Drawing the Line

Making laws that only affect certain segments of the population can cause a lot of harm along with discrimination and even the disenfranchising of citizens. Disenfranchising is a big word; it means 1.  Deprive (someone) of the right to vote, the law disenfranchised some 3,000 voters on the basis of a residence qualification 2. Deprived of power; marginalized a hard core of kids who are disenfranchised and do not feel connected to the school 3. Deprive (someone) of a right or privilege a measure which would disenfranchise people from access to legal advice 4. Deprive (someone) of the rights and privileges of a free inhabitant of a borough, city, or country.

In a recent conversation with an acquaintance, we got talking about the BMI/Sleep Study issue facing truckers, which led to him speaking about government health care. He felt that he should not be required to pay, as a taxpayer, for anyone who was obese or who engaged in any other sort of risky choices such as smoking or bungee jumping; they should pay for their own conditions or injuries relating to the risky behavior. Of course he is neither obese or a smoker I assume. While I saw his point of view to a degree, his comments got me thinking about where do we draw the line.

Women die in childbirth and babies are born with major medical conditions all of the time. One could say that becoming pregnant is making a risky choice, so should women of childbearing years be covered under government healthcare if they get pregnant? How about the babies that are born with medical conditions that requires thousands of dollars to correct; should they be covered?

Construction workers do dangerous jobs as do truckers, fishers, oil field workers e.g.; all choose to do this type of work, should they be covered under government healthcare? Many people like to boat, swim, ski both water and snow, ride jet skis; many are hurt doing this each year, should they be covered? Law enforcement and firefighters lose their lives or are hurt too; should they be covered? The fatality and injury rates for motorcyclists are very high; should they be covered? For that matter, tens of thousands are injured in car crashes each year; should people who drive be covered? How about athletes; they are always getting hurt, should they be covered?

It is currently popular to look down on people who smoke or who are obese. All of the media is flooded with diet plans and quit smoking devices and the people behind these plans along with the media are making money hand over fist from the adverse publicity against these two segments of the population. People like my acquaintance, are up in arms against obese people and smokers further dividing the population against themselves over government healthcare and who should get it or who should not.

Where do we draw the line because as we know, everyone is against someone or something. If a line is drawn against one or two segments of legal citizens getting the same benefits as the others because of choices they make, how long do you think before the line moves and encompasses you and the choices you make? Not long at all.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s