by Mike Huntington, MD
Chris Lowe, Carol, and I manned the Health Care for All-Oregon booth at the Oregon State Fair last night. We averaged one conversation about every 15 minutes. About one-third were in favor of HCAO, one-third against, and one-third curious but undecided. In addition, a number of kids wanted to spin the wheel in hopes of a prize. Sometimes it was a sticker and sometimes a hand-held AFSCME fan.
One articulate older gentleman with a sun-weathered face asked us how we defined a right. He said, “If one person claims a right, doesn't that mean someone else has to give up their freedom or property to honor the first person's ‘right’”? The man was willing to listen to Chris' accounting of how the preface paragraph of the Constitution allows for promoting the general welfare of the people, and that several times we have passed amendments to honor what the people felt were rights not originally articulated in the Constitution. The man was more willing to define health care as a need, and that it might be in each person’s best interest to make sure everyone has health care. My favorite approach is that of Gene Uphoff, who says something like "My personal feeling is that health care is a human right, but not everyone agrees with that point of view. From purely an economic sense, here's the reason why everyone should be allowed health care under a universal single-payer plan...."Read More