Sometimes I hear the argument that the federal government should spend money on defense but not on health care. Since this notion seems to resonate more among the young conservative sectors of our population ( in which the desire for beer, whooping and hollering far outweighs the need for medicine ) I assume it’s self-interest that drives this consensus, but certainly, we see their fingers pointing to the Constitution to find validation.
Indeed, the Constitution strongly prescribes a military defense while making no mention of health care at all. I suppose that’s all that can be seen by those who can only read the words but fail to embrace the soul of the Constitution. For those who think of the Constitution as more than a collection of words or a mere excuse for their own self-interests, there is more to look at.
First of all, there is the core of our doctrine upon which everything else revolves… Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Secondly, there is the time at which the Constitution was ratified… 1781, some 224 years ago. Of all the threats to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, invading armies was about the only one the founders (or anyone else at the time) actually knew how to fight. So they provisioned the military in the Constitution to do just that.
But since then, we have discovered how to fight some of the other threats, such as disease, which statistically have ALWAYS been a far greater threat to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness than ANY foreign army has EVER been. So you can’t really blame the founders for not provisioning healthcare in 1781 because it didn’t exist yet. All they had then was leeches and prayers. But they *did* have the foresight to create a system of amendments to allow the Constitution to adapt to the future and if the Founders were alive today, I bet they would be drafting an amendment right now to include provisions for healthcare, because it serves the same purpose that the military does. To defend us from the enemies of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.