Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I did something dumb yesterday – I posted something political on Facebook that I had heard in passing and didn't have the source for and couldn't prove was true. I got called on it and retracted. At least I got a little credit for a graceful retraction.

But as the topic was Obamacare, and as I had followed my retraction by reiterating my opinion that Obamacare is not all about insuring the uninsured, I was asked to explain what I think Obamacare is about. And because I opened Pandora's box here and put my foot in my mouth already (how about all those mixed metaphors), I feel like I need to give them an answer now, even though I regret bringing up my opinion at all because it's not a topic I am thoroughly informed on.

So, I'll preface this with the hopefully very clear statement that I am NOT thoroughly informed on this topic, and that this IS just my opinion. But I still think my opinion has some validity.

And I base my opinion on the comments – some of them really nasty – that I got from friends back when Obamacare was first being debated and I voiced my opposition. From the remarks my friends made to me and their insinuations about me, my motives, my attitudes toward poor and rich people, etc. (and remember, these were my friends, people who should have known me better), I surmised that a good number of people believe that the problems in the nation's healthcare system all boil down to greed. There are rich, greedy people running the various parts of the healthcare system who care more about making money than they do about the welfare of the sick in the country – particularly the sick and poor.

And I'm not even going to argue that there isn't an element of truth to that. I don't doubt that greed is a factor. But I will argue, as I did then, that I don't think it's the whole story. I'm not even convinced it's the biggest part of the story. 

More than that, though, my friends seemed to believe that the only solution, or at least the best solution, was to take healthcare out of the hands of greedy, rich people and put it in the hands of the government. And that I disagree with whole-heartedly. First of all, I don't think we have the money to pay for everyone's healthcare. Second, even if we had the money, I don't believe the government can deliver healthcare effectively. And third, even if it could, I think that is a over-reach of what the government should be doing.

And this, I think, is the heart of the difference in my thinking and that of my Obamacare-supporting friends: they trust the government more than they trust business; as for me, I don't trust either of them. But “big business” is at least controlled by the market, to a great degree, and by government regulation where the natural workings of the market aren't enough. However, goverment taking over here will quickly get too big to be controlled well by anything, I fear.

So, what do I think is the “real” purpose behind Obamacare? I don't think it's just to get healthcare to those with no access; there are other ways to do that (although the Republican opponents at the time were quite negligent in bringing out any good alternatives). I think it is to give the government control over a part of the economy that people think is too important to leave to the “neutral” control of natural market forces. And while I understand how people want somebody trustworthy to have that control, I am quite certain the government is not that trustworthy somebody.

I think the whole national conversation might have a chance of getting somewhere if liberals truly understood and acknowledged that conservatives are not trying to support Corrupt Big Business, but are trying to prevent more Corrupt Big Government.  (And they're certainly not trying to oppress the Innocent Poor, either.)

And now I'm bracing myself for the attacks. Be kind, friends. I have a miserable cold still – and you are supposed to be my friends, after all. ;)

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