Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I'm watching this debate with the democratic candidates and they're on the subject of health care. I must confess that I don't really understand. Because Clinton and Edwards were talking about their plans and representing them as "universal health care" plans. They vaunt their position with nice phrases like "leaving no one out" and "Everybody will be covered." But the way they were talking about it, when they mentioned the specifics, it sounded to me like it wasn't so much universal health care as universal health insurance. Meaning: everybody will be covered, because heatlh insurance will be mandatory. Obviously, this would require making said insurance affordable. I guess I'm just confused, but that seems to me like it's a little more friendly with the insurance companies, and I don't like the long-term implications. It seems like muddling together government policy and insurance could be scary, and could have even worse consequence than those we're facing already in leiu of the incredible monetary power the insurance and drug companies already hold in Washington. Obama, made a little more sense about it, but his opponents jumped down his throat about his plan not being "universal."

Maybe I'm just clueless about policy issues like this, and maybe I'm especially clueless about how people really get things done in Washington, if such a thing is actually possible. Making real changes: it's something every candidate claims he/she will do, but I don't trust a one of them. Everyone bragging about their record and then picking apart that of their opponents: it all just gets tiring. It's uncomfortable watching the candidates rip each other apart for little details that they think exemplify the entire character of their opponents or theirselves.


andrew j. ulasich said...

across the board, everyone's talking about making change. i have hopes for a particular candidate or two. but my hopes (i do have some) aren't set very high for actual significant change to come through these candidates once they're in office.

it is tiring watching the debates. they get old real quick.

Josh Fuller said...

"Everyone's" bragging about their records and picking apart that of their opponents? That's what I haven't seen Obama do yet. Whenever the talk turns to who voted for what and when, Obama always seems to be the one reminding them that no one cares. It seems like all he wants to do his talk about what his plans are. Ask Hillary what her plans are and it seems like you can't get a straight answer. I've enjoyed the debates because it's so rare that a candidate always answers exactly the question he is asked, and Obama seems to do this very consistently.

The only reason Obama's plan isn't "universal" is that everyone will have a choice whether to take advantage of it or not. If the other candidates can't understand the difference between "universal" and "mandatory", I'm seriously worried about their grasp of the english language, let alone the process of government.

So I guess you know who I like. But, Universal Health Care and Universal Health Insurance are close to the same thing in this conversation. The US is not going to have free health care like Canada and most of Europe has, because raising taxes seems to be a sin in this country. But very soon, no matter which Democrat gets elected, everyone in the country will be able to afford basic medical care, which is far from the situation we are in now. That's change, it's real, and I'm very excited about it.

The minimum wage has just been increased for the first time since 1997, which is real change benefiting millions. Normally I'm very cynical about change actually happening, but we are finally going to see at least some...that seems almost undeniable at this point.