There are two large political events that have consumed our country for the past several years: 1) recently, Obamacare, and 2) the great recession and housing collapse of 2008.
These two government-driven events, one under a Democratic president and the other under a Republican president, are both based by a moral imperative. As such, they should be analyzed using the tools of moral philosophy rather than the tools of political science or economics. In fact, I find it much easier to get my hands around the critical elements of the two debates using philosophy rather than the traditional conservative versus liberal or Republican versus Democrat labels.
Let’s begin with Obamacare. President Obama believed that the American public gave him the mandate to pursue the ideal of affordable healthcare for all citizens. He drafted a bill, with the help of Congress, that was narrowly enacted. As part of the marketing for the passage of the bill, he promised: 1) if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, 2) if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, and 3) the average insurance premium will go down $2500 per year. The Democrats in Congress, most of whom did not read the details of the bill, accepted the President’s three points regarding the bill. Several members of the Republican party did read the bill and they did not believe the three marketing points were correct: they tried repeatedly to draw attention to the bill, but with no luck.
I have first-hand experience with the bill. I am one of those with an individual plan that has recently been cancelled by my insurance company. I must now go through the Obamacare exchange to get my health insurance. Having spent many hours on the exchange website, I can say that I have two choices: 1) lose my plan, lose my doctor, and pay the same as what I was paying before, or 2) keep my plan, keep my doctor, or pay twice what I was paying before. Neither of these alternatives meet the promises by the President. By the way, I must admit that the marketing of keep your plan, keep your doctor, and save $2500 per year in premium cost seemed like a great deal to me. I didn’t read the bill to know that the marketing was not true – not even close to being true. I relied on our elected officials to do the right thing and say the right thing regarding this new mandate.
More to come on analyzing the moral dilemma of this bill.