Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Republicans and Health Care

WHY are the Republicans suddenly so concerned about health care?

What I find interesting is that in light of the Democrats' effort to extend health care to all Americans, the Republicans are suddenly paying attention. It seems they're concerned about how we can get insurance to the significant percentage of Americans who have none without bankrupting the country, destroying the insurance industry, and careening towards 'soft' socialism and ever more governmental intrusion into everyday life.

And, mind you, it seems like they have some good ideas. Surely there must be a way to help the uninsured. Surely, in a society like ours, where health care is sophisticated and expensive, there must be a way for that society to care for those without means. And even more surely, the plans that the Democrats are forwarding are about as creative as the Great Society. (Read: 'Every problem is a Crisis, and the solution to every Crisis involves the Federal Government and your tax dollars.')

I would argue that, as is frequently the case, the Republicans have more practical and workable ideas than the Democrats do.

My beef is this: If Republicans cared so much about health care and the uninsured, why didn't they do something about it when they had the White House and both houses of Congress? (For YEARS!) Why are they waiting until the Democrats are in power and in a position to impose ever more government on the American people?

Here's my theory: The big problem with conservatives in general and Republicans in particular is that they are blind to the plight of those genuinely in need. They lump them in with the freeloaders who prey on peoples' compassion and pull the 'personal responsibility' card. This creates a vacuum that liberals eagerly fill. Liberals who tend to really care about the poor, but have ridiculous, abysmal, ideologically driven "solutions" for the problems.

Memo to the Republican Party:

Start caring.

Use your practical, workable market-based solutions to solve problems for people in need instead of reacting to what the Democrats do. Stop being blind to the plight of the poor and who knows? You might win some elections. And maybe even save us from the government in the process.

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Blogger ChrisB said...

While I don't think you're totally off base, you can make an argument that they were a bit distracted for those six years when they had power -- the first four with wars and the last two with pork.

September 17, 2009 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

this blog post made me think of this idea I have been pondering....I associate wealth with the republican party...More than likely, if you have money you are leaning towards hanging out with the hands off no big government tendencies of the Republican party. Having money affords (haha, thats a pun) you a certain security and creates a feeling of self sufficiency which results in a less of a felt need for many things (government intervention, aid, Religion, Jesus?. I recently pondered if this was the true meaning of Jesus saying it was harder for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Its not that being rich is a sin, but the money keeps you from realizing a true and desperate need for Christ and his won salvation on the cross. That being understood, perhaps the money historically found in the Republican party keeps them from caring as deeply or immediately or truly as the newer money and lack there of in the liberal party.

September 29, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Hey, Sarah

I think the principle you are articulating is right on: Privilege blinds. Privilege of any kind tends to insulate a person from certain realities, and those blind spots need to be called out. If you look at the comment thread for this post over on Facebook, we brought that out a little.

I must disagree with you, however, on which party is more moneyed. Have you seen the salaries and/or incomes of top Democratic politicians and pundits and supporters? Not to mention the Hollywood elite that are big boosters of Democrat politics and ideology... There is a LOT of money in the Democratic party.

While I agree that Democrats tend to be tuned in more to social problems, I don't think that it's related to their relative wealth or lack thereof.

September 30, 2009 at 1:11 PM  

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