An alternative to popular faith

It has been a disgrace that the world’s leading, industrial nation, the proudest, most powerful nation in world history, has not provided health care for all its citizens.

Yes, I have voted more often for Republicans than for Democrats, because I felt they were better economists. But today I must give the Democrats credit for doing what is morally right, while taking the big political risk to start the ball rolling.

My Republicans, left to their own devices, would have done nothing. They never have been leaders for social improvements, whether Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare or human rights. While Republicans traditionally have been strong for business, they always have had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into anything that smacks of human benefits for the less fortunate.

That said, the health care plan is far from ideal. Way too many questions to be answered. Consider it only a start, a prototype; you can expect hundreds of changes. My only hope is that the nay-sayers will not try to gut the bill for political advantage.

The question is, and always has been, who will pay for it? I believe the federal government should, and there exists massive evidence on this blog and elsewhere, to prove the government can afford huge deficit increases that will stimulate the economy, and without inflation.

But what if, despite all the evidence, taxes are increased? Economically, a bad idea, no matter what taxes they are. But, which Americans are willing to say, “I’ve got mine and I’m not willing to help those less fortunate than me?” If that’s your attitude, you’re not really an American, although ironically, it seems those who boast loudest about their patriotism often are least likely to extend a hand.

Now we need to see how the program can be improved for the benefit of all. We’ve taken two hundred years to get this far, because that first step always is the hardest. My Republicans, by trying to do everything to sabotage the plan, are on the wrong side of history.

I say now is the time to work with the plan, not against it. Our best minds, cooperating toward on goal, can make the improvements that will protect Americans for decades.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell