Sunday, January 11, 2009

How should government help people

I think that we are all agreed that it is appropriate for the government to help those who at times need it. That debate is over and those who advocate only private charity have lost. We must accept the role of government as a social safety net. This does not bother me; it only adds to the obligation that I have taken upon myself. The point is that there are good ways and not so good ways to help people and we should seriously consider the implications of the help we offer.

Let’s examine health care. This is a very complicated issue but I only wish to address the problem of health insurance for those that do not have it. Let me state the problem in the simplest terms I can think of:

There are some Americans who do not have health insurance because they cannot afford it.

How should the government help these people? The obvious answer is to give those who do not have money for health insurance the money to buy health insurance. It can’t be that simple you say. Why not? If one works hard and that just doesn’t cut it, then it should be our pleasure to help them out with the funds necessary to make sure they don’t fall through the cracks. The reality is that those who wish to shepherd you won’t simply give you the money because that takes away their control over you. They won’t come out and say it, but they think less of the people who can’t afford health insurance. They will spin some masterful rhetoric about how they are fighting for the less privileged, but don’t be fooled. They think you are irresponsible or stupid or both. Let’s think about how you treat a child when they get a gift of money. Does the parent allow the child to have the money outright? No! They know of the child’s immaturity and ignorance. YOU are the child and the shepherds cannot allow your ignorance or immaturity to get in the way of their “help”. This is demeaning, condescending and immoral. Normal American adults are not children and should not be treated as such. If a person needs money to buy health insurance I say we give it to them until they get back on their feet. Let’s leave their dignity and humanity intact.


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