Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Hard to Be Right
Take Health Care. Now I have nothing against getting people adequate healthcare, my only reservation being how do we pay for it? If you want to see which way socialism leads, take a gander over at Greece and Spain and let me know what you find out. And while I appreciate the moral value of saying insurers can't turn folks away for pre-existing conditions, it makes me worry knowing people will tend to avoid getting insurance until they come down with cancer or something.
That's why the only reasonable Conservative solution always struck me is that you just have to make a law that everyone buys insurance. After all, we can make you buy insurance for your car, why not for your health. If you get sick and go to the hospital, you're sure going to want access to our healthcare infrastructure, so you need to pony up before it happens. Being Conservative, I don't like big government solutions, but if everyone had to buy insurance, they'd still be getting it through the private sector, which is the only system we know of that effectively regulates cost versus benefits. Making people self-insure is the most practical way I know to spread the benefits of healthcare, keep costs low, and have a feasible, sustainable system.
I thought that was the Conservative approach, but Republicans brought suit in the Supreme Court to junk that very idea.
The other thing I thought was bedrock Conservatism was my position on subsidies. "Subsidies bad," I say, voicing a conviction so profound it needs no verb. For one thing, it's immoral on the face of it to confiscate money from one person to benefit a potential competitor. It skews the whole free enterprise system. Anyone will tell you one thing you don't want is a skewed free enterprise system. The idea that subsidies keep prices down, we Conservatives will tell you, is liberal hogwash because the tax you pay for the subsidy is just a disguised part of the price. "There is no free lunch," we say, and we'll just laugh when you roll your eyes at us. But Republicans are blocking a measure to end petroleum subsidies on the basis that - wait for it - it'll make prices go up!
Honest to God, I don't know what happened. Republicans are conservatives - I know this because NPR says they are. And Obama's a liberal, which I know because he's a Democrat and because he wants the government to "invest" in renewable energy. (Doesn't he know what happened with ethanol?) But lately, I've been agreeing more often with Obama and less and less with the Republicans. I thought I was Conservative, but I guess I'm not, so what am I?