April 19th, 2010


my two cents on health care reform

I have a lot of opinions about the social fabric of our country and the politics which goes along with it. For the most part, I find fault and good with both of our two main parties and largely cast my votes for the individual rather than toeing some party line. In terms of the political spectrum, I would say that I'm a firm believer in capitalism and closest to being a Libertarian. I have a fundamental distrust of power and a belief that large government and its inherent bureaucracy is largely inept and inefficient but at the same time I can recognize many of the things which our large government has gotten right. The less that the government is involved in the private lives of its citizens the better, and what consenting adults choose to do with each other is no one else's business so long as it doesn't infringe on the liberties and property of others. But above all else, I'm a pragmatist. I also don't typically choose to use my journal as a platform for these opinions. I'm not a political analyst, specialist, or pundit. My opinions about politics carry no weight in so far as they give some insight to the way I see the world. That said, I'd like to offer my view on the issue of health care reform.

The Libertarian in me bristles immediately at the thought of it. I believe that most issues of public policy and commercial infrastructure are best left to the private sector. Also, when you consider the other government sponsored health institutions and programs (Veterans Affairs, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) and their chronic inefficiency and short-comings, the prospect of a sweeping general health care system doesn't exactly fill me with hope and promise. At the same time, there's something very wrong when the wealthiest nation in the world has a citizenry full of hard working people who have to make a choice between taking themselves and/or their children to the doctor or putting food on the table. Ultimately the pragmatist in me wins, because it's clear that something has to be done, and that for me is the bottom line. I don't know if President Obama's plan for reforming health care in this country is the right one. The way I see it, it doesn't matter if it is or not. What matters is that it's a start. Our government is a constantly evolving entity. The Civil War ended slavery, but it was just a start. We didn't even get close to getting equality for black Americans corrected for another 100 years, and we're still working on it.

And that is ultimately how I view health care reform. We might not get it right coming out of the gate, but that's okay. What's important is that we're taking these first steps.