There is one approach to the imaging of health care in the United States that I have yet to hear, see or read: that of the constitutional necessity of the Federal government to ensure that all citizens have access to it. Section 8 (Powers of Congress) of the Constitution reads;
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States…”
It seems to me that access to health care clearly falls under general welfare. Health care is every bit as important to all Americans as is our common defense. This debate has been approached as a socio-economic undertaking but that is a false premise in the consideration of this issue. No where in the Constitution is the government tasked with setting-up or maintaining free markets. Nor is it prohibited from competing in markets. It is, however, tasked with providing for the general welfare. Can you say single payer.
It is a false premise that Socialism is unconstitutional. The Constitution in no way dictates the make-up or system of economics that shall prevail in the United States. I would go as far as to propose that pure capitalism is much more easily interpreted as unconstitutional, taken in the context of Section 8. As capitalism is premised on economic winners and losers, allowing for there to be losers is certainly not providing for the general welfare of the losers. At a minimum, the government is constitutionally obligated to provide health care for those who do not have coverage through work and or can not afford it. Additionally, an employer based insurance system is at best discriminatory against people who do not have jobs or who have jobs that do not provide affordable insurance for their employees.
I just don’t see the difference between the need for national defense and the need for national health care… constitutionally.