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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Old article provides food for thought on healthcare debate

Dear Editor:

I’ve been bothered all week by the opinion piece in the Ranger Review on Sept. 10 by ‘Asta Bowen, “Like it or not, we all need health insurance.”

One thing she said that I think is leaning toward the truth is that many people need health insurance to “insure” them against financial ruin should they happen to have a catastrophic medical bill.

This is an article I copied from The Dawson County Review and The Yellowstone Monitor, I think it has some real “food for thought” in it.  It is dated August 1, 1946.


“Despite many theories to the contrary, the Seattle Times observes, The government of a nation is wholly dependent upon the people for financial support. . . Government produces nothing.  People pay the cost of their government all the costs

“The Times describes the enormous inroads made by government into the pocketbooks of the people.  In the early days, the government found sufficient support in indirect taxation—’duties, imports and excises” specified by the Constitution. Then came direct taxation in the form of income tax, with its steadily ascending rates.  After that came the withholding tax idea—under which a certain proportion of each worker’s weekly or monthly pay check is paid into the Federal Treasury to support some service or other.  The Social Security law which,as the Times says, is based on the premise that “all people were too unthrifty to provide for their own welfare and old age,’ is the prize example of this.

“Now the country is threatened with one more bite in the form of the proposed compulsory National Health Bill, generally known as the Wagner – Murray – Dingell Bill.  To quote the Times again, ‘The President,some members of Congress and some government agencies have decided that the people, as a whole, are unable to take care of their health, and government must do it for them. . . .

“‘After the health bill, the logical succession of laws must be for more pay roll withholding to provide the balanced diet, the proper apparel, and the right kind of homes for all the people—all to be prescribed by government.

“‘What the government may try to do from there on is anybody’s guess; but the safest guess is that by that time there will be nothing more of earned income to withhold.’

“If the American people are at last ready to admit that they are completely incapable of caring for themselves, and for making their own decisions as free agents,government will of course step in and order our lives.  And, if the American people accept that premise, everything the country stood for, everything that made the country great—private opportunity and person liberty—is irretrievably gone.”


Margaret Basta


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