John Florez: Health care is a moral dilemma

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Sept. 23, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    I agree that we owe it to our neighbor who is without health care, and cannot get it on his own, to provide a viable pathway to receiving it. This was the basic premise of Medicaide, but Obamacare isn't like Medicaide. We should have simply expanded Medicaide and raised federal taxes accordingly. The next best thing would have been to introduce a single-payer solution. What we have instead is a very complex system which will not work, either economically or politically.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    @Roger Terry "[W]hat I meant by operating on the same principle is spreading the costs over a large population...."

    I don't object to cost sharing. Only let me enter into into it freely, and not be forced into it by the state. My objection to socialism rests on that distinction. Don't try to pretend that they are the same thing.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    Pouring trillions into an unworkable program is not a moral dilemma - it is fiscal insanity or suicide and that is where America is steaming toward. Instead of using common sense laws to solve health care we instead adopt socialism and call it the affordable care act when it is anything BUT affordable for anyone including the poor. Go figure.

  • Neanderthal Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 23, 2013 2:08 a.m.

    "Why is it we can find money for highways, buildings and prisons but we can't find money to help poor people with health care?"

    The answer is quite simple... Highways, buildings, prisons, provide for the general welfare... Which is authorized in the US Constitution.

    Government provided healthcare, such as Obamacare, is not 'general welfare.' It's specific welfare. It's the job of the several states to provide specific welfare if they so desire.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 22, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    Re: "Governmnet needs to protect us from criminals, not wipe our noses."

    "To provide employment for the poor, and support for the indigent, is among the primary, and, at the same time, not least difficult cares of the public authority. In very populous Countries, the task is particularly arduous. In our favored Country, where employment and food are much less subject to failures or deficiencies, the interposition of the public guardianship is required in a far more limited degree. Some degree of interposition, nevertheless, is at all times and every where called for." - James Madison, letter to Rev. F. C. Schaeffer, Jan. 8, 1820.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 22, 2013 10:27 a.m.


    No one is "feeling threatened by "others", as they refer to them, being able to have healthcare?" as you so duplicitly put it. What we "feel threatened" by is being robbed of our own hard earned funds by people such as yourself to assuage your guilt over this. The principle here is simple and it is just.

    No one has the right to anything of mine that I do not willingly give to them.

    It is as simple as that. You voting for someone to be able to have what is mine is immoral. That is the immorality on display here.

    Freedom, liberty, and personal accountability have become relics in the minds of many, they now favor forced participation and legalized thievery to accomplish thier ends.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Sept. 22, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    The question is "Should health care be a right guaranteed and protected by the government (under The Necessary and Proper clause found in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution)? If we say yes, then tell me how do we pay for it? It will be a "new" protection. I have no,problem with that. Protections and guarantees under the Constitution have expanded and evolved over our nation's 200 year history. Just tell me how we as a nation pays for this. No one wants their taxes raised but we say we want to provide health care for all. Tell me how we do this.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    Sept. 22, 2013 12:16 a.m.

    Continually overhear people criticizing minorities and those of lesser economic status as if they do not belong. It is strange to hear the well to do, healthy, strong, and prominant of our society act is such a way.
    Could their parents have felt the same? Did they grow up hearing this negative, selfish way of looking at life? Have they never learned to try to understand what hardships others continually deal with on a daily basis?
    Have they never felt the warmness in their heart when helping those who need assistance?
    Why are so many people feeling threatened by "others", as they refer to them, being able to have healthcare?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 6:33 p.m.

    It's incredible that anyone could write something like this: "From what I understand, he would like someone else to pay for your healthcare. He would like to pass that personal burden to others."

    Where has the author of those words been? Doesn't he know that ACA is an attempt to make most Americans RESPONSIBLE for paying for their own health care? Doesn't he realize that our present system to socialized medicine in which those who have insurance are paying for those who don't?


  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 6:30 p.m.

    Face it. There is virtually NO morality of any kind among our GOP leadership.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    I agree with Mr. Florez.

    I feel that Health Care should be a right to US Citizens.

    As long as we have U.S. Citizens who are unable to get the health care that they need to to economic reasons we have no right to give away money over seas to foreign governments.

    I speak specifically of the middle east, Egypt and Israel.

    Americans need to come first.

  • Roger Terry Happy Valley, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 5:05 p.m.


    Technology is one of many factors that make health care prohibitively expensive for almost anyone facing a serious health crisis. Mr. Florez's point, though, is that health care is indeed a moral issue. Owning a flat-screen TV is not, which makes your comparison irrelevant.

    And yes, if we do determine that health care is a human right, which, by the way, we have (this is why emergency rooms cannot turn the poor away), then we do have a right to receive 21st-century treatment, not 1950s treatment, which would be less technologically sophisticated. I can't very well go to an emergency room with severe burn and ask to receive the cheaper, less advanced treatment that would have been available to my grandparents. I'm sure if you were dirt poor and were hit by a car, you would certainly hope that health care was a right.

    And Nate, what I meant by operating on the same principle is spreading the costs over a large population, which I believe I said. Of course insurance is voluntary (in part, though, since some "volunteers" are turned away).

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    @Mike Richards. Most health insurance plans have yearly deductibles before the insurance and the co pay actually kick in. So I imagine most people know what it cost for a simple doctor office visit.

    Besides its the major health related issues that actually drive up the cost. Not simple visits to your family doctor.

    And healthcare is not a true functioning market. To be a true market you have to have the option to buy something or not buy something. If i want a computer i can shop around for the best one that fits my needs. I can also choose not to buy one if it is too expensive. If I have cancer or diabetes or whatever, i may be able to put it off for a while but eventually I will need some kind of care unless I want to die sooner than later.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    There is no concern of morality in private enterprise business or in the government that is owned and operated by private enterprise.

    Private enterprise business exists to enrich the owner managers and only performs service to the society as necessary to maintain their position. When private enterprise controls the government the same agenda is followed.

    If medical care was paid through the national government like highway funds, the businessmen of the medical industry would lose their freedom to perform and sell bogus and useless medical care.
    Conversely if the highways were handled in the same manner as medical care, it is very unlikely we would have any.

    The rule is that if the preferred action is that which produces the most profit for private enterprise.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 1:10 p.m.

    @Roger Terry "[Health insurance] operates on the same principle as single-payer systems do."

    No, it doesn't. Insurance is a voluntary arrangement (or it used to be, before Obamacare came along.) Government systems force compliance through fines and imprisonment. The difference in principle is individual liberty versus state coercion.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    @Roger Terry

    So you say "Technology has made the cost prohibitive". I assume you mean that the cost of technological advances in health care are part of what is making it prohibitive?

    Let me ask you this, since when does everyone have a right to something just because it exists? Just because there are new advancements in health care that are brought on by technology why is it that everyone all of a sudden has the right to receive it?

    Certainly a shallow approach to it is that "if this technology can save someones life then they should have the right to have it" but why is that? Does everyone have the right to a flat screen tv? How about a high pixel camera? Does everyone also have the right all the latest technologies in the rest of their lives?

    I find it interesting how some seem to believe that healthcare is somehow a "right" and any advancement, any drug, and care, that is available people should have a right to just because those people exist. Yes I understand we have inconsistencies in the things our government spends money on but one more thing doesn't make it better.

  • brightness Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    We live in a holistically oriented World, the Sun provides the heat for Mother Earth, Mother Earth provides soil and nutrients, the rain and snow provide the water, they must work in harmony with each other to provide us with things that we need to live. Education, healthcare, economic development (providing jobs), and growing food must be treated equally in order to be in harmony with each other. If we don't take care of our people, they get sick and we lose our workforce (critical element)and this has a domino effect, unfortunately, we are in this together, no one is above the other.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 21, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    The Catholic Church agrees with you Mr. Florez.

    "In our Catholic tradition, health care is a basic human right. Access to health care should not depend on where a person works, how much a family earns, or where a person lives. Instead, every person, created in the image and likeness of God, has a right to life and to those things necessary to sustain life, including affordable, quality health care. This teaching is rooted in the biblical call to heal the sick and to serve "the least of these," our concern for human life and dignity, and the principle of the common good. Unfortunately, tens of millions of Americans do not have health insurance. According to the Catholic bishops of the United States, the current health care system is in need of fundamental reform."
    (U.S. Conf of Catholic Bishops)

    April 2012:

    "The USCCB is criticizing the House Republican budget authored by Ryan for cutting food stamps and other assistance programs for the poor.
    In a letter sent to the House Agriculture Committee the bishops say the budget fails to meet certain “moral criteria” by disproportionately cutting programs that “serve poor and vulnerable people.”
    (The Hill)

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 21, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    @ Shaun,

    Did you actually read Mr. Florez's article? His lead sentence said, "Why is it we can find money for highways, buildings and prisons but we can't find money to help poor people with health care? It's a moral dilemma triggered by our changing times."

    From what I understand, he would like someone else to pay for your healthcare. He would like to pass that personal burden to others.

    Some people tell us that everyone deserves health insurance. They haven't stopped to think about health insurance. Health insurance is the problem, not the solution. Ask any doctor. Ask him to tell you what an office visit should cost. It costs a whole lot more than the $20 that most people pay. They know that they can't buy a tank of gas for twice that amount, but they think that they should have health care for $20 or free.

    If people had to pay all non-major-medical care from their own pockets, costs would drastically be reduced. Supply and demand would set the price, not the government and not an insurance company.

    Governmnet needs to protect us from criminals, not wipe our noses.

  • Roger Terry Happy Valley, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    Excellent editorial, John. Yes, it is a moral dilemma, for those who are willing to look beyond their rigid ideology to see the larger moral terrain that should define that ideology.

    Those who claim that charities (primarily religions) should take care of our needy neighbors are not dealing with reality. Charities cannot come close to providing health care for those who are too poor to afford it (or who are excluded by the system). Technology has made the cost prohibitive. And now even businesses are finding it too expensive. The only reasonable way to provide health care for everyone who needs it is to allow government to be involved. Every other industrialized county on earth sees this (and sees the moral dilemma some of us cannot). We are apparently alone in our blindness to basic morality.

    In our fear of socialized medicine, we fail to see that we already have socialized medicine (a system that spreads the cost over a large body of payers). We call it health insurance. It excludes a large portion of the population, but it operates on the same principle as single-payer systems do.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    @mike richards. You missed florez's entire point. How can our state leaders say we can not afford to help poor people but then turn around and go into debt to move a perfectly good prison so wealthy developers can make money. Mr. Florez is right that it is a moral dilemma.

    As far as being a nanny, the state of Utah is the biggest one unless you are a member of a certain church.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    Your correct it is a moral dilemma... for most.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 21, 2013 5:15 a.m.

    Does Mr. Florez think that government should take the place of religion? Does he believe that the State should establish a church? Does he believe that Congress should be our Bishops, Priests or Pastors? Does he think that government power and authority should be used to provide "charity"?

    The function of government is NOT to provide personal welfare. Personal welfare is a responsibility left to the individual. Nothing in the Consitution authorizes payments from government for food, clothing, housing or medical bills. The 10th Amendment clearly passes all non-authorized duties to the States or to the people.

    If Mr. Florez is concerned about his neighbor, he can personally assist his neighbor. He can encourage others to assist their neighbors, but he cannot expect government to break the law to assist his neighbors.

    Passing the buck is a favorite pastime for many people who think that government should be our nanny. Americans should be better than that. We pay taxes for the common welfare but we open our own wallets to pay for personal welfare - our personal welfare and our neighbor's personal welfare.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 1:03 a.m.

    We don't actually let those concepts of caring for one another or general welfare get in the way of our own interests first. And we're really good at letting ourselves off the hook for it.