The second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The result of those words was our Bill of Rights.

In his 1944 State of the Union Address, President Franklin Roosevelt described a second “economic” bill of rights that he felt was needed to ensure the pursuit of happiness. That Bill of Rights included employment, housing, medical care, Social Security and education.

In the U.S. today, the pursuit of happiness and medical care are intrinsically related due to our high health care costs, as well as the cost of insurance. Medical bankruptcies and millions of uninsured deny the pursuit of happiness to many of our citizens.

Nothing our Republican Congress has proposed and attempted will do anything to ameliorate the problem. Perhaps it is time to address the shortcomings of the ACA or to revive an earlier Bennett-Wyden health care bill that called for a single-payer system. Then we could join the ranks of the rest of the industrialized world.

Kermit Heid

Salt Lake City