Health care and society: Who pays?

A letter writer stated that the right to health care is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution [“Abortion and the health care debate,” May 16]. This was a common refrain in debates and discussions from opponents of the Affordable Care Act. This is an inane statement.

The Constitution doesn’t always enumerate specific examples of rights but grants rights relating to a general philosophical concept. There is no right to public education explicit in the Constitution. As with education, the right to health care is encompassed by words about promoting the “general welfare,” mentioned both in the Preamble and in Section 8 of the document.

Lois Biggin Moylan, West Hempstead

Editor’s note: The writer is a professor of nursing at Molloy College.

We need health care for all. The problem is that many people in the top and middle-income brackets do not believe that the government should take away their hard-earned money to pay for other people’s medical bills.

What they fail to realize is that their earnings were made possible by our society: teachers, schools, doctors, police officers, firefighters, office workers and transportation workers, to name a few.

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In addition, the rich would not be able to use their money without living in society. If they think otherwise, let them take all their money, buy an island on which they are the only inhabitants, and see what their hard-earned money does for them.

The people who earn the most money benefit the most, and they should pay taxes to provide for the basic needs for the people who have made it possible for them to both earn and spend their money.

Stanley Gittleman, Baldwin

Rep. John Faso of New York’s 19th Congressional District is incorrect when he writes, “Those who prosper from the big-spending status quo are against my amendment; those who have to pay the bills are for it” [“End the Medicaid burden on counties,” Letters, May 23].

I can speak for myself as a New York resident who doesn’t benefit from Medicaid but supports those who need care. There might be room for improvement if there is waste involved, but assisting those in need should be part of our national fabric even if we are not personally at risk.

Diane McGuire, Northport