Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obama on Health Care

On health care he hit it out of the park; tore the cover off the ball. Actually, I know he’s talking about universal health insurance and not the universal health care which I would prefer, so it’s less than ideal. But I will cheerfully take what he’s offering, and he took out a big hammer, whacked Congress over the head with it and said, “Wake up.”

Actually there are three separate arguments to be used in making the case for national health care, and he used the strongest one.

The first is that every person is entitled to health care. It’s a moral argument, and the problem with it is that is isn’t really discussible. One either believes it or one does not; there are no logical arguments for it one way or the other. I, surprisingly to some of my friends, do not subscribe to this position although I have no argument with those who do. I believe that it is a supportable position, I don’t happen to hold it, and I don’t disagree with you if you do.

The second argument is that if we are to hold to our claim of being a great nation then we must provide health care, among other things, to those who cannot provide it for themselves. This too is a moral argument that is without logical discussability; something that one either believes or one does not. This is a position that I hold with some degree of passion, so if you hold the first one the you and I are singing from the same hymn book, even if not on the exact same page.

The third argument is that we as a nation economically cannot afford not to do it, and President Obama made that case in a concise and convincing manner. There in an economic case to be made against as well, of course, and I’ll leave that in-depth discussion to others more knowledgeable than I. Obama presented clear and, to me, convincing economic arguments in favor and said clearly that this is where we should have the discussion. He took the discussion out of the hands of “the moral majority” types and made it an economic one. He made it a subject that can be argued in the intellect rather than in terms of unarguable moral beliefs.

That’s the home run part, “This is where we should have the discussion.”

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