Instead, this post is about the nature of and reasons for policy disagreements. Thai is a self-described liberal. And his comment a week ago included this hypothesis about our debate:
We may disagree around some of the issues inherent in a system of universal coverage, yet I truly see your point and see our differences as an an outcome of our slightly different moral matrices more than I do as any specific criticism with your particular value system.Is Thai right?
Partly. I agree that distinct "moral matrices" and priorities are crucial the difference between liberal and conservative platforms. And I welcome Thai's characterization of our differences as "slight" and his ability to appreciate a contrary perspective. But at least for those actually debating, I presume that left and right share the same public policy goals.
In the context of health reform, I'm saying that I, too, favor extending healthcare as universally as possible. And that most Republicans would agree. At the same time, we don't think health utopia is achievable, distrust mere "cost cutting", coverage mandates and compelled universality. Not because we oppose increased insurance coverage; rather, because our experience informs us that rewarding education and merit, aligning incentives with objectives and allowing competition are the surest and swiftest path to achieving such anti-poverty policy goals such as affordably expanding healthcare. Put differently, righties say market-based solutions out-perform typical European-style top-down bureaucracies. (Thai cites a contrary article which I have not purchased or read.)
I understand that lefties prefer a different mechanism. (I also understand that they've probably got the votes.) Still, I think our values and desires -- Thai's and mine -- are more alike than not. Including striving for universal coverage.
Am I right? Or over-thinking? Comment please.