Friday, October 16, 2009

Where the Democrats Went Wrong

If It Weren’t for the Mistake of trying to compromise with Republicans before the time was right, the Democrats would not be in the lamentable position that they find themselves in today.

If They Had Simply Started with a Universal Healthcare Plan—such as “Medicare for All”—then at worst case, the Republicans in Congress would have forced a compromise in the form that we’re arguing over today: the so-called “Public Option.”

Instead, the Republicans Were Met Halfway
before the deliberations even began. The Democrats, generously considerate fools as always, started out at the halfway line. And now we’re all stuck with a collection of congressional plans, none of which makes nearly so much sense as the ultimate—universal healthcare—eventually will achieve. Thus, in the short term, we’re most-likely going to end up with a mess.

Can Congress Fix the Mess That It’s About to Make? Of course, it can. This is the United States of America, and making things work is what we do best.

But Sometimes, It Just Takes Time. Slavery and racial integration and universal education and global defense during two world wars—to say nothing of the 44¢ stamped letter (where the private competitors FedEx and UPS charge more than $6.00 and $12.00, respectively, for the same service)—are some stunning examples of what we Americans do when we put our philosophical differences aside and reach for the brass ring.

The Insurance Companies Have Stepped Forward, confessing that they can’t provide healthcare for all Americans while keeping their hundreds of billions of dollars in profits, under the proposed “Baucus Plan.”

It Was Honorable of the  Insurance Industry to step forward and admit this. Now it is up to Congress to get the job done.

Like National Defense, Paid for out of American Taxes, national healthcare can only be managed on a universal basis. Not one of us knows in advance how much healthcare he or she will use in the course of a lifetime. That’s why we all need insurance. That’s also why none of us (except for the very wealthy, such as the CEOs of America’s insurance companies) can possibly set aside enough money to protect the defense or health of ourselves and our families. Only the national government can budget to do this.

The Proper Role of Government is to provide for its citizens what they cannot reasonably provide for themselves. Defense is one such provision. Postal delivery to every address in America is another. Disaster relief. Pensions when the insurance companies fail. Banks and auto industries when those fail. What’s left?

Healthcare Is What's Left. Most of us can’t possibly afford the fullest range of medical care—which often goes into the millions of dollars—on our own. Over the past century or so, the health-insurance industry has shown that it can’t afford to insure our health fully, either. And now this industry has stepped forward to throw in the towel.

That Leaves the Federal Government—of the people, by the people, and for the people. Once universal healthcare is on the budget along with military defense and Social Security and other programs deemed essential to the public welfare—Only then will America begin to behave responsibly in regard to all our national programs.

Only Then Will We Fiscal Conservatives get the kind of control on government spending that is necessary for keeping America great.


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