Felicia Muftic – just what freedoms are we losing?
April 13, 2010
I hear conservatives talk about losing their freedoms thanks to this new health law. I do not get it, so I asked a conservative friend of mine to list for me what freedoms he is losing. His answer:
“Unfortunately, it’ll be a few more years to see how this legislation impacts the country’s debt and how much it will cost us in increased taxes (some visible, some hidden) and more control of the government in our everyday lives. We’ll also have to see if it passes constitutional scrutiny.
“Little by little this creeping socialism will permeate every aspect of our lives.
“It would be wise to start looking into the beliefs and background of those who would lead the country down this path. Alinsky, Ayers and Wright have had a profound influence on the people in power. To ignore this fact would be serious mistake. We do so at our own peril.”
Fears of Ayers/Alinsky/ Wright reveal so much about what inspires the opposition to the health care reform law. Alinsky,Ayers and Wright were born of the anger of the 1960s and reaction to extreme inequalities affecting the mostly minority urban poor. Our nation’s racial tensions are diminished but exist.
President Obama comes from another generation that has moved on. Like all of us, he is shaped by the experiences of his life. He has a perspective of both white middle class struggles and, yes, in his later life, of urban poverty.
But health care reform is not an Alinsky/Ayers/White urban minority poverty issue. Medicaid has already provided care for the very urban poor. Obama’s emotional driver of health care is more likely shaped by a mother dying of cancer as she tried to deal with medical bills. He understands those struggles of the middle class. Health care reform is a middle class problem fixer for all races.
Our societal needs have changed since the American Revolution, when medical self sufficiency was possible. Expensive, advanced medical procedures did not exist then; a rural economy was not yet impacted by the industrial revolution; and the population was homogeneous except for the slaves. If would be unrealistic to return to those times. However, a beauty of our political system is that within its frame, even unforeseen stresses of societal changes can be addressed.
My view of the role of government to deal with these stresses differs, no doubt, from reform opponents’ philosophies. One of the charges of our constitution is to look after the general welfare of our nation. Government has a role to play if the private, non-governmental sector fails to provide for the general welfare, as has happened with our current health care system.
I do not see how my freedoms have been damaged. In fact, I am now free from worrying how my middle-aged children with pre-existing conditions can get insurance if they lose their jobs. Taxes will not increase for couples with annual incomes below $250,000. Individual mandate penalties are unenforceable. Medicare benefits are untouched. No one is telling my doctor how to treat me.
I share fears about future costs. I fear those who want health care benefits available to them or who think they will never get sick, but who want the right to avoid paying premiums, and the insurance companies and providers who will game the system.
If costs get out of hand, I can foresee pressure to remove anti-trust exemptions insurance companies have enjoyed and to give them stiff competition that a public option would provide. Constituents will not support repeal of the law’s popular consumer protections. CBO cost estimate scores will doom restoration of the expense to everyone for inefficient charity care. Why would we want to replace reforms with a system that allows insurance companies to avoid serving those who need insurance and to pass on to everyone else unchallenged inflated administrative costs? .Been there, done that.
– For more on health care reform, see http://www.mufticforum.com
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