Wanting (and Needing) a Different Kind of Reform

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising, given the presumption of their label, but “progressives” have a tendency to assume that anybody who wants change wants their kind of change — as if there can only be one solution for reaching a given goal. Just about all conservatives, for example, really do desire world peace, but that doesn’t mean they should be counted among those desiring unilateral retreat and disarmament. Most believe that regimes that initiate or foster violence and war must be removed in order for peace to be lasting.
Just so with healthcare. A conundrum that John Kostrzewa cites is not actually a conundrum:

…69 percent of the 200 members of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce who completed the survey in February said health insurance was their biggest concern. That’s up from 63 percent in a similar survey a year ago. …
But [these results] all run counter to national polls that show a clear majority of people is opposed to President Obama’s proposal to overhaul the health-care system by covering more people and eventually cutting costs.

Kostrzewa never quite articulates the factor that resolves the question: It isn’t just that individuals and businesses are generally suspicious of Washington and dislike political squabbling (Americans are more savvy than that); it’s also that we don’t believe that the approach to “reform” that defines Obamacare will improve costs or quality. And that’s a problem on up the tiers of government. The state of Rhode Island could go a long way toward alleviating the healthcare concerns of its citizens were it to lighten regulations and let market forces work.

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13 years ago

I think you make a big mistake when you assume that anyone in the general public (me or you) can know what we want or need over our entire lifetimes and the population of 300 million people.
Therefore, we don’t know the solution.
It IS rocket science to that degree – very complex and not something that can be solved by the man on the street.
Your post could substitute a lot of other things for “health care” and that would show the futility of this approach.
For instance, 90% of car buyers would like a safer car, which was fast, and cost 20% less than current models.
Most Americans would like us to have a space program which went further and cheaper.
It is really silly to assume the local plumber or gas station owner can understand public health, mortality tables, DNA and genetic science and the like.
Once again, you suggest that “market” forces will solve this problem. That requires blinders, since you cannot point to a single country in the world that used the so-called “free and unregulated market” to solve the modern health care problem.
Seems like you are BIG on faith and SMALL on science and reason and logic. That’s all well and good, but you should be smart enough to know it – and if so, you would understand that you don’t make integrated circuits or health care reform from faith.

13 years ago

From listening, reading and watching what goes on around me I’ve seen the health care debate, if you want to call it that, make buffoons out of a lot of people. We, meaning people who participate by commenting on blogs, calling talk shows and writing letters, calling congressmen and senators are the vast minority. Ask most people about Anchor Rising or RIFuture and you will get a blank stare. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to see the health care industry tighten its ship. It doesn’t make them less passionate on the subject. The progressive argument vs the conservative view is virtually non-existent in the real world. Everybody knows somebody who is uninsured, or uninsured themselves. Political philosophies are abstract, and a source of contempt, ridicule and fear when discussing something this huge. I want health care reform. I don’t want President Obama’s health care reform. Does that make me a conservative? I want insurance companies looked at more closely, maybe get to the root of the high medical costs which drive up premiums. Perhaps we should look into why a simple x-ray costs a thousand dollars at an ER and one fifty at a clinic. I guess that makes me a progressive. I’d like to see some price controls, either market driven, but then that leads to deregulation which puts me back in the conservative aisle, or through government mandate, which makes me cross the aisle back toward the progressives. I’m a fireman. Ask me how to put out a fire and I’ll tell you exactly, in all the detail you want how to do it. Doesn’t matter the size of the fire, the materials burning, the number of exposures or casualties. I can tell you. Try to find anybody how to tell you how to insure, or make… Read more »

13 years ago

Micheal, each person is in a different position and therefore sees the situation differently. I assume you get fairly good benefits – so your desire for a change might not be as good as the MANY workers who make $15 an hour, have $5 of it taken out to page for their policy, and still have lousy coverage. I can afford my coverage – now and later – but at the same time that does not make me blind to what is going on around me. As to President Obamas health care – that IS a talking point, since bills are not written or passed by a President. We would probably be better off, in this case, if they were. Laws, as they say, are like sausage – it’s not pretty to see them made. Now, if you asked me “Did micheal really read and understand all the parts of all the bills – or, is he just being ornery because it sounds easy to say you don’t agree with something”…I’d pick the second. The better bill will never happen – and that is because of conservatives. They killed in when Truman suggested it, killed it when Nixon tried and when Clinton tried and they did a good job screwing up the current one so it is not NEARLY as good as it should have been. So, after 50+ years of screwing it up and stealing trillions from all of us, NOW they are telling us they have good ideas…… Sure….tell me more! Listen to the GOP in Congress. Their plan is “incremental” changes, code for doing nothing….while rates escalate at double digits. This has become a national emergency if there ever was one. You don’t like the bill…guess what? I don’t either and there will never be a bill… Read more »

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