The world is being run by highly-credentialed men and women who have passed
through some of our most exclusive universities. Perhaps it’s time to look at haberdashers, again, to see what they know. – Elizabeth Scalia, I Don’t Want to be a Hoo-er (Patheos Press, 2013)
As one of my Texas-based friends has said, “I may not know much more about insurance beyond the fact that I’m smart enough to get what I need, but goodgohdamighty, even I could have thought up more sensible ways to get folks covered than these clowns in DC, I’ll tell you whut.”
I love. My Texas friends. I could listen to them talk all day. And in the case of this fella, I’m in full agreement. Even I — goofball that I am — have wondered why the Obama administration went all-in for “unmanageable, disruptive monstrosity that needs Hollywood assistance, constant spin and new lies every day to keep afloat, sort of.”
Not long ago, I had a bit of a tussle on Facebook with a friend — I guess he’s a friend — who wrote two incredibly nasty, ideologically-charged remarks that boiled down to how anyone who disliked Obamacare just hated poor people and was probably racist. Because that dishonest, stale and intellectually lazy narrative hasn’t been bitten through, enough.
Our exchange grew heated, and at one point I was treated to the notion that our hero had been thwarted at every turn by people who “offered no alternative ideas”, because they were too busy pushing poor people in wheelchairs over cliffs and bleaching their robes.
So, I offered alternative ideas that I’ve always thought might have taken care of the problem of 30-to-50 million uninsured without disrupting the lives of 300 million others. The response to my offering was the equivalent of “lalala, I can’t hear you, when are you going to offer an alternative, you hateful, unChristian bigot.”
At that point I walked away from the discussion because if people aren’t going to argue in good faith — if they’re going to pretend you didn’t just do what they asked you to do, and they’re going to fall back on partisan sneering — then really, what’s the point? As I’ve said in the combox, recently, I’m done entertaining (and therefore enabling) our national perpetual adolescences. Matters are too grave for that.
Anyway, like my friend in Texas, I am no gol-dung expert in in-surance matters, but I nevertheless have gathered some mere-and-bare-bones evidence that there really were other ways to think about solving our health insurance “crisis” without upending the country, and I’ve laid them out over at First Things.
They may very well be dumb ideas, by the way, I am making no pretense of expertise; but they’re ideas — and thinking and wondering begets more wondering, and that is where creative, constructive and innovative solutions are born. I can’t help thinking that if the administration had shot for a simpler solution — had they entertained actual debate on alternative ideas — they wouldn’t be in a defensive crouch right now, and people who really were happy with their insurance and their doctors and their hospitals would actually be keeping them, right now. Just like the president said — hundreds of times, before he apparently didn’t — that they could.
It’s time to talk about alternatives to Obamacare right now, and this is why:
As this unpopular policy we call Obamacare begins to crumble from the weight of its own incompetent over-reach and mendacity, the opportunity may soon arise for policy reform, but if other voices do not have alternative plans already designed, thought through and set for discussion when an urgent solution is called for, there will be no option left in the political imagination but a single-payer program—managed by these same incompetents—and a nation full of frightened, uninsured people willing to turn to it.
You can read the rest here, and maybe let’s bring on the haberdashers. Let’s find some people who have actually run companies, even small ones, and built things, and understand that you don’t bring a nuclear missile to a problem that requires a pair of suspenders and a good hat.
Father Dwight links with another alternative suggestion. Let’s collect them! What are your ideas? What other ideas have you read about?