Monday, October 19, 2009

Base Paranoia

Cheers everybody! It's been yonks. Of course I have had opinions unlimited on the healthcare debate, most of which I cannot now recall. But today's Ross Douthat editorial yanked me out of my haze:
It’s the eventual endgame that liberals pushing a “public option” are aiming for: a federal takeover of the health-insurance sector, paid for by rising tax rates, in which the government guarantees universal access while using its monopoly power to hold down costs.
Let's leave aside, for a moment, the fact that the 'radical solution' that Mr. Douthat propounds is nearly identical to the one that I have been touting for years. I want to point out that the rhetoric he employs above indicates why it it is all but impossible to have a coherent discussion about healthcare these days.

Look: at the 'liberals' 'pushing' 'a federal takeover' with 'rising tax rates' to create 'monopoly power.' For Mr. Douthat, and thousands like him, there is no middle ground. Democracy is not a debate; it's a death struggle between opposing forces of freedom and totalitarianism. Any 'solution' is necessarily 'radical' because it involves the total defeat of one extremist point of view or another.

Granted, there are many progressives out there who think that universal single-payer healthcare is the way to go. On alternate Thursdays, I'm one of them. That doesn't mean that I'm incapable of 1) compromise, 2) seeing other points of view; or 3) seeking out alternate solutions which might be a creative hybrid of existing systems. It is perfectly possible to support a public option without simultaneously sending lawyers, guns and money to the secret Communist Liberation Army that is waiting outside the gates of every U.S. hospital.

Let me remind Mr. Douthat, as well as a few of my 'conservative' friends, of one thing--last time I checked, THIS IS STILL A DEMOCRACY. No 'liberal' is going to 'push' a radical solution down the throats of hundreds of thousands of entrenched and well-heeled interests without a great deal of trouble. The term 'public option' includes the term 'option' for a REASON. IT'S ONE OPTION. AMONG MANY.


Chris Rywalt said...

I am so happy to see you're back!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Pretty Lady is back! And she has the Prettiest Baby ever!


Anonymous said... are back....welcome. You have been on my mind a lot ( and J & O ).

And of course.....isn't Public school a Public option which has not caused the disappearance of Private educational institutions. Whether they be Harvard or private Pre-K.
Public option seem sto work.