The 1798 Affordable Care Act Shows Our Founders Would Support Fixing The ACA

Is healthcare something that the founding father's could have envisioned?

Resistance is Patriotic. One may go so far as to say, resistance to a foul oppression in the formation of “a more perfect union” is patriotism. It is the very soul of this nation to cast off governors who get between the people and a few truths, ones we find “self-evident.” One of these is that it is American to provide healthcare and to tax to do so. At least, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams thought so.

In a time when the Christian Supremacist culture is trying to twist his words into a fully formed endorsement that the US is a Christian nation — it simply isn’t, in fact, T.J. up there had a lot to say about that — we must remember that we see them too. We just see them through a pragmatic, fact-based, evidence required lens.

It is simple:

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or, the 1798 ACA:

The current administration is not adhering to this simple statement. Life simply does equal healthcare, in many respects and for many millions of Americans, the difference between life and death is health care.

Was healthcare something that the founding fathers could foresee as part of that self-evident truth? Well, perhaps not in the way it is now. Doctors used to kill as many as they saved, were few and far between, and the polar opposite of our for-profit giant pharmaceutical and insurance industries. The founding fathers could not have foreseen that someday, the doctors wouldn’t take a chicken to treat chicken pox or medicate croup for a child living in abject poverty while charging a richer man a fair price he could afford for care.

They couldn’t have foreseen that someday, health care would be about doing the least possible for the highest dollar amount they can get. This isn’t doctors, it isn’t nurses, it isn’t even really the hospitals — it is the insurance industries and pharmaceutical companies that set the cost of health care in this country. Hospitals can not charge less than what it costs them to purchase the equipment, medications, Doctor’s time (they have student loans to pay back). All of this and we have one of the most substandard, expensive healthcare systems in the world.

Actually, there is more solid proof that our Nation’s founders would support a bill that actually required health insurance, even taxing to get it, and guaranteed care. Especially to keep our workforce healthy. Don’t believe me? Check out the Act passed in July of 1798 and signed into Law by President John Adams (one of those that should know, as he was a Founding Father). In case you didn’t know, that law was “An Act for The Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen

From Forbes:

The law did a number of fascinating things.

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.

To keep the workforce healthy, they literally taxed their pay to provide for medical care they could not have had anyway. Seems like single payer in miniature to me.

As for the rest of it:

We support equality, the principle behind all human beings being born equal. All. All the time. No exceptions. No color requirements. No gender requirements. No religion requirements. No ability requirements. No sexuality requirements. Literally just because you are human, you are equal.

We support the pursuit of happiness. That means Freedom of religion and from it. Healthcare for everyone. The right to marry, to earn a living wage, and to worship as they wish but not to indoctrinate our children. Education is essential to a good economy and educated citizens overwhelmingly make for a better government.

Anyone that does not support that absolute equality, equity, and freedom, even the President of the United States, must be resisted.

Wrapping yourself in the flag (or embracing it) and chanting “America” is less American than rolling up your sleeves and making this country a better place for all that live here. It is less American than healthcare. Resistance to tyranny is patriotic, it is American, so make sure that you contact your representatives. Tell them to do their jobs, and enjoy the fireworks!

Related: State GOP Page Asked For Obamacare Horror Stories, It Went Horribly Wrong For Them


Featured image via FlikrUnited Workers, Healthcare Justice March – October 26, 2013

About Jen Froderman 330 Articles

Jen Froderman has been a political blogger since 2015. She cares passionately about equality, freedom, and sarcasm.

Don’t forget to leave feedback on the articles, and remember: if we can’t laugh at ourselves, take ourselves far too seriously, and refuse to see when we are wrong, then we have reached the pinnacle of conservative ethos.

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