by Jonathon Springs Padron
Many of us have seen and heard the explosive national discussion over health care reform in town halls across America. The issue has proved to be hyperpartisan and leaves little room for anyone seeking a center pathway to reform. But the real issue at the heart of this conflict is whether Americans deserve and are entitled to their health.
It was Edmund Burke, the founder of modern conservatism, who first insisted on the responsibility of the state to provide for the welfare of its citizens. As Carl Cohen has explained, “The purpose of the political community is to help meet the universal needs of men living together.” If you accept these principles, then it should leave little doubt in your mind that health care is an infallible right or a privilege comparable to that of driving a car.
In America, the only way to maintain your health is to obtain comprehensive health insurance which, for most Americans, is offered through their employers. Unfortunately, this system does not work for tens of millions of American citizens, leaving a disproportional number of lower income families without necessary coverage.
Over his tenure, Gov. Jon Corzine has taken monumental strides in universalizing citizens’ rights to their health. In 2007, when the Bush administration tried to reduce the scope of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, Corzine stood between the administration and 10,000 middle-income children in our state, protecting and maintaining their right to health insurance.
Today, Corzine is still an active proponent of universal health care for all Americans. Teaming with the Obama administration, New Jersey has been on the cutting edge of innovation and thought, discussing and implementing new plans to cover everyone. Corzine is also a strong proponent of preventative health care, which has proved to be not only cost effective, but also has led to an increase in the survival rate for those with cancer and many other terrifying diseases.
Chris Christie’s solution to health care misses the mark. He wants to deregulate insurance companies by allowing them to skirt around offering necessary coverage to patients for the sake of corporate profits. These are the same insurance companies that deny coverage to victims of domestic violence, dismissing them as applicants with pre-existing conditions. Christie wants to repeal mandates that force insurance companies to cover vital services such as mammograms, even though early detection is proven to save lives.
The candidates’ positions are clear: Chris Christie does not believe you have a right to your health, Jon Corzine does. So if you believe that all citizens have a right to their health, regardless of income or any other mitigating factors, then speak with your vote. Jon Corzine needs your support, so be the difference you wish to see in the world and take your chance on Nov. 3.