Peter Risatti: The paradox of freedom



Have you read or heard the statement, "Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured, but not everyone must prove they are citizens?" Our government has forced many of its citizens to exchange their health care for a version of health care alleged to help the people that were uninsured. For compliance in Massachusetts our penalties or fines are levied on people filing income tax. We need to file income taxes in order to be fined for not having health care, as I understand it.

If we are working "Under-the-table" without tax consequences what difference does this make? It doesn’t. Without visible income we are considered indigent and entitled to all benefits afforded that classification. The taxpayers will fund their health expense. If the levied fine for uninsured is equal to, or less than the insurance premium, is it functional? No. I’m healthy, but if I get sick I cannot be refused insurance for preexisting conditions. If I am young and healthy this certainly discourages me from getting insurance before I am sick. If private insurance companies cannot insure us normally then the coverage gained will have loaded deductibles. It will be handled under a pool of significant illnesses that go beyond simple disorders. There will be millions of healthy people that must insure to compensate for catastrophic conditions to balance what probably cannot be balanced.

It is improbable the government mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can be delivered. Small businesses may have to discriminate in hiring based on health needs. Mandated insurance provided for everyone, including preexisting conditions, created a dilemma. Without a balance of premiums charged and patient needs compensated the insurance companies cannot prosper. There is little reason to be in business without profit.

The previous health system in place was in need of restructuring. As a result of the ACA our freedom of choice is compromised. We assign government to pick up where insurance companies fail, subsidizing premiums. We place government in a precarious position. Is this why we have a Congress that is upside down, trying to deliver what it cannot? We provide an insurance to the majority that is marginal with sky rocketing co-payments and diminishing benefits for the people that pay premiums.


Freedom is a state of security for citizens to pursue happiness. This is not a difficult concept; we call it human rights, "Commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Happiness should not be gained at the expense of another citizen’s physical pain or submission of property that is taken from them. In this case the pain is enduring loss of adequate health care removed by a government.

They started with 30 million residents not having health insurance. There were no estimates as to the number of non-citizens. The health care provided was by way of hospital emergency room visits. The reasons for previously uninsured were unaffordable premiums, preexisting conditions, or plainly, insurance was not wanted. With recent subscriptions to affordable health care the emergency room visits by uninsured have not declined. Is anyone asking why?

We are asked to sacrifice a great deal so that process corruption can prosper. What part do our lawmakers play in this compliance? A great deal, if they collude with partisan groups that border on absurdity. They compromise the freedoms of the people that work and pay.

Somehow, our compassion for the needy has become a means for anyone of a needy mind set to exploit the system. If the government wants to expand coverage to non-citizens and non-taxpayers it needs to establish and fund a clinical system to rival the hospital emergency room. Maybe a solution is in the original idea of clinics, the same as the Peace Corps does in foreign countries. They could actually help more foreigners right here in the United States. We would at least know how the money is spent. Now, we do not. Now, there is a thought for today!

Peter Risatti, a retired military and police officer, lives in Tyringham.


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