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“Let’s Disagree Over Things that are Real.”

So we all don’t agree on health-care, or “Obamacare” as it’s become pejoratively known. That’s fine. But it is too much to ask for those who dissent to do so peaceably and legitimately? Over the past several weeks, my RSS has been barraged with reports of some of the more desperate measures being taken by conservative activists to thwart progress on the health-care front — ranging from Sarah Palin’s ludicrous insinuation of an Obama “death panel” denying coverage to seniors and mentally disabled children, to the “regular Americans” protesting violently at town hall meetings who turned out to be a part of a Republican PR campaign. There have been claims that health-care reform will include abortion funding, kill grandmothers, and place us on a highway to socialism. Some have gone so far as to compare Obama to Hitler.

It’s a shame because there’s potential for some really productive dialogue here, but every half-truth and intentional distortion propagated by those like Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, etc. is a self-inflicted blow to the credibility of the conservative perspective of this discussion (which does in fact have some legitimate points to consider). Their argument that health-care reform needs to be considered more carefully is lent a distinct irony by these decidedly careless statements.

President Obama seemed to clear the air a bit in his town hall meeting in Portsmouth yesterday, in which he seemed specifically intent on fielding questions from skeptics. This is the kind of dialogue we need — legitimate concerns being raised, an acknowledgement of the legitimacy of the concerns, and clear, straightforward answers.

Yes, health-care reform is a weighty proposition with major implications; it should be considered with utmost discretion and thoroughness of consideration. It is for this reason that we should be vigilant in making sure we’re receiving news and commentary from legitimate sources, and keeping any arguments within the realm of reality. As the President said yesterday, “Where we do disagree, let’s disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that’s actually been proposed.”

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4 Responses

  1. Kenny Swanson says:

    Drew,

    Its no secret that I strongly disagree and have a strong dislike for the current President. Not because I am a conservative but because I actually worry about what this will country will be like once he is out of office. The man has already spent more money in his short term in office then President Bush spent. It is estimated that Obama has spent 36 Billion Dollars a day since he has been in office. That is an outrage.

    My concern is where is the money going to come from for “ObamaCare”? There isn’t enough in his crazy stimulus plan to support this and he claims he isn’t going to raise taxes (yeah right). The money has to come from somewhere.

    Also, what gives the government the right to take control of private health insurance companies? Obama clearly said at his little town hall meeting that there will be a cap on what they can charge. That sure doesn’t sound like Capitalism to me so it must be Socialism.

    Capitalism typically refers to an economic and social system in which the means of production (also known as capital) are privately controlled; labor, goods and capital are traded in a market; profits are distributed to owners or invested in new technologies and industries; and wages are paid to labor. This sounds like what is going on now with Health Care.

    Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating state, public or common worker ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with a more egalitarian method of compensation. This sounds like Obama Care.

    Its easy to sit there and think about all the problems we had over the past 8 years (for a partisan President, he is sure quick to point it out) but the road he is leading us down is very dark and scary and paved with a higher national debt than you could have even imagined under President Bush.

    The American people voted him into office for change, and now they are getting what they asked for. I’m just afraid its the wrong kind of change.

    I will continue to pray for our country and its leaders because God knows we need it.

    Note: Definitions for Capitalism & Socialism taken from Wiki. 🙂

  2. Drew says:

    Thanks for your comments, Kenny. I’d like to respond with a few questions, if I may…

    What specific elements of Obama’s proposed health-care plan have led you to believe that it is the same as socialism? What similarities do you perceive between Obama’s plan and historical examples of socialism? What evidence do you see that Obama wants to “take over” private insurance companies, as opposed to simply offering a public option to those who don’t have access to private insurance, which would compete with private providers? If you are opposed to the government providing a health-care option, are you also opposed to other government-funded programs, like public education? Why/why not?

  3. Kim J. says:

    Loved this article about healthcare, which seems to pose questions that should reframe the debate (in my mind): http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2009/03/09/healthcare/

    I’m often surprised how often people laud capitalism without consideration of how capitalism, in it’s truest form, resembles darwinism. Would we want to live in a darwinistic society? I suppose I am hoping that strict capitalists will see the value of compassion and realize that some things, like healthcare, need to be provided to everyone…not because it’s fair, but because it’s right.

    There’s a difference between Laissez-Faire capitalism and Modified Market capitalism. Are either of these two economic systems moral? I think an argument for biblical support of Modified Market capitalism (which would allow for government regulation for the greater good) is easier to frame than the argument for Laissez-Faire capitalism (which would prohibit government caps on charges).

    I, too, am concerned about Obama’s spending. However, I’m (substantially) more concerned about leaving serious issues such as healthcare reform unaddressed.

    • Drew says:

      Great article…and a compelling case that universal health-care doesn’t have to break the back of the nation’s economy (much less the middle class). Looks like we stand to learn a lot from the efficiency of other countries, if our patriotism would allow it.

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