Monday, February 22, 2010

The Blind Spot of Obama Health Care #HC

Let’s simplify things about the health care debate. Republicans are for states rights. They generally would agree with a health care proposal that has the most limitations on the federal government. Democrats are for federal initiatives. They disagree with the republicans that states should solve national problems and wish to maximize national solutions. The libertarian camp has recently entered the debate in the form of Ron Paul. They go a step beyond Republicans to maximize individual rights over the rights of individual states. I would recommend that there is a forth point on the political compass that is being ignored. That point could be called the “Statist” solution. A statist solution would delegate our democratic freedoms to a panel of experts for a time to solve a problem. This solution would be the way that countries like Germany have traditionally solved problems. Countries like Germany hire a commission of experts to solve these problems, and then take the governing of this solution out of political hands so that the commission can stay the course and solve the problem. Recently, our president set up a bipartisan commission of two former deficit hawks in both parties to remove this blind spot from our eyes. I believe that our president is on the right track here. Why shouldn’t this same strategy work on health care?

I appreciate technological tools like twitter that open up this debate to small voices like mine to enter the fray. Many of the news commentators and journalist have a vested interest in selling advertising. They choose to interview people who are controversial so they can increase their ratings. I do not believe that the German solution has much controversy or democratic input to drive public policy debate. That is why it is currently a blind spot in the health care debate. America is a country made up of salespeople. We love to give our best pitch and hear about ideas we believe in. I think it is time to give the Americans with more or an engineering perspective a turn to govern. The health care system is broke and it needs to be fixed. Should we consider all possible solutions? Problems that do not appear in the blind spot of our rear view mirror may be better solved by us looking directly to the experts for a time until the problems are more easily seen.


  1. I gather Ron Paul actually is quite the State's Rights candidate.

    I think the normal, and only Constitutional, way to deal with Commissions is to give them the authority to draft a plan, and have Congress vote on that plan. We have no mechanisms, nor do I want mechanisms, to hand them more power.

    Not that I think they'd do a bad job on this issue, it is just that I think they would, naturally enough, start to get used for security issues, and they would have no incentive to ever declare their security issue resolved, sorta like a "temporary" Athenian dictator who stayed in power forever.

  2. Libertarian political philosophy goes beyond states rights. Libertarians are about individual rights. Unfortunately, in this laissez faire environment the weak and innocent can fall by the way side.

    I embraced libertarian political philosophy in my 20's, but now that I am in 50's I have increased distaste for it.

    I have no problem with the states developing competitive models to solve the health care crisis.