I posted the following piece (minus a few edits) on Facebook in 2012. Facebook reminded me of it today. It seems I was ahead of my time 10 years ago — or at least foreshadowing this web site.
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There are lots of things about Affordable Care to dislike — among them, the ramrod tactics and legislative slight-of-hand used to get it through. The argument that any expansion of government bureaucracy can lead to lower overall costs should make even the most staunch liberal blush.
But then, I don’t believe any conservative argument that “the market” can provide “affordable healthcare for all,” either. Markets care about stockholders — period. Nor do I even believe that conservatives generally agree in that supposedly universal goal.
I don’t know if heading down this path will be a positive in the long run. Neither does anyone else.
What I do know is that Obama has done something significant that he said he would do. I know that his opponents won’t congratulate him on being effective, yet they would have wasted no time in labeling him as ineffective and weak if the ruling had gone differently. Probably still will anyway. One more reason I wouldn’t want that job (for those of you wondering).
Imagine that, by some miracle, both parties agree to some small extent a few years from now that the Affordable Care Act turned out to be a winner in some minor way. Will Republicans still be calling it Obamacare?
I feel very strongly that we, as a nation, must somehow kick our cultural addiction to being on the winning team, especially on the most important issues. We must learn to respect people who thoughtfully change their opinions, rather than labeling them as flip-floppers. We must learn to listen. We must stop letting politicians double-talk. In fact, we must stop forcing them to. We must somehow demand and help create a system in which “reaching across the aisle” doesn’t get your hand stabbed.
News flash: being wrong feels exactly like being right — until you’re found out, or you learn something, or both. So stop taking sides and listen. Winning isn’t everything. In the end, it isn’t anything. Neither is losing. Work for the truth, and assume you don’t already have it in the bag.