Archive for March 22nd, 2010


The Great Debate… er, Discussion

   Posted by: Michael Bernier   in Today's Reality

The real hot-button topic today has been the passage of the health care bill last night by the U.S. House of Representatives. Each side in the debate had their reasons for supporting their views, and each delivered a spirited defense. In the end, those in favor of passing it prevailed. Now it is set to become the law of the land, and we all get to find out what it really means for this country’s health care system.

I do not get overly-involved in political issues, mainly because I’m not good at debating the pros and cons of anything. If I were, I probably would’ve been on the debate team in school. As far as my personal political views, I would generally call myself a conservative, but there are some issues where I’m more liberal in my thinking. And, there are still others where I’m squarely on the fence, unsure of which way to go.

With health care, I’m on the fence. There are some provisions in the bill that I like, and some that I don’t like. I’m not going to list them here because my intent is not to start a debate. I don’t do debates very well, remember?

Either way, pro or con, I still have some questions. Maybe you have some as well. Here are my questions:

  • How will the country pay for the new programs, which have been estimated will cost approximately $1T (trillion) dollars over the next decade?
  • Will it really improve the accessibility and affordability of health care to more Americans, as its supporters expect it to do? Or will it be a “black hole” that takes more money away from taxpayers and provides little or nothing in return, as its detractors claim?
  • How does this plan really compare to programs in other countries such as Canada or Great Britain, which parts of it supposedly were modeled after?

No one seems to have a clear answer to any of these questions; both sides in Washington have been saying “trust us – we know what we’re talking about”. Given the general lack of trust in our elected officials (Congress’ approval ratings have been in the cellar for the last few years), I am sure there aren’t many people who are willing to accept “trust us” for very long without seeing some sort of results in return.

What is clear to me is this: the debate over health care is still far from over. And, I still don’t do debates very well.