Tuesday, March 02, 2010

More on Health Care

Last week I sparked a bit of a debate on Facebook when I said I was proud of my president for the way he acted at the health care summit. My conservative friends got pretty irate in their comments to me. I still feel that way. After thinking about it for a week I came up with this as the true reason:

He finally showed some balls.

He was cordial and he made a true effort at bi-partisanship, but he did not back down on his central premise. It is a premise, by the way, with which I agree: that government and not the market must regulate health care. Non-regulation means that decisons will be made primaily based on a profit motive and not on the best interests of patients. This is unacceptable. Republicans, always weary of any government involvement in anything but the military, adamentaly oppose government regulation of health care. This, not death panals or abortion or even cost, is the real issue because it is fundamental. It is an example of incompatible world views. It is paradigmatic. (indeed, it is the true litmus test of conservativism: if you distrust big government then you are a conservative, it's really that simple).

The obvious response is to ask how can you believe that the government is capable of running the military, the biggest government program in the world, but incapable of running anything else? but I digress.

Our president--my president--held firm. He acknowledged that this was a tripping point but one from which he would not back down. Furthermore, noting that the democrattic plan owuld cover and additional 30 million people but the Republican plan would cover only an additional 3 million, said for the first time that covering everybody was the end goal of reform. I've been waiting for him to say that for a year now!

And the Republicans? Well, when the president offered to include four of their ideas in his revised plan today, they rebuffed him again--showing themselves to be nothing more than nay-sayers, whose only solution is to block wahtever the preisdent does in an effort to make him look bad.

Statemen one and all.


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