We live in the United States of America. That means we value both freedom and equality; liberty and opportunity. The problem with that is sometimes they are mutually exclusive.
On one hand, we have our pure democratic values… equal voice and participation in government affairs for every citizen.
On the other, we have pure laissez faire Adam Smith capitalism… the government is hands off and whatever is best for the individual is best for society.
Where the disconnect lies is when people fall victim to the old saying “Cash is King.” As individuals grow in economic power, they also grow in political power. Mitt Romney’s recent victory in the Republican primary (he spent more than his top three competitors… combined) would be a great example.
Now the United States Federal Government has been given the task to protect both the freedom AND equality of all of its citizens, and I believe that this is the underlying problem for most of the people arguing over “Obamacare” (for the record… it’s actually called “The Affordable Care Act”).
On one hand, we have people complaining about their infringed upon freedoms.
On the other, we have people excited about the new and affordable opportunities they have.
It seems it would be impossible to appease both sides. That being the case my question is…
When and where does the government choose between protecting people’s freedoms and flat out protecting people?
Because in the system that exists now and before the Affordable Care Act millions of young people lacked health care while their parents had it, millions of people with pre-existing conditions (most were children) were denied health care by private companies, millions of women were paying more than men, and millions of seniors were being sold drugs at extreme prices.
If Adam Smith was right, why weren’t there companies willing to create more affordable plans for youth? Why can an insurance company deny service to an individual based on medical conditions and gender, but not deny employment? Why were companies selling drugs to seniors at WAY more than a fair price?
Can’t you see the disconnect?
If you are upset about the upholding of the Affordable Care Act I would challenge you to ask yourself this question, “Are you upset because your ‘freedoms*’ have been infringed upon or because at one time your access to health care gave you an advantage over a large base of the population?”
Basically, I’m asking you to weigh your personal freedom against someone else’s opportunity to be successful.
“And that’s all I have to say about that.” -Forest Gump
*I put ‘freedoms’ in quotes because it is completely within congress’ constitutional power to tax