that field will be rewarded. Bureacracy is not. Free agency, the free market, works. Not perfectly, nothing made by man is perfect, but choosing freedom works better than using the force of government. You want a better, cheaper health care system? Make it so that more people want to become health professionals. The natural Law of Supply and Demand, as true as the law of gravity. Obey it or your plans won’t work.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304506904575180331528424238.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/health/policy/27care.html

    • Brett Aurich Says:

      Until every person has adequate health care, we are uncivilized and barbaric. In Nevada we have 25% uninsured, I personally know young uninsured people are getting $200,000 ER bills because they are uninsured and are now slaves to a bill for life. They make minimum wage and their employer does not offer health care. They also have no badly needed follow up care as they are uninsured. People are nuts if they think this is acceptable.

      Thank God for Obama who followed through oin his campaign promise, its why I change to Democrat and voted for him last time because he promised to do something to improve health care and I will not sit by and have Romney repeal excellent legislation. People first…. we show our love for one another buy keeping and growing Obama Care!! Its humane and its needed.

      I am a proud Mormon, but I have to do what is right, let the consequence follow. The right thing is to get more people access to healthcare. Thanks Obama for keeping your campaign promise.

      • Frank Stark Says:

        Any thing that is not available in unlimited amounts will be rationed. A price is the free market’s method, bureaucracy is the method of force. Figure out a way to get more doctors and health care professionals and the price will come down.

        BTW, one reason that health care costs have gone up is the amount of paperwork required to satisfy the demands of government and lawyers. My 7 day stay in the hospital generated 341 pages of records. That costs.

        The cost has gone up because specialists work in teams. The teams are larger than they used to be. Used to be you were seen by a doctor and a couple nurses. Now you have them plus xray techs, dietitians, therapists of all types. Each specialist makes sure that your treatment is more thorough, but also more expensive.

        And yes, health care also costs more because the hospitals and doctors figure in for those who have no insurance, to spread the cost for those who cannot pay from those who can.

        Many young people think that they won’t need health insurance as they are in good health…until the accident.

        Please, define “adequate health care”. Sloppy definitions lead to sloppy thinking. Does it mean seeing the doctor for every sniffle that could be taken care of with some rest and aspirin? Some people will go for any and everything if it is free. That is why emergency rooms have triage. You say that is uncivilized and barbaric? Try living where 15 villages of 500 people each share only 1 doctor. You will be lucky to see him if you have a broken leg. BTW, that is why if you are in an accident in Central America or Africa you will more than likely have the broken limb amputated rather than set…I kid you not. Been there, seen that.

        Finally, it is not the responsibility of the Federal Government to provide or ensure health care. The Constitution does not list that as one of the Federal government’s jobs. It is for you to do at your local level. You be on the board of your local hospital. You work at your county level. Work it out at your state level (10th Amendment). The Constitution is sacred. It was written by men inspired of God. It is not obsolete, or to have it’s words twisted. If the Federal Government does only those things entrusted to it, and confines its work to those things, everything else can be worked out in the experiments of what is done in 50 states and thousands of counties.

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  1. Why I Support President Obama (Part II) | Mormons for Obama - September 19, 2012

    […] tried to stay rather upbeat (and nice) in my last post when I expressed my primary reason for supporting President Obama (expansion of access to healthcare […]

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