Much of the current debate about the reform or deconstruction of our health care system really avoids the fundamentals of the dispute. Heck, everyone agrees we should get our costs down and that it would be a good thing for those without insurance to have it available to them and that pre conditions are extremely burdensome to those with them. Its the devil in the details and the examination of those details that really gets to the issue of ideology which is the true divide on the question before the house. On the one side we have those who have tremendous faith in the government and believe it is our benefactor and should be there for us for all essential needs in our lives. They trust the government, they want the government actively involved in all aspects of everyday life. To them is is only logical that the government should be in charge of such an important matter as health care. On the other hand we have those who have a viscereal distrust of the government and believe in is intrusive into and disruptive of our lives. They are the ones who like having lots of choices and are adverse to surrendering any aspect of freedom and individual choice to the mandate of government.
That divide is the core of the disagreements about health care. Everything else is detail and eyewash. The trusters like government to employ lots and lots of people and espouse an alleged concern for all the little people and I think they are sincere in their belief that they think they know best for those little folks. They might even be right about that. Being right about people not being able to do for themselves and not always making good decisions however doesn’t satisfy those who are leery of government. Those distrusters would proffer that we are all better off even if some of us do make bad decisions as long as we have the weight of the consequences bearing down on our shoulders. The trusters don’t want anyone to make a bad decision; they make it for them up front. I suppose the trusters view those that don’t trust as selfish. They would think they are only looking out for themselves. To some extent they would be right about that; it is the Ayn Rand thing about rugged individualists and believing we can do it better and best for ourselves. But the distrusters don’t view it as a zero sum game like the trusters do. The trusters think that if I get something good in my life like a great wage that it must have come at the expense of those lower on the socio-economic scale. I don’t adhere to that view at all. My gain doesn’t have to be someone else’s loss. Indeed, to the contrary my good fortune, if I have any, will redound to the benefit of others. If one makes a lot of money that money will be spent, invested or saved. In any of those instances it will be working for the benefit of others. Those expenditures create jobs, profits for someone else. Those investments will help a company grow and create jobs and profits and even the money saved will be loaned out to others by my bank to set up a new business and allow another a chance to prosper.
I trust in my God. I trust my neighbor. I trust my family. I trust my military and heck I even trust the FAA flight controllers to get me to the ground safely. I used to trust the Fed but have become very leery of it lately as it has become too close to the current administration. I don’t trust the federal government to run the schools or welfare programs as well as the States. I don’t trust the federal politicians to spend my money wisely. I have no faith in GM run by the government or Fannie or Freddie to properly run a mortgage business as well as private bankers who know their customers. I sure don’t trust the IRS and have a track record of their laziness and incompentence to support that distrust. The post office can’t even forward mail when you change addresses in a timely manner, if at all.
Many would like to see changes in our medical costs. The actual medical treatment we receive is the best in the world. I hate to see the innovation and new techniques and drugs come under the umbrella of government control; whether that control is direct bureaucratic edicts or through the taxation of the companies such that they are encouraged or discouraged to engage in certain research. There is no problem with some new laws that gives incentives and greater control to the US consumer in making medical choices but I cringe at the thought of government intervention. The current proposals will open the floodgates for greater government control of all medical decisions. Once the “public option” is in place there will be no turning back. Many of us don’t trust the government with our health. The various government agencies and departments already in existence have done nothing to foster a belief that they will handle our health issues competently and efficiently. The same people who man Social Security offices will be the types running the health care system. Oh, sure there will be advisory boards and such with doctors and representatives from pharmaceuticals and hospitals but the real day to day business will not be run by them. The actual decisions made that affect your health and loves ones will be made by those anonymous clerks and bureaucrats hiding behind those phone menus that you can never navigate and if you do you have to wait for hours.
The ultimate resolution of the debate will come down to who we trust the most, ourselves or the government. I bet on the American people, not the Federal government. With all our foibles and faults, we can still sort it out and figure it out if the government will stay out of the way.
You are encouraged to learn as much as you can about the current proposals. Don’t depend on the pundits. Read the specifics and I think you will see that the government does mandate and dictate what your medical treatment and insurance will be. Because those in favor of the public option are the ones who totally trust the government they will do everything they can to obfuscate the terms and twist the words. Look at them for yourself. If after investigation you don’t think the government is taking over our health care then go for it, but if you believe your choices and freedoms will be subsumed by the mandates in the proposal then oppose it and let your voice be heard. http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com