jeudi, décembre 06, 2007

A Real Philosophical Difference

Earlier this week, NPR interviewed likely Iowa caucus goers. You will find it here. Republicans and Democrats attended. Before asking them about the candidates they will support, Steve Inskeep asked them about the issues that are important to them. One Democrat attendee started the conversation by discussing healthcare and her experiences as a breast cancer survivor. She made an excellent point:

“It became crystal clear to me when I got my diagnosis, and when I had to take the Family Medical Leave Act, that unless my dear friends in Batavia, Illinois, had had an enormous fundraiser for myself and another single mom, we would not have been able to survive. And we had insurance. The whole health insurance thing is absolutely scary. You only have health insurance as long as you are healthy enough to go to your job and work.”

Moments later, a Republican woman offered the following response:

“I see a real philosophical difference between me and many of those who’ve spoken here. I want to be in charge of my healthcare. I was paralyzed. I had polio. My parents paid for that. They chose to find doctors who performed three surgeries on me. I can walk. I don’t want that dictated by the federal government. And I think what I hear is all this emotion - this tugging at the heartstrings. It’s bigger than that. What’s the federal government responsible for? It isn’t for making laws that tell me that I can’t eat trans fat. That’s my choice. That’s my choice. And, you know, I am single. I am self-employed. I make a great deal of money through my own hard work. I don’t want to pay for someone else’s child to eat breakfast at school anymore. You know, that it not the role of the federal government.”

I was so blown away by the Republican woman’s comments that I’d like to respond to them over a few shorter posts rather than one long one. I’ll end with the question she asked – what is the role of the federal government, but I’ll start (tomorrow) with a different question.

Should the federal government play a role in health care?

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