Paul Ryan: ACA Law Should Be Repealed Because Only God Can Grant Rights (VIDEO)
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During an ABC This Week interview today (seen below), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) told host George Stephanopoulos: “We [Republicans] disagree with the notion that our rights come from government, that the government can now grant us and define our rights. Those are ours, they come from nature and God, according to the Declaration of Independence — a huge difference in philosophy.”
Really Mr. Ryan? Let’s take a look at what the Declaration of Independence has to say about our rights:
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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
So while our Rights are endowed by our Creator, the government is tasked with securing these rights. Additionally, they are to do this in a way “most likely to effect their [our] Safety and Happiness.” Is not having affordable healthcare for all people, people who are created equal in the site of God, most likely to accomplish that end? What can secure our safety and happiness more than being protected in the knowledge that we are not one illness or injury away from financial devastation? According to a study in an article that will published this August in The American Journal of Medicine more than 60% of bankruptcies are the result of medical bills. Safety and Security are directly linked to affordable healthcare. Bankruptcies are not happy events for anyone, or for the economy. Fear of being counted among the statistics of 1.5 million mostly middle-class, educated Americans who become financially devastated as a result of overwhelming medical expenses is unquestionably an impediment to the pursuit of happiness.
Rep. Ryan has conveniently left one Constitutional document out of his argument; The Bill of Rights, which constitutes the first 10 Amendments of the Constitution, addresses the rights of the people which are to be secured by the government. The word “Right” is used over 3000 times within the Articles of Constitution and amendments. Why is it so hard for Ryan, who is the House Budget Committee Chair, to get his mind around the philosophical idea that affordable healthcare is a Right that should be secured by the government. He states, “We’re going to repeal the entire law and then we’re going to advance patient-centered reforms that address these kinds of issues.” Ryan further stated that “If you take a look at some of the comprehensive plans that some of us have authored, it does address these things [responding to the interviewer’s questions about keeping some of the provisions already in place in ACA].
I checked Rep. Ryan’s online site and could find no such “plan”. The Republican’s Budget Alternative does propose decreasing corporate tax rates, suspending capital gains taxes through 2010 and increasing the defense budget by 5 Billion dollars, but there is no mention of anything to provide healthcare provisions.
Rep. Ryan’s argument that government cannot grant us and define our rights is ludicrous. The government granted us the Right to Bear Arms, the Right to a Speedy Trial, the Right to Vote despite race or gender. The Right to affordable healthcare is not a philosophical argument. Perhaps Rep. Ryan believes that God could just heal everybody, and those He does not heal don’t deserve healing. I suspect that the real philosophy that Ryan supports is the one that protects corporations instead of establishing and ensuring the Right to Life and safety to the people. The greatest threat to our country today is not the Taliban; its pious fools like this who hostage the reins to our Rights.