Forbes writer Rick Ungar is getting some attention for a piece arguingthat history shows that John Adams supported a strong Federal role in health care. Ungar argues that Adams even championed an early measure utilizing the concept behind the individual mandate, which Tea Partyers say is unconsittutional.
I just ran this theory past a professor of history who specializes in the early republic, and he said there’s actually something to it. Short version: There’s no proof from the historical record that Adams would have backed the idea behind the individual mandate in particular. But itis fair to conclude, the professor says, that the founding generation supported the basic idea of government run health care, and the use of mandatory taxation to pay for it.
Here’s the background. Ungar points out that in July of 1798, Congress passed “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seaman,” which was signed by President Adams. That law authorized the creation of a government operated system of marine hospitals and mandated that laboring merchant marine sailors pay a tax to support it.
During the presidential campaign, Republicans enjoyed poking fun at Obama’s “Yes, We Can,” campaign slogan. Most often they simply restated it as “No, You Can’t.” However, the GOP majority in the House is setting out to exemplify its own slogan: “No, We Can’t.”
The “We” in this case is the same “We” Obama spoke of with his slogan — the collective “We,” encompassing all Americans. “No, We Can’t,” however reflects the GOP’s emphatic belief that when it comes to the challenges we face — from health care to climate change and then some — there’s just nothing we can, or should, do.
Did you think that, having regained control of the House, the GOP will stop being the “party of No” and start governing, or at least doing something about the challenges facing the country? Think again.
The 112th Congress will not be the “Do Something” Congress that the 111th was. It would be a relief if this turned out to be the “Do Nothing” Congress that the new House “one-week-off-for-every-two-weeks-worked” schedule suggests. Instead, it’s already shaping up to be the “Undo Everything” Congress, working hard to rewind the clock to 2008 or earlier.
CNN released a new national poll (pdf) Monday morning, gauging public attitudes on the Affordable Care Act. Not surprisingly, the health care law still isn’t popular, but the details matter.
The poll asked respondents a fairly straightforward question: “As you may know, a bill that makes major changes to the country’s health care system became law earlier this year. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor or generally oppose it?”