Def­i­ni­tion seems clear

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

The Pream­ble to the Con­sti­tu­tion states: “We the Peo­ple of the United States, in or­der to form a more per­fect union, es­tab­lish jus­tice, in­sure do­mes­tic tran­quil­ity, pro­vide for the com­mon de­fense, pro­mote the gen­eral wel­fare, and se­cure the bless­ings of lib­erty to our­selves and our pos­ter­ity, do or­dain and es­tab­lish this Con­sti­tu­tion for the United States of Amer­ica.”

The 1828 Web­ster’s English Dic­tio­nary has the fol­low­ing def­i­ni­tion: “Wel­fare, n. [well and fare, a good far­ing; G.] 1. Ex­emp­tion from mis­for­tune, sick­ness, calamity or evil; the en­joy­ment of health and the com­mon bless­ings of life; pros­per­ity; hap­pi­ness; ap­plied to per­sons. 2. Ex­emp­tion from any un­usual evil or calamity; the en­joy­ment of peace and pros­per­ity, or the or­di­nary bless­ings of so­ci­ety and civil gov­ern­ment; ap­plied to states.”

This seems to me to sup­port the con­cept that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has a pre­scribed in­ter­est in the health of all cit­i­zens. Clean air, wa­ter, other fac­tors of daily life and pro­vid­ing qual­ity med­i­cal care are all a part of “pro­mote the gen­eral wel­fare.”

The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., ar­gu­ing if health care is a gov­ern­ment func­tion or not, ap­pears to me to be clear if you read the Pream­ble in light of the times it was writ­ten and the words used.

BILL OWENS Lit­tle Rock

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