The real debate on health care is one of economics. Will the invisible hand of the free market system, if left unregulated, eventually make health care affordable for all? Or should the government step in and redistribute a portion of the wealth of its citizens so that all may have health care right now and for the foreseeable future? It's a fundamental economic quandary, and one that is not likely to ever be clearly resolved.
Undoubtedly, our nation was founded on the principles of the free market. It's written into the constitution. It was also one of the primary motivations to achieve independence from the Crown. And it's what has made our country great. It is the source of our wealth; it is the source of our power. It is why generations of immigrants left their homelands, still do, and will for generations to come. They all want a piece of that gold-paved streets action. Without free market capitalism, America as we know it would not exist.
But the Founding Fathers lived in an era when health care as we know it did not exist, and human rights, as we understand them now, did not exist. That a person could walk into a hospital and be immunized against communicable diseases such as polio and influenza was not something they could have taken into consideration. Medical health care itself was not seen in the same light it is now. Back then, people were just as likely to depend on prayer to God for healing as they were on the neighborhood physician making his rounds. Add to that the archaic vision of human rights written into the constitution and accepted almost universally in the society of the time, and one can see that the founding fathers' vision of the virtues of a free market are less relevant than one might think.