What is the role of government in society? As a person with a history degree, I have seen in my studies that the beliefs of lawmakers and judges have changed about this issue. There are some who believe that the government should have a very limited role. The idea of the federal government to most, in the beginning, was a way for all the states to have one voice internationally while the states took care of the citizenry. There wasn’t even a Federal Income Tax until the 1900s.
As time passed and the ability of the states to take care of its citizens was lessened, the Federal Government stepped in with social programs. Most of these social programs were created during and after the Great Depression and WWII. These are programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and in the 1960s we saw Head Start. These are programs that most Americans couldn’t imagine their lives without or can’t imagine their future without. With these troubled economic times, some are asking again if it’s the Federal Government’s job to take care of its citizens or if it the state’s job, or if it’s all on the individual and free market.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, also known to many as “ObamaCare,” was heard by the Supreme Court this week. The constitutionality of this bill is on many people’s mind. There are a few key points to this bill, that most are for, such as not being denied insurance based on a pre-existing condition and not being dropped from your coverage when you are ill. There are parts to this bill, such as the mandate that all Americans must have health insurance. Is the auto industry unconstitutional? Because that’s a law in the United States that many find an impediment to our freedoms. The question is being raised: is it the responsibility of the government to regulate our health industry? Is it our government’s job to take care of the old, the weak, the ill? The truth is, no, it’s society’s job to help the old, weak, ill, etc.. but nobody is. People take their social responsibilities for granted and the government is stepping in and forcing people to. Now, is this a good thing? No, but is it the best option we have, other than socialized medicine? Yup.