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October 23rd, 2017

Insight

The death of fairness

Ben Carson

By Ben Carson

Published Dec. 10, 2014

Next year, when the employer mandate of Obamacare is activated, millions of Americans will be screaming in pain as their health insurance premiums skyrocket or as they lose their health insurance altogether. It will be just one more piece of the rapidly crumbling health care system that was forced upon the unsuspecting American people through political manipulation and deception.

Admittedly many Americans who previously had no insurance were able to obtain insurance through Obamacare. It is good that such people were able to get insurance, but it is bad that they had to obtain their insurance through someone else's suffering. When the preamble to the Constitution of United States talks about, "the general welfare," it is talking about things that are good for all Americans and not just the chosen few at the expense of others. Since only 15 percent of Americans were without health insurance, it would have actually been less expensive and considerably less disruptive to simply grant the 15 percent a fully paid health insurance policy and leave everybody else alone. I am not advocating that it would have been the correct thing to do, but it would have been quite a bit simpler.

In the United States, we spend twice as much per capita on health care as the next closest nation, and yet we have horrible access problems and unimaginable inefficiency. For these reasons it is certainly appropriate to look for a solution for all of our citizens. There is nothing in our Constitution about health care being a right, but it is certainly reasonable for a compassionate society, which we are, to provide access to good basic health care for all of its citizens. In order to do this, we need to remove health care from the political arena and recognize that any government proposals affecting the health of all citizens should be free market-based and should be so appealing that it would not be necessary to force citizens into the program. Obamacare certainly did not meet these criteria and played a huge role in facilitating an atmosphere of distrust toward the federal government. When did we reach a point in this country where it was okay for government to fool the people? When did we reach a point where the government can't be wrong and can't learn?

It is important and urgent that we try to repair the rift that has occurred between "we the people" and "they the government." Claiming that a bill that was passed through deception is legitimate does nothing but pour gas on the fire of distrust that is raging in our nation and manifesting itself in many different ways. If there still exists within our government any desire for fairness and transparency, perhaps we should consider replacing Obamacare or at the very least reopening hearings and recasting votes now that we know what's in the bill and now that we know that blatant deception was used to pass it. If this is not important to our government, we are in a very serious state of moral decline. Some will claim that the roots of Obamacare are too deep and that it would be much too difficult to back away from it at this stage, but where there is a will, there is a way. Obviously well thought out alternatives needs to be in place and available first.

We have learned a lot about what not to do and if we now have the fortitude and courage to do what is right and not what is politically expedient, we can solve the health care problem and move on to one of the many other problems begging for attention.

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Ben S. Carson is professor emeritus of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University and author of the new book "One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America's Future" (Sentinel).

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