Readers write in to debate the individual mandate in the new health-care law and share thanks for 'gifted and talented' programs in schools.
Not often do I feel deep disagreement with The Monitor's View, but this is the case with the Aug. 29 editorial, "Health mandate – or choice?"
Health care is not a commodity. It is a necessity and benefits everyone. People do not choose to have car wrecks, house fires, cancer, heart disease, pregnancy complications, or sick children.
We require everyone who drives a car to purchase accident insurance, and mortgage lenders require insurance on structures. We require families to provide education for their children to a certain age, and we require hospitals to treat anyone and everyone who appears at their doors in need of medical treatment.
There are costs associated with health care, and in order for the United States to meet society's need, everyone is going to have to share in that cost.
The idea of "choice" works for those who can afford what we have now. But what about those who need and want health care and cannot afford it?
Are government mandates really new? Isn't the Social Security Retirement Program already an economic mandate? Doesn't this program force workers to partially pay into it, even though many of the participants will not even realize their retirement benefits because they die before they can receive them? If we were to allow individuals to opt out of health care, shouldn't we have to allow workers to opt out of Social Security?