2012-05-24 / Letters

Eichelberger’s View On The Role Of Government Does Not Allow For Healthcare For All

To The Editor:

Sen. Eichelberger held a town hill meeting on May 17 at Needmore Firehall that I attended.

I am a supporter of the www.healthcare4allpa.org. This group created a bill and tried to submit it to the Pa. legislators, but the majority party blocks it in committee. The bill would provide comprehensive healthcare to all citizens of the commonwealth. The bill is revenue neutral (it does not add to the deficit); it will completely insure all Pa. residents; and it will bring jobs to the commonwealth.

I welcome all of you to go online and see for yourself. I could not understand what the legislators of the majority party have against such a bill (to the extent that they would not allow a vote on it by all of Congress), so I tried multiple times to have a dialogue with Sen. Eichelberger through his office and at two separate town hall meetings.

At this meeting I finally realized that it wasn’t the bill itself that was the issue, but the senator and I had very different views about his job (as the people’s representative) and of the role of government in general. The senator explained that in his opinion a healthcare bill such as this was not a function of government, and he classified the bill as socialist.

I will attempt to explain how I don’t see it the same way as the senator using the commonwealth’s constitution and a thesaurus.

The Commonwealth’s Constitution clearly states what the role of government is.

Article 1 Section 2. Political Powers

All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper. When I read this the first thing I see is that all political power belongs to the people not a majority party. The people’s representatives must make their decisions based on the people’s peace, safety and happiness, not based on national party politics or corporate interest. In order for the senator to be correct about the function of government, he must demonstrate that healthcare is not in the interest of the people’s peace, safety and happiness.

So I ask you, do you feel peaceful, safe and happy with the current insurance industry-driven healthcare system, knowing that your “insurance” could be cancelled or limited when you had a serious disease or accident? A great number of people in the commonwealth are going bankrupt as a result of medical expenses their “insurance” doesn’t cover. Would you feel better if you knew that you and your family have guaranteed healthcare?

Article II The Legislature

Compensation Section 8.

The members of the General Assembly shall receive such salary and mileage for regular and special sessions shall be fixed by law, and no other compensation whatever, whether for service upon committee or otherwise. No member of either House shall during the term for which he may have been elected, receive any increase of salary, or mileage, under any law passed during such term. This section deals with the compensation our representatives receive. It clearly states that the representatives receive salary and mileage only. There is a good reason for this. If a representative receives a benefit for him and his family that the people do not receive, that representative is less likely to put any effort in getting the same benefit for the people they represent.

Our representatives in the commonwealth’s Congress receive lifetime healthcare benefit for them and their families (see http://ww.delcotimes.com/articles/ 2011/05/5/news/doc4deae96302 c8c610894296.txt). The senator that stated that healthcare is not a function of government is receiving lifetime healthcare benefits from that same government. The senator is a public servant. He is accountable to you and you only. How can a servant refuse the people he serves the same benefits he is being supplied with by the people?

The word socialist as an adjective, the Microsoft Word thesaurus says it means “collective” and in the thesaurus collective means “shared.” The word commonwealth means “shared prosperity” by the thesaurus. So we can conclude that some of the principles of the founders of the commonwealth must have been what the senator now labels as socialist. I think William Penn was fond of the concept of collective sharing for the common good.

I wish to thank the volunteers of Needmore Fire Department for hosting the event. I congratulate Sen. Eichelberger for holding the meeting and giving the people the chance to express their views to their representative.

Martin Hann

McConnellsburg

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