Robert Meyer
The "immorality" of voting against health insurance reform
By Robert Meyer
January 14, 2010

An editorial writer recently sought to make a point about the federal health care legislation, giving us an anecdotal story about a Republican congressman who voted against the health care insurance reform bill. The story begins after the vote for the bill is taken.

{Fifteen minutes later when he is in his office, he died of a heart attack.

When he arrived at the gate to heaven, an angel interviewed him for admission. The question was: What did you do that you should be admitted to heaven?

The Republican answered, "I did charitable giving. I tossed a nickel to a man in a wheelchair. I gave an unemployed family a nickel and I put a nickel in the Salvation Army red kettle."

The angel turned to St. Peter and asked, "What do we do with this man?" St. Peter replied, "Give him back his 15 cents and send him to hell."}

This attempt at humor unfortunately depends on believing an old canard that conservatives are stingy. The truth of the matter is that surveys show conservatives are far more generous with voluntary charitable giving than are liberals, and liberals are, statistically speaking, more affluent. Anyone interested in exhaustive study on this topic should search the terms "Arthur Brooks, who actually gives."

I'm certainly not claiming that conservatives are better people that liberals, but that such habits are understandable and expected, since conservatives believe charity is a personal obligation, not a government mandate.

But, it is disturbing that the same political party which runs a project sponsoring the "Atheists for Obama" website, also has constituents who think a wholesale policy movement toward Fabian Socialism is equivalent to doing the "Lord's work." Liberals never think in terms of "Separation of church and state" when it comes to government usurping the traditional role of charity represented by church organizations and the voluntary sphere of society.

My own little anecdote about politicians getting to Heaven, is more true to fact, and it goes like this: A long-term incumbent liberal congressman is defeated in his reelection bid this coming November. Due to the shock of his loss, he collapses dead from a massive heart attack.

A short time later he is confronted by God in Heaven. God demands of him, "How did you get in Here?" The congressman tells God, "I made a living for my whole life by taking money from some people, and using it to bribe the rest of the people I represent, receiving their votes in exchange for give-away programs. After a lifetime of experience in this practice, I had no trouble fooling Old St. Pete at the pearly gates."

I have a personal tradition I partake in annually. Every Christmas season I watch that timeless movie, adapted from Charles Dicken's novel, "A Christmas Carol," staring Alistair Sims as Ebenezer Scrooge. In the opening scene, two men come to Scrooge's business office seeking donations to purchase provisions of food and drink for the poor at Christmas time. Scrooge declines to give any money for the cause, and sarcastically asks the two solicitors if the debtor's prisons and sweatshops are still in operation. Scrooge then pointedly tells the two fund-raisers that he will not donate personal funds to their cause, because he helps to support the named two organizations via his taxes, and anyone not well off must go there if they are in need of refuge. Scrooge is regarded as the consummate, greedy capitalist, yet his solution was to rely on the apparatus of socialism. Instead of taking personal responsibility for helping those in need, he chose to farm it off to a faceless social institution. The demeanor of Scrooge before his spiritual visitation was more akin to the position of cultural secularists, than it is to "greedy capitalists."

In ironic contrast, the Founders of this country, would have viewed social government programs, such as universal health care, as immoral usurpations of power. Certainly the bribery of Ben Nelson, Nebraska's Senator, allowing special benefits to members of his state at the expense of other U.S. citizens, is a gross violation of the principles of general welfare and equal protection.

Many folk of my political persuasion, cry out in exasperation, "When will people wake up and smell the coffee," meaning, when will they see that these types of policies are destructive for America? What they seem to forget is that a solid 40% of Americans are for these ideals because to them they reflect social justice.

Many of the people dissatisfied with Obama's job permormance are seething because they think Obama has compromised too much versus his liberal campaign promises. Many who are now cheerleading for this bill without knowing much about the content of it, will have a long walk back to the locker room with an even longer face looking back at them in the mirror.

Is it immoral to vote against the health care insurance bill? Only if saving people from themselves is a dastardly deed.

© Robert Meyer


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Robert Meyer

Robert Meyer is a hardy soul who hails from the Cheesehead country of the upper midwest... (more)


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