Revisiting the healthcare debate
by Ross Reily
Published: August 24,2009
Last week, I wrote a column about the unruly nature of the national healthcare debate.
My point as stated, “I suspect most of the people, for or against the current proposals, would like to have an honest exchange with policy makers from their hometown.”
That prompted one reader to e-mail, asking, “Read your commentary on healthcare in this week’s issue. Just curious, what, exactly, is your position on this issue?”
I re-stated my point, saying I want to hear both sides of the issue. There are good points on either side of the debate, and I would like to hear a thoughtful discourse about the matter.
In my opinion, that is not happening.
I think it is a much more complicated issue than good versus evil, which is what I see the debate, on both sides, coming down to.
“Predictable!” was the rebut.
“I must say that the inference in your printed opinion was that you were against the protestors that oppose the legislation,” he said.
“I guess I’m one of those. I’ve read a good bit of HR-3200. I’m for health reform; I’m not for government taking more control of the economy or my life and I’m definitely not for the deficit spending this bill would entail.”
He went on to say from a business perspective, requiring employers to pick up the premium tab for 72 percent of individual and 65 percent of family coverage pertaining to their employees is deadly.
“You don’t hear anything about this in the debates, and small business doesn’t seem to have a seat at the table. It would seem that as your customer base is comprised of those who would be hurt the most by this legislation, you would take a stand on their behalf.”
This debate is interesting on multiple levels.
First, most people say they are for health reform, but on their terms.
Second, many say they don’t want any more interference from the government in their lives, yet we don’t want everyday folks or businesses to pick up the tab for healthcare.
Unless we stick with the healthcare system we have now or flop completely on the other side to a single-payer system, there is going to be have to be some compromise and give and take.
Again, this is a complicated issue, and what we need are clear heads, thoughtful questions and even more thoughtful answers.
Rhetoric on either side is not going solve anything.
What am I for?
I am for a healthcare system that is inclusive of everyone and is going to take care of my family when the time comes that my family needs healthcare.
I have a suspicion, in the end, that is what most people want.
As we know, the devil is in the details, but let’s not make devils out of the people who are trying to give us what we want.
But red-faced screaming, verbal assaults, threats and intimidation have really never accomplished much anything positive, let alone a new healthcare policy.
Contact MBJ Managing Editor Ross Reily at firstname.lastname@example.org or (601) 364-1018.
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