Dr. Charles McGowen, a physician who writes on health care for AProundtable.org, says he knows the real motive behind President Obama’s health care plan. 1
It’s not because nearly 46 million Americans, 18 percent of the population under the age of 65, are without health insurance. Nor is it because that number is increasing by about two million per year. 2 It is also not because a growing number of middle-income families cannot afford health insurance even when it is offered by their employers. Nor is it because about a third of insured Americans have coverage so meager they must postpone care due to costs. 4
Yes, uninsured Americans receive less preventive care, are diagnosed at more advanced disease stages, and once finally diagnosed, die at higher rates than insured individuals. 3 Yes, our nation spends nearly $100 billion per year providing the uninsured with health services, for preventable diseases or diseases that physicians could have been treated more efficiently with earlier diagnosis. 2 Yes, health care costs have risen to a whopping 16 percent of GDP. 5
But, according to Dr. McGowen, none of these are the true reason why the President wants to fix health care.
The true reason the President of the United States is proposing health care reform is to seize the means of production, following the “sinister” advice of the World Health Organization, and in accordance with Marxist doctrine, in order to turn the United States into just another socialist nation 1.
Jamie Whyte in his Crimes Against Logic defines the “Motive Fallacy” as attempting to demonstrate an opinion to be false by showing that someone has a motive for holding that opinion. Asserting that Barrack Obama secretly conspired to attain the nation’s highest office as part of his master plan to subsequently dismantle the Constitution and unite the international proletariat, in and of itself, is not a valid criticism of Obama’s health care plan.
It is, however, kooky.
Dr. McGowen goes on to assert that the President is violating the Constitution. Dr. McGowen declares that “in part” the Tenth Amendment states “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States [emphasis his] respectively, or to the people.” Nevermind that this is the Tenth Amendment in its entirety, the Supreme Court has been closely divided for decades regarding how the Tenth Amendment constrains congressional authority over the States. Under the Court’s most recent ruling, the Tenth Amendment imposes practically no judicially enforceable limit on generally applicable federal legislation. 6 While Dr. McGowen may disagree with the Supreme Court, the President and Congress are certainly not flouting the Constitution by following the Court’s interpretation of it.
Dr. McGowen enlists King David in his opposition to health care reform. He quotes Psalms 119:32 which reads “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” I fail to see what on earth that has to do with health insurance. Maybe Dr. McGowen believes the Bible is some sort of treatise on the virtues of absolute free market capitalism and David some kind of venture capitalist. If so, he hasn’t read Acts 2:44-45: “All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”
The impact of having so many Americans uninsured is painfully clear. Many uninsured individuals postpone needed medical care resulting in premature death and billions of dollars lost in productivity and additional expenses. Even those Americans who have currently covered are vulnerable to the potential loss if they change jobs.
The current situation is nowhere near acceptable. We, as a nation, can do much better than this. Believing that every American can and should have health care coverage with basic benefits does not make you a socialist or a communist. It does not mean you scorn the Constitution. It doesn’t mean you don’t understand the Bible. It just means you can recognize a problem and you have some common sense.
- A Physician’s Perspective on the Issues of National Healthcare #11, On Healthcare with Dr. Charles McGowen, http://www.aproundtable.org
- DeNavas-Walt, C.B. Proctor, and J. Smith. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007. U.S. Census Bureau., August 2008.
- Institute of Medicine. Care Without Coverage – Too Little, Too Late. The National Academies Press, 2002.
- Consumer Reports. Are You Really Covered? September 2007.
- Centers for Medicare and Medical Services, http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalHealthExpendData/.
- Cornell Law School Annotated Constitution, http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/html/amdt10_user.html#amdt10_hd11.