Over at Coffee Milk Conservative, One Ticked Chick has a Winston Churchill quote at the bottom of her page, and I believe it to be rather sage (that’s why I stole it and added it to my own page; hope you don’t mind, Chick, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all). Reading that quote prompted me to do a bit of web surfing for more Churchill bits o’ wisdom, and I found this one:
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. – Winston Churchill
I have to say that this pretty much sums up, for me anyway, what is happening in this country with regard to the healthcare “debate” (“brawl” is probably more apt, given the fingers that have been lost. Okay, it was one finger, but still . . . .). I honestly don’t believe that race has anything at all to do with whether or not one supports government-run healthcare, despite what Jimmy Carter and Bill Cosby have said (it’s hard to take a man who sees UFO’s and gets attacked by bunnies seriously, and Cosby . . . well, he’s old-school, like Skippy Gates, so he can be excused for being dead wrong on this one.). BO got elected, and that would have been impossible without his pulling a huge white vote. Many of whom, including some black people who voted for him, have since regretted that decision, but not because he’s black–or they wouldn’t have put him in office in the first place.
Another side of this race charge is the one that Reverend Wright tossed over his shoulder at an airport, that conservatives are racist not because they don’t support BO but because they don’t want “poor people” helped, the implication being (as this is Rev. Wright after all) that there are more poor black people than there are poor white people. But that is not true. According to the U. S. census there are more than eight times as many white people living in poverty in this country as black people and more white people living in poverty than all other races combined (Asian, Hispanic, and black–the only races covered in the census). The only thing that’s coming out of this race baiting is that people are getting aggravated that they can’t disagree with this administration without being draped in white sheets and pointy white hoods. If anything is going to block future black presidential candidates it will be this race baiting to silence opposition, not his (or her) race.
Back to my point. I think that the primary problem with the government option is that it’s too much government control for conservatives and many moderates and that it will cost far too much money. And it also is not a logical solution to the proposed problem. BO tells us that the problem is that 30 million (he’s backed off from the 45 million because that was a lie, as I and others have pointed out) people do not have health insurance and that healthcare costs are skyrocketing and unsustainable. Both true. Both sides agree on this point. The question isn’t should we have reform, but what form that reform should take. Do we find a way to preserve the unequal sharing of blessings or do we all share equally in miseries?
Republicans and moderates tend to shy away from big government and from buying the world a home and furnishing it with love. Love does not make good furniture. Sure, corporate greed is an annoying side effect of the free market and capitalism, but so, too, are the far less annoying side effects of the potential for individual success, scientific innovation, and a chance for a decent, even good, quality of life. “Corporate greed” is what we have when big business gets out of hand, but government greed is the exact same thing. Why do you think BO won’t consider (seriously consider) tort reform? Because he knows that trial lawyers are among the largest contributors to democratic campaigns. They do this because they can then control policy and protect their massive incomes from enormous malpractice settlements (lawyers typically get 40% plus court costs and other fees for cases that go to court, so why on earth would they want to cap “emotional and psychological trauma” awards that so often run into the multi-millions?). And yes, the same is true of the corporations and big business that control republicans. It sucks, but that’s our system. One we need to fix, no doubt, but turning over 1/6 of our total economy to the government, which we all know is run by special interests like big pharma and trial lawyers, will not improve it, it will make it worse.
Give me freedom and the American Dream over bread lines and being denied care because I’m over 55 (well, when I get there) and can’t be expected to contribute much more to society or to the government coffers. Give me choice, real choice between something other than going to jail and getting government healthcare. Give me opportunity and a real chance to pursue happiness in whatever way I define that (don’t worry, it’s legal! It actually involves buying lots of expensive shoes, but we all have our vices.).
This idea of a government takeover of the healthcare industry in order to cover 30 million (or far fewer) people is nuts. The only way to cover them via a government option is to put us all on the same system (except Congress and the White House, they are too good for it and are exempted anyway). That’s just basic common sense. Despite what fantasyland hopeandchange man says, you cannot provide for every American citizen comprehensive care with no rationing and complete choice left in the hands of the doctors and patients. That can’t be done. And it certainly can’t be done for free. Again, basic common sense here. What he is really proposing is that the only way to cover those 30ish million people is to pull us all into the same government-run system (this means that it will be impossibly inefficient–been to the DMV lately?, grossly expensive, and fraught with “waste and abuse” as are all the other government-run programs–according to BO himself, no less.). He wants us all (not him, though!) to share the misery, as Churchill might say.
Think about it. Let’s say you have 355 people on a cruise ship. They’re all laughing and dancing and feasting on mutton and mead. These are happy people who are enjoying good music and weird medieval food and drink. Suddenly, someone spots 30 people bobbing out in the water, shivering and cold (and wet, obviously, because they’re in the water). They’re there, treading water, trying desperately not to drown. What do you do? Do you tell all 355 people to abandon ship and jump overboard, each holding an extra life-vest for each of the 30 people in the water, because that’s “only fair” and “neighborly”? Or do you find a way to bring these 30 people onto the ship?
It’s a no-brainer to me.