September 12, 2009
[efoods]Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge), Senate Chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health Care and the Special Senate Committee on National Health Reform, says the latest target of anti-government advocates is Senate Bill No. 2028, a pandemic and emergency preparedness plan that gives officials authority to quarantine individuals if necessary:
This summer, vividly and loudly dominating our TV news and print media, America witnessed a raucous display of distrust of our own elected government in the health care town hall meetings. The President and Congress are seeking to expand access to affordable health insurance, and therefore health care, to all Americans. But some of our fellow citizens, skeptical of anything government does, demonized those who tried to explain the proposals before Congress and shouted down explanations rather than engage in a reasonable discussion of the problems and possible solutions.
The anger over health reform efforts by the national government to help Americans expand their right to life, health and happiness has, apparently spilled over to Massachusetts in the form of anger at efforts under discussion in the state government to protect the rights of all citizens during a time of public health emergency. For more than a century, government has had extraordinary powers to respond to an epidemic, and it has generally exercised those powers responsibly. However, legislation aimed at modernizing and refining those powers to preserve individual liberty while protecting everyone from epidemic has been seen by some as more “big brother” government.