As they say you should fight fire with fire, I’m going to fight rhetoric with rhetoric.
I’m a conservative, this is no secret. In the past 9 months I’ve seen one repeating theme come from the party I once called my own and the people that inhabit it: Rhetoric without a basis in reality.
What we saw the night of President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress was one group of politicians applauding reform and one group sitting down with their arms folded and their heads shaking. Even one went so far as to call the President a liar over the mention of illegal immigrants not being covered by this proposal. What we’ve seen over the August recess is likely the highest point of contention between liberals and those who claim conservatism in over a decade. What needs to be understood that what is missing from most of the opposition is a real understanding of their own ideology, and a real grasp for the facts as they are, not as they wish them to be.
The arguments brought against this reform range from the ideological to the political, from fiscal responsibility to the growing size of government. I’m here to tell conservatives that as one of your own, you are wrong. You’ve cruelly warped a non-ideological belief to fit your narrow world view and forced it into the political stream. Your opposition to health care reform and the public option are not only nonsensical, but dangerous to the constituency you claim to protect: the individual.
To the individual, costs will rise next year alone by 10.5%. Are wages going to be rising 10.5% next year? No. The individual is going to foot the bill of a system that is not only broken, but dangerously so. Employers will face a rise in costs that over 10 years will be unsustainable for small businesses to keep with, in other words the businesses that are the driving force of our local economies will be crushed under the weight of health care costs. Finally, for the sake of this argument, it must be shown that as costs rise, so does the figure of the uninsured. That is not a sustainable, or fiscally responsible path to skip along.
To oppose this plan under the guise of protecting the individual is doing the exact opposite.
There is an ideological argument to be made, this is true. If the argument to be made is fiscal conservatism, then one would have to look at this:
Is it best to be fiscally conservative for the company, or for the individual? Platform and policy of sensible libertarians, conservatives and republicans should point to the individual — this is where I begin to outline my support for reform, one that might begin with a co-op or a public option.
Instead, it points to the company. We’ve sacrificed the individuals’ fiscal survival for the survival of a corporation who, through either past federal law or strokes of luck, owns more than a reasonable market share. Standing for that company shows a failure to stand for the individual and only a public option tied together with real tort and legal reform can cut the costs to the individual. What we have simply cannot last..
The costs without reform are going to be too high. The individual, the average individual will be financially ruined by these rising costs.
If the argument to be made is the size of government, or that government works inefficiently — then I would expect those who object to this initiative to begin voting against the Pentagon, Department of Defense, funding the FDIC, to begin to call for the removal of troops worldwide and to not advocate government in any situation, social or fiscal.
There is no reason to sit idly by and not reform the system. To imagine that the current system is sustainable is insane at best, and at worst, a deliberate move to hurt the American individual.
TIMOTHY LEBRÓN can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.