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January 2011, Week 5

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Mon, 31 Jan 2011 01:00:57 -0500
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The Founding Fathers Did Not Support an Individual
Healthcare Mandate...
by Mike
Mike the Mad Biologist
Posted on: January 26, 2011
http://scienceblogs.com/mikethemadbiologist/2011/01/the_founding_fathers_did_not_s.php

...they supported socialized medicine. Last week, Forbes
writer Rick Ungar made the following historical
observation:

    In July of 1798, Congress passed - and President
    John Adams signed - "An Act for the Relief of Sick
    and Disabled Seamen." The law authorized the
    creation of a government operated marine hospital
    service and mandated that privately employed sailors
    be required to purchase health care insurance.

    Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really
    need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters
    of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of
    its members were the drafters of the Constitution.

    And when the Bill came to the desk of President John
    Adams for signature, I think it's safe to assume
    that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp
    on what the framers had in mind....

    First, it created the Marine Hospital Service, a
    series of hospitals built and operated by the
    federal government to treat injured and ailing
    privately employed sailors. This government provided
    healthcare service was to be paid for by a mandatory
    tax on the maritime sailors (a little more than 1%
    of a sailor's wages), the same to be withheld from a
    sailor's pay and turned over to the government by
    the ship's owner. The payment of this tax for health
    care was not optional. If a sailor wanted to work,
    he had to pay up.

    This is pretty much how it works today in the
    European nations that conduct socialized medical
    programs for its citizens - although 1% of wages
    doesn't quite cut it any longer.

    The law was not only the first time the United
    States created a socialized medical program (The
    Marine Hospital Service) but was also the first to
    mandate that privately employed citizens be legally
    required to make payments to pay for health care
    services. Upon passage of the law, ships were no
    longer permitted to sail in and out of our ports if
    the health care tax had not been collected by the
    ship owners and paid over to the government - thus
    the creation of the first payroll tax in our
    nation's history.

    When a sick or injured sailor needed medical
    assistance, the government would confirm that his
    payments had been collected and turned over by his
    employer and would then give the sailor a voucher
    entitling him to admission to the hospital where he
    would be treated for whatever ailed him.

    While a few of the healthcare facilities accepting
    the government voucher were privately operated, the
    majority of the treatment was given out at the
    federal maritime hospitals that were built and
    operated by the government in the nation's largest
    ports.

This isn't support of an individual mandate, it's
socialist--in the true sense of the word. You were
forced to pay taxes in order to gain access to a
government run hospital.

The political doctrine of socialism hadn't even been
invented yet. This does demonstrate that teabuggerers
are ignorant dolts--which most of us already knew. But
the key point for me is that when we get rid of
ideological name calling (TEH SOCIALISMZ!! AAAIIEEE!!)
and ridiculous boundary conditions such as insurance
companies should not go out of business, it's pretty
remarkable where people wind up in terms of policy.

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