Two For Thought

Future of Health Care?

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin

Trump could not “make the deal” with Congress. In typical political-diversion form, Trump denied that he promised to repeal Obamacare quickly, though he did throughout his campaign. Then, Trump blamed the Freedom Caucus (and others) on Twitter for preventing the repeal-and-replace bill from passing. Trump didn’t deliver.

In Tweet format, Trump claims now that Obamacare will explode. Is that a good thing? Millions of people need health care and thus a workable system, even if it’s not perfect and has serious flaws. History shows that when systems fundamental to protecting life and liberty explode, revolutions are not far behind. Democratic republics, like the U.S., are designed to prevent these explosions and allow the body politic to choose their destiny.

To-the-right conservatives in Congress believed the repeal-and-replace bill was not worth voting for, knowing Obamacare would stay intact. This will force future efforts to create something better than what was proposed, which in time may prove to be a complete repeal and require better free-market solutions to high health care costs.

There is a silver lining here: America is not ready to be commanded what to do by the president, but rather prefers to be persuaded what to do. This is what liberty is about.

By Joe Carbonari

 Saying no is not enough. We need to find a way to finance the increasing costs of health care without bankrupting the nation, health care providers and insurers, or those in need. The Affordable Care Act was only the beginning, not the end. The need will not go away, and the “lunch” will never be free. We can, however, mitigate and redistribute the costs. Changes will be required.

Covering those who cannot cover themselves involves a transfer of wealth from those who have to those who need. With Obamacare, the costs were shifted disproportionately to middle-income ratepayers. Their choices were limited and their costs increased. This needs to be addressed. It does not mean that those newly covered need to be cast adrift. They should, however, contribute as they can. Yes, the able-bodied should be required to work, and they should be given help in finding and keeping that work.

The lowering of costs is also necessary and desirable, but by itself, it will never pay the bill. The national willpower to do the right thing will need to be invoked. We will not come to that agreement by holding on to ideological positions on the extremes and refusing to cooperate. Solutions so generated will not work.

Moderate, practical politicians must show leadership to counter their partisans’ objections and come toward the center to join the people as a whole. Only by working together do we move forward.