Today’s Good Citizenship task is to read two opposing opinions on the same topic. I chose healthcare – specifically the Patient Protection and Affordability Act and its challenged constitutionality – because quite honestly, I have no idea.
To be honest yet again, I had little hope that ANY of this reading would give me a true handle on the issue. It’s far too complicated, and I feel like I’d need a good two to five years of higher education to find a foothold in healthcare reform. But I DID learn some stuff. Just enough to sound passably intelligent on the topic, which is, I think, the most any of us hope to achieve on these issues. That, my friends, is a problem.
Anyway, here’s my reading list:
“Is the Health Care Law Unconstitutional” – New York Times. Including several articles written by legal experts and professionals, this was by far the most helpful article. I learned two things in particular. The first is that health insurance simply doesn’t work for the gravely or persistently ill. It’s too expensive to take care of them without bankrupting everyone else, so we simply have to let Darwinism run its course (or else mandate healthcare, which may or may not be constitutional; I’m still not convinced and that doesn’t really seem to be the problem anyway.). Am I overstating that? Also, the key to understanding the constitutionality of this law has something to do with growing your own wheat at home and medical marijuana. I have no idea how, but it’s a very crucial point.
“Opposing Views: Voice on Health Care Reform” – Wall Street Journal. A much more practical take on the law, not relating to the constitutional issue so much as the pragmatic effects of the law. The most important thing I learned here was actually about me: when someone begins an article calling the law “ObamaCare” I immediately assume they aren’t smart enough to truly understand or offer any wisdom on the topic; they’re simply going to be regurgitating the opposition’s talking points. Good to know.
“Health Care May Prove Costly for Obama” – The Bottom Line, a publication of the UC Santa Barbara Journalism department. This offered an incredibly simplified, but useful overview of the topic.
“The Supreme Court ruling – what’s at stake for healthcare” – Forbes. Written by a Democratic political strategist, Fox News commentator and vocal Obama opponent, this article seemed like the ultimate point-counterpoint all in one. It’s more like a tough luck piece. Basically, put on your seatbelts, people. It’s going to suck from here on out.
“Whatever Court Rules, Major Changes in Healthcare Likely to Last” – New York Times. This article offers some conflicting facts and an interesting summary of how the states are reacting to the impending enforcement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Some have already implemented a number of the provisions, some with great concern and complication and others – gasp! – positive results. Others are acting like spoiled children on a permanent hunger strike.
And now I’m going to bake. Buttermilk blueberry bread seems like the only reasonable next step.