Are Conservative Republicans and Liberal Democrats adversaries or do we just favor different solutions? Since I am a Conservative, I tend to think that Liberal Democrats have some awful ideas, but I don’t fault their intentions, just their ill-considered ideas. I don’t think they have thought through what they propose.
What is the problem? When we spend other people’s money, we tend to act like the supply is unlimited. So even with the intentions, we can create unanticipated problems.
What has been the big issue here of late? Well, when they had a big majority in Congress, Democrats passed Obamacare. Most Conservatives thought it obvious that that system would not work, but they figured Democrats were setting the stage for a single payer system. How would a single payer system work? Certainly, there are Democrats advocating a single payer system, and if Democrats win the House and Senate they will fight for Obamacare and try to turn it into a single payer system.
Have Liberal Democrats thought through what they want? Here are some of my questions.
- How would government price healthcare in a single payer system? When we have market-based solution for healthcare, providers set their prices, and consumers shop for the best prices.
- Who gets care first? When we have a market-based solution, consumers and providers work out this problem. When we need emergency care, we pay more. When we need urgent care, we pay more, or we visit less expensive facilities.
- What about other spending priorities? Where do healthcare priorities fit in compared to roads, schools, the military, law enforcement, and so forth? The more the government does, the more control the government has over us. When we have government-run healthcare, instead of deciding our own spending priorities, government decides how much money we will allocate to healthcare.
- When have we spent enough on health care? Do we want politicians deciding that? When is it time to give up? When we can spend our own money, we can decide when we want to give up trying to get well. Even when we run out our own money, we can ask for charity. When someone else controls our health care, we are stuck with their choice.
- The private enterprise model (which includes non-profits) is not great, but would the single payer model actually be better? Would a single payer system just produce a different set of problems, some of them much worse? Or would a single payer system be better?
- How can we improve the current system without fundamentally transforming it? Could the current system be made to work better than a single payer system? How?
- When we keep giving it more and more power, how do we keep the people who run our government from abusing the power we give them? Would a single payer system violate the Constitution? How do we decide that? Do we leave it up to the Supreme Court to decide, or do we read the Constitution and pressure our leaders to abide by that document, one they swear an oath to obey?
Everyone is looking for solutions for our health care problems, just different solutions. That’s true even of Conservative Republicans, but the news media does not usually paints a pretty picture of Conservatives. On the other hand, Conservatives think Liberal Democrats ridiculously stubborn. When Socialism has never worked, Conservatives wonder what makes Democrats believe single payer (or socialized medicine) will work. Just because politicians make promises and ask for power we are supposed to believe them and give them the power they ask for?
Anyway, we don’t have to be adversaries. Conservatives can listen and take Liberal Democrats seriously. Liberal Democrats also owe Conservative Republicans the same respect. Everyone is looking for solutions for our health care problems, just different solutions.