Constitution calls on government to promote the general welfare

Published 1:36 am Friday, November 13, 2009

The following was written by Reginald Lee, subject of a story on page 1, with help from his daughter, Nancy H. Jacobs, a language teacher at Spartanburg High. Lee’s purpose is to describe hiss thoughts on health care reform, and to respond to the concerns expressed by insurance agent Glenn Hanford on page 9 today.

I have always been a conservative and capitalist.

I strongly agree with Mr. Hanfords remarks on how poorly the government has handled some programs. Medicare and Medicaid have been poorly run.

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However, that doesnt mean we, as a country, should not try to correct the issues. I would also point out the administrative cost of Medicare is less than half of what the private insurance companies spend and markup.

Mr. Hanford asked if we really needed the government to step in and start another program that seems destined to fail based on the track record with Medicare and Medicaid.

I know that there is a lot of waste, but I think he should remember that the government not only has its hands in Medicare and Medicaid, but that the government is what offers us protection through our armed forces, the FBI and our police force and housing criminals in jail.

The government offers us education through our public schools and the government builds roads that help us to work and be connected with other cities.

The government is not perfect because government is made of people, just like any private institution is made of people. Public or private, there are going to be imperfections. Look at all the companies that are closing all the time. Business also has to change and adapt to the people it serves.

Government is a business that serves the people and keeps order. Why wouldnt we want our government to help people with a basic need like health care, when we see no problem with it taking charge of schools, militaries, police forces and even roads?

As far as I know, the preamble of the Constitution is clear in our duty and priorities as a country:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

As a country we should take this to heart. Our current health care system has not always been the same. Why cant we adapt?

Honestly, some people are so upset, it completely makes me understand why we need government interference with matters that are so basic and important.

If the government hadnt stepped in to stop private businesses from using slave labor to benefit the bottom line, we would have continued on justifying the sin for the sake of money and efficient and effective business practices.

I am thankful I live in a country where the government will act like a big brother and help me when I cannot help myself. Thank you big brother for your help in changing laws so children no longer work in factories, women can vote, and hopefully, one day everyone, regardless of their situation, will be guaranteed health care when they need it!

Isnt that promoting the general welfare of the people?

I hope that you too may come to understand that it is not the right of private business to say what kind of healthcare individuals can or cannot receive. It is the right of the people through our government to step in and declare our rights!

I am fighting for universal care. My quest is for healthcare reform. Exclusions based on someones age or condition should be blocked as well as dropping an individuals policy based on a job lost.

Secondly, no one should profiteer over medical care. While the opponents rave and use scare tactics about us losing the greatest healthcare system in the world, my question is how they justify that position when we rank 37th in the world in healthcare?&bsp; How can this be if we are the greatest nation in the world?

This story is not about me; in my opinion its about the disgrace of the companies, the politicians and individuals profiteering on someone elses health and life. Its all about greed, profits and protecting the healthcare corporations vs. the citizens that elected our government officials to serve and to protect.

I have converted my prescriptions to Canada with a 60 to 80 percent savings. Why should it be necessary to have go across the border? Pharmaceutical companies are allowed to spend millions on TV and other media outlets to advertise their products. Who pays for those ads? We do!

My hope is that all health care be made nonprofit. This is not about socialism; its about our responsibility to care for health needs of our populous. There should be incentives for improving the health of the patients avoiding more serious health issues developing which in turn increases the cost.

Make no mistake, under our current system we are already paying for the care of the uninsured resulting in higher costs to all who do have insurance.

I have learned a lot by having struggled with this problem. My eyes have been opened to the suffering all around us.

Because of my national and international exposure, God has blessed me to be able to assist and listen to many who are suffering. It is my great faith and the prayer of my friends, my church family, (Grace Foothills) which has kept me alive way beyond what any doctor believed was possible.

My eight-year-old son David has given me the drive to get up each day and fight to live. I have also realized, after owning many companies, what the real needs, struggles and concerns that my associates were faced with daily. Health care was the one paramount concern.

Unfortunately we are so busy in our own lives and survival; we do not see or really hear those concerns until it happens to us.

I dont expect what is taking place in Congress now to make a difference in my case. I do hope my story will, however, open the eyes of others to get involved and make a difference before its too late for all of us.