I believe the most fundamental difference between conservative and liberal ideology boils down to the understanding of how humans fulfill their needs. Consider how often liberals refer to the economy as a pie, or how often the basic underlying premise of liberal arguments assume that to fulfill human needs something must be taken from another. It is an ideological perspective that ignores the engine of growth that has allowed our nation to fulfill more human needs than any other civilization in history. It is hard to tell exactly what came first: this dystopian zero-sum worldview or the reflection of this finite system in large government programs such as the Affordable Care Act.
It’s no surprise to conservatives that the ACA is a disaster, and the conservative media is rejoicing at the exposure of the misleading statements President Obama and the Democrats made repeatedly while selling the ACA. It is galling that the American people were blatantly lied to in order to push this bill through at the midnight hour, but I must say I’m taken aback at the amount of Americans actually surprised that their plans and doctors are being taken away. It wasn’t hard to read the stipulations the ACA would force insurance providers to fulfill and realize that current plans would have to be changed to live up to these stipulations. Eventually Americans will have to face the biggest lie of all: the Affordable Care Act will not extend health insurance to all of the millions of uninsured Americans who so desperately need it. The only question is whether liberals are too crippled by their worldview to realize this or whether they simply don’t care about uninsured Americans after all.
The realistic worldview recognizes that in order to extend healthcare to the 45 million uninsured, the solution in the form of the ACA, cannot plausibly achieve this goal for two simple reasons. The first reason is that the excellent quality of healthcare Americans with insurance are accustomed to cannot be achieved without money. Let’s assume, as liberals do, that all 45 million uninsured Americans want healthcare – which is incorrect – but the reason they don’t have insurance is they lack the funds to achieve healthcare. Then, at a very fundamental level shouldn’t the correct solution involve the necessary wealth creation to cover the cost of these new healthcare expenses? The average individual policy is around $3,000 per year, and the problem is we need to extend these policies to 45 million people. It’s simple math that somewhere along the way this is going to cost $135 billion dollars per year. I sense a liberal might blame the lack of insurance on the refusal of health care providers to accommodate pre-existing conditions, but that notion has zero impact on this argument. In fact, it only strengthens the argument because if we force companies to insure costly medical procedures then simply double total gross cost to $270 billion dollars per year. A realist can aknowledge that one way or the other we need a solution that generates this money somewhere.
Instead the ACA does the exact opposite: this program depresses the amount of growth our economy can achieve, and discourages companies from offering full time positions. According to Forbes, in an article about the disproportionate burden the ACA places upon hispanic millennials, they also note that “the burden will also fall on the drivers of our economy, small business owners, and just like all intrusive government regulations it will hinder their ability to grow and spur job creation.” Another example is the increase in part-time hours companies have signaled they will resort to instead of providing health insurance. Steven Perlberg, of Business Insider, gleefully reports that the part time job problem is a myth that has been debunked citing recent jobs statistics. He conveniently forgets that these regulations won’t kick in until 2015, and I’ll let you decide if you want to be surprised when he’s wrong in 2015 like the liberals losing their insurance right now. The point is, even if the government wants to tax and redistribute this cost to uninsured Americans, the irony is less money will be available to help cover these uninsured Americans, purely as a result of the ACA.
Liberals, in their anemic worldview, may reply that the necessary wealth to cover these new costs can be offset if we simply bring down the exorbant rates our healthcare now costs. Greedy insurance companies and doctors should be manipulated into charging less money, and thus the cost of 45 million new Americans would be a nonfactor. This simple argument can be rebutted with simple logic, and leads me to the second reason the ACA cannot achieve it’s main purpose of extending healthcare to the 45 million uninsured in America. The fact is that the ACA depresses the amount of product available to the American people. Again, this is an extremely simple argument, if we really want to extend healthcare to 45 million new Americans then we need more healthcare professionals. In a move of typical government hubris the ACA tries to manipulate the amount of money doctors and healthcare professionals can earn in order to drive down costs and address the problem discussed above. If liberals could only substitute the dirty word “profit” with the word “incentive” another fundamental flaw of the ACA can be explained as it currently happens all around us. The personal cost – financial burden of the school necessary, amount of work/stress involved – that comes from being a doctor is no longer worth the incentive offered. Obeying the laws of the marketplace a record number of doctors are retiring, and we all can understand that a larger demand for doctors creates higher costs.
Instead of solving the problem – covering all uninsured Americans – the ACA operates within the finite world of government control. By it’s very nature a government program can’t create the wealth and opportunity necessary to expand our healthcare system to be all inclusive. No, the best the government can do is simply move these resources around, and unfortunately Americans who shared our President’s unrealistic worldview are realizing the limits of government. In the article cited above, supporters of President Obama have found their plan has been revoked with the only comparable ACA options more expensive. Their healthcare representative said it best: “In a few cases, we are able to find coverage for them that is less expensive, but in most cases, we’re not because, in sort of pure economic terms, they are people who benefited from the current system … Now that the market rules are changing, there will be different people who benefit and different people who don’t.” And that is simply the government doing what government does best.
Besides the fact that millions of Americans are losing their current plans and doctors the most damning evidence against the Affordable Care Act is that it will not extend affordable healthcare to millions of uninsured Americans. As a person who deeply cares for the wellbeing of his fellow Americans, and as a person who has had access to health care his entire life, the liberals’ disregard for this reality troubles me. It begs the question, do liberals care more about alternative agendas than the uninsured Americans they claim to want to help? Do liberals care more about the expansion of government control and the expansion of Democrat power, or are they simply too crippled by their worldview to consider alternative solutions?
Taylor Smith | Belmont University | @taylorsmith11_5