I believe that most Americans believe that all Americans should have access to health care. We believe that in times of necessity, every American should be able to receive health care despite personal economic difficulty. We can all agree that we would not have a single one of our American brothers or sisters suffer when prudent use of medical care could alleviate that suffering. In this I believe we all stand united.
The division of thought perhaps lies in how relief ought to be administered. A part of our population, often referred to as liberals, generally believe that government programs should be put into place to relieve the suffering of the medically uncared. They believe that adequate funds could be taken from the population to provide for basic medical care for the entire populace.
Another part of our population generally disagree with such government-run programs. These are those who are called conservative and the growing population of those called libertarians. There are many reasons they may oppose such programs and among those are the following:
1) They simply oppose big government. They may oppose growth of government beyond traditional constitutional bounds for constitutional reasons.
2) They see government-administered programs as ineffective. They believe that increased taxation actually results in a decrease in tax revenue. They believe that the collected funds are ineffectively administered. They believe that many government programs foster dependence on the system and prevent the development of productive citizens and progressing human beings.
3) They resent government intrusions into personal liberty. They believe that growth of the government comes at the expense of personal liberties. Government programs hit pocketbooks and limit Americans' utilization of personal funds. Government programs often lead to regulations that limit personal choice. They believe that the preservation of liberty is more important than overall economic strength and that liberty should not be sacrificed for any other goal.
4) They recognize that governmental assistance to the needy does not result in the same spiritual or moral growth as personal assistance to the needy. They see no moral progression in being taxed to help the poor. They see little patriotism in having a pocket unwillingly picked. The funds that they might otherwise dedicate to the good of their fellowmen are taken from them. In addition, the substitution of government checks for loving service and assistance from neighbors and friends considerably blunts the moral growth that could take place in those on the recipient end of charitable action. Those who believe in this way believe that there is no institutional salvation for America without the individual salvation of American citizens.
For those who share this mindset and who cherish personal freedoms, might I suggest a potent means of combating the incoming wave of American socialism. Let's use our freedoms to decrease the need for increased social programs now.
What need can there be for liberal social programs if we use our still-present freedom to alleviate the suffering of our fellow Americans? What driving force would there be behind socializing health care if all Americans had adequate access to basic primary care?
As we look beyond ourselves, we will see solutions to the "health care crisis" that require the exercise, not the sacrifice of personal liberty. How striking it would be if we could demonstrate examples of entire communities where the utilization of innovation and personal freedom lead to a complete independence from federal funding for health care. What a statement we would make if without tax impositions we achieved a society where there is no poor among us.
All Americans, compassionate conservatives and bleeding-heart liberals alike, desire the good of their fellow Americans. As conservatives, and especially as physicians, let's use our own agency to benefit our fellow men. Let us show how our to exalt our liberties and what a great loss America will suffer if these liberties are taken away.