Thursday, May 13, 2010

Schwartz: Questioning Your "Compassionate" Politics

The May 12, 2010 Huffington Post published Brian Schwartz's latest OpEd, "Questioning Your 'Compassionate' Politics".

Here is the opening:
"You oppose Medicaid and government-run schools? You're heartless and lack compassion." If you have ever made this accusation, even tacitly, I invite you to reconsider the government policies you support.

Why does being compassionate mean supporting government-run schools and health plans? This makes little sense if you view these programs as government-run charities. Would you agree to perpetually donate a portion of your monthly income to the same charity - regardless of its effectiveness? If the charity is doing a lousy job, wouldn't you want the freedom to find a better one?...
(Read the full text of "Questioning Your 'Compassionate' Politics".)

Brian Schwartz is asking some good questions.

And at a deeper level, we need to examine the concept of whether there is any such thing as a "right" to health care or not. If one believes that there is, then the only question is how best can the government guarantee it. If one believes that there is no such right, then any attempt to manufacture one is fundamentally flawed from the outset.

These are precisely the sorts of ideas that need to be openly discussed and debated in America. And I'm glad that Brian Schwartz is raising some of these issues.