This isn't a joke. In 1798, John Adams signed into law a payroll tax on privately employed seaman to cover their health care which was to be provided in government hospitals. An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen was also supported by Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.
Rick Ungar writes in Forbes:
There are those who will continue to argue that these indications of how the founders viewed these issues in their own time do not necessarily resolve the issue as to how we may, Constitutionally speaking, proceed with reforming the health care system of today.
They may well be right.
But, at the least, can we not agree that the mounting evidence as to how men like Jefferson and Adams perceived the issue should bar the attempt to pin the objections to health care reform on the backs of the nation’s founders?
Or, notwithstanding claims to the contrary from the History Department at Glenn Beck University, can we at least agree that the founders were real human beings and stop treating them like hand puppets?