Monday, February 22, 2010

Health Care: Too Important to Rush

Why are the Democrats determined to ram through a health care package, regardless of the fiscal impact on anyone who makes a decent wage?

One answer: Do it now before the conservative backlash leads to a loss of influence and seats in November.

Second - and more nefarious - answer: Do it now before the economy rebounds and people have other things on their mind. Create a dependent class that will vote for you in perpetuity.

Third answer: Health care is a moral imperative and now is the time.

I wish answer # 3 was the driver - then real dialogue and a better way forward can be mapped out. Thoughtful Democrats and Republicans want people to have medical coverage that is reasonable. The problems stem from how it is administrated; in other words, where the money goes.

The Democrats have offered nothing on legal liability (tort) reform to protect doctors. The Republicans need to rise to Obama's bullying and offer a comprehensive, decentralized and ethical set of ideas that hold private enterprise accountable while avoiding a federal system.

The arrogance of the current administration eclipses anything in US history, save FDR's attempts to circumvent the Constitution and pack the Supreme Court.

Republicans are equally to blame for failing to curb spending since 1980 and failing to hold business accountable for their over-speculation. While collar felons need to experience the same prison conditions as pot dealers on the street.

This morning's headlines made me shudder. The "in your face" attitude of those in power in contrary to everything we were promised in November 2008.

The people in power today were educated and mentored in the post-Vietnam deconstructionism, revisionism and neo-Marxism of the 1970s. They really despise traditional values, make back room deals with certain capitalists, and consider themselves smarter than Joe the Plumber and anyone else in flyover country. They despise the Tea Party movements (using their own "AstroTurf" pejorative) while failing to listen deeply to the concerns underneath the slogans. They insult Governor Palin mercilessly while ignoring Obama's refusal to have a real press conference for over seven months. They think they can rewrite the moral order, redefine the family and re-educate students to be global citizens. Unfortunately, most of these folks failed Econ 101.

Some conservatives have not helped things with reactionary histrionics and timeworn cliches. We can reduce some military spending. We can assimilate immigrants judiciously. We can affirm the traditional family while creating space for other domestic arrangements. We can unleash wealth creation that has the community and environment in mind. It is time to stop reacting and start offering real solutions that provide real jobs.

Health care reform is needed. But it is too important to rush. My only hope is that it can be overturned by a wiser Congress after the 2010 or 2012 elections. Read the details - most of the provisions kick in gradually and many after 2013. The presumption of power is frightening and should be a cause of concern to all thoughtful people.