POLL – Is reforming U.S. health care a moral issue?

September 10, 2009

obama-healthThe heated debate over United States health care reform revolves around practical issues like its expected costs or the government-run “public option.” But when President Barack Obama addressed Congress on the issue, he quoted a letter from the late Senator Ted Kennedy saying: “What we face is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.”

(Photo: President Obama addressing Congress, 9 Sept 2009/Jason Reed)

Religious leaders and politicians supporting health care reform sometimes frame the issue in moral terms. But the term “moral” rarely pops up in the Washington debate and — apart from the Kennedy quote — it didn’t figure in Obama’s speech either. The president did discuss the issue of character, which is a moral term, and used the word often enough for it to appear in the Wordle web cloud below. But he avoided repeating what might be considered a religiously loaded word in a crucial political speech.

What do you think?


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Reforming U.S. health care is immoral because it is theft from one person or generation to give to another! The bible clearly asks for people to give freely to those less fortunate, but it does not advocate the Robin Hood mentality that is so present these days in the US (steel from the so-called rich to give to the so-called poor).

Posted by Obama | Report as abusive

We are the wealthiest nation in the world and need to focus on the health/welfare of our own citizens because they’re our future!!! To carry on wars, support dictators and corrupt regimes, allow lobbyists-big oil interests, pharmaceutical vultures, WALSTREET to control us is wrong,
in EVERY way I can think of.
Mike Biddix

Posted by Michael Biiddix | Report as abusive

Greed is immoral. The same people who are afraid that something will be “taken” from them rarely object to things that are “given” to them. It is not stealing to take taxes from a citizen to pay for fire department services that will be used by some but certainly not all. It is not stealing to take taxes from citizens to help pay medical costs for others — when most certainly we will all need that. If you plan to use Medicare, you will be benefiting from just such a plan.

Posted by Pam | Report as abusive

45.7 Million Uninsured Breakdown
Illegal Immigrants = 9.3 million
Medicad Undercount = 6.4 million
Medicaid/SCHIP Eligible = 4.3 million
Childless Adults = 5.0 million
Over 300% of Poverty = 10.1 million
Remaining Uninsured = 10.6 million

Medicad Undercount – People who are on one of two government health insurance programs, Medicaid or S-CHIP, but mistakenly (intentionally or not) tell the Census taker that they are uninsured.

Medicaid/SCHIP Eligible – Eligible for free or heavily subsidized government health insurance (again, either Medcaid or SCHIP), but have not signed up.

Childless Adults – Adults between ages 18 and 34 and without kids.

Over 300% of Poverty – Do not fit into any of the above categories, and they have incomes more than 3X the poverty level.

Remaining Uninsured – U.S. citizens, with income below 300% of poverty, not on or eligible for a taxpayer-subsidized health insurance program, and not a childless adult between age 18 and 34.

Posted by xinunus | Report as abusive

Health Care Insurance (no one is debating “Health Care”), is an issue….period. It doesn’t matter whether one person referes to it as a moral issue or not; It’s just an important issue. But while everyone goes on about how they feel about it, the fact remains that getting health care insurance for those in need of it SHOULD NOT mean changing everyone else’s plan. It should mean providing a reasonably priced (and yes, government subsidized) option for the un-insured. Forcing everyone to move to a government-run insurance program (which WILL ultimately happen, which WILL be a budget buster, and WILL ration care, and if you don’t believe that, stop thinking about how you FEEL and look at the DATA on EVERY government program ever established) is NOT how you solve the problem of the un-insured!! For crying out loud people, THINK about it.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

Sure it is. It’s morally wrong for the government to have such a hand in ruining the market for decades and creating this false “need” for a tax-payer funded/federally controlled solution. It’s morally wrong to take tax revenues away from communities so that certain types of employees get discount health care while others are penalized for not buying into the system and most go without. Federal deficits are way too high as it is as well. Increasing the tax base will boost international credit ratings but with those types of deficits and no cuts in the govt money pit, we’re headed for major financial disasters not solutions that will resemble what we are facing with the likes of social security. Tip of the iceberg really. Government regulation and payment guarantee(until they have to write iou’s) is the problem not the solution. A true free market is by far the most superior option for reform because it creates competition for the consumer who ultimately decides where to put their money and what companies survive. For too long the govt has leveraged the consumers freedom of choice by setting the standards so that very few viable “choices” exist. I see a lot of partisanship being thrown around in this debate as well. The right is sobbing while the left is cheering. Just imagine what the left will think when the right takes the majority again (and they will) and uses that legislation to make the decisions with and create more legislation under. Then the left gets it again, then the right, and so on and so on. Think what that legislation will look like 5-50 years down the road. Americans need the freedom to make their own decisions. That’s a few things that come to my mind when I think about health care reform. Believe it my friends, get the government out of your pocketbooks and you’ll be able to afford a lot more than health care and you’ll feel better about it! That’s the American way!

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

I don’t pretend to know how to fix the Health Insurance problem in the US; but it sure seems like a nation who has won two world wars, put men on the moon, and has some of the finest health care available in the world, should be able to afford natural conception to natural death individually COST-FREE Health Care for all of it’s citizens and LEGAL Visitors. We bailed out our major industries from a lengthy recession; but don’t we even have enough resources left to bail-out all of our own citizens and visitors ??? I think we do have the resources, we just need to figure out how to do it and still maintain the best standards of care available to modern medical science for everybody. Who cares if it is the Socialistic Democrats or the Fascist Republicans who propose the final solution; it’s about time to “Git Off The Pot’ and “Git ‘ER DONE !!” Way too many folks are falling “between the cracks”; it really doesn’t matter who gets the credit for it or the blame for it – It’s time to make the USA #1, once again !!!!!

Posted by R.M.Gard | Report as abusive