March 26, 2009 8:25AM

Sen. Hatch Does Not Owe His Friend My Freedom

Here’s one idea that needs to be put down right now: that we should enact health care reform as a tribute to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D‑MA), who has terminal brain cancer.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R‑UT) was recently quoted:

I would like to do [health care reform] as a legacy issue for [Kennedy], if I can — this would mean a lot to him.

I mean no disrespect to Sen. Kennedy. Aside from those who have actually given their own lives for this country, few have given as much as he has. I wish him peace, and a miraculous recovery.

My problem is with the choice of tribute. The health care reforms that Congress is cobbling together would dramatically reduce each American’s freedom to control her income, run a business, and make her own health care decisions.

The United States of America is a republic. We do not make tributes of our citizens or their rights to the aristocracy. Sen. Hatch does not owe his friend my freedom.