On our way to the public library this evening with my family, we passed by a very peaceful demonstration of approx 30 people in downtown Leesburg. I noticed the signs for “Support Public Option” (or something very similar). As I passed by the group and turned north on 15, I adamantly shook my head in disagreement. That’s when I saw the other signs (most likely the opposite side of the sign I first saw), “Health Care for All”. So, by expressing my disagreement with the public option, I am also displaying by my opinion AGAINST Health care for all?
These two are obviously not synonymous; the public option has to do with insurance not the providing of health care. No one ever states that anyone (with cash or without) can get health care from almost any emergency room across the country. Regardless, the goal seems to be to link the Public Option with an emotion triggering idea such as “Health care for all.” Anyone who opposes the public option surely opposes health care for all, right? Ummm….not really.
It’s the same emotional carrot that is dangled in front of the public when politicians/activists promote higher funding for educational programs; it’s FOR THE KIDS, you hate monger! Sure does generate an emotional response. I don’t want to be thought of as an uncaring unenlightened schnob that thinks that if you can’t pay for health care, then tough titties. Who does? And that’s the bitch of it. It allows the debate to never talk about the basic fundamentals for each argument.
In one corner, we have a group that believes that the government is the solution. Government control is best; government knows best. Through the government’s intervention, we can provide everyone healthcare. Popular thoughts: “Why doesn’t the other side care about the folks who are hurting and struggling; we’re a rich country so we should do something. If it meant health care for all, I would pay more taxes.” The rub: By providing everyone healthcare, the only way to reduce cost (to even sustain this coverage) is to limit access.
In the other corner, we have a group that believes in limited Government. The Government has its place for regulation and removing barriers to competition (if they actually do this, seems rare now a days doesn’t it?). It’s only through competition that you can lower costs. Besides if there more completion, there’s more options and more choices. Popular thoughts: “If the other side is so willing to pay higher taxes to provide health care for all, how many people’s health care are they currently paying for (my guess is zero)? If I feel that I have a case against my insurance company, I can bring them to court. I can’t bring my government to court if I suspect wrong doing, unethical behavior or otherwise. How can a private company compete with the government? Why doesn’t the government allow insurance companies to compete against each other across state lines?” The rub: It’s easy to give power to government and it’s hard to give people responsibility for their own well being.
Since these fundamentals do not readily fit on a sign that any person can hold on the corner of a street or in a town hall meeting, I guess we will never get down to brass tacks.