COMMENTARY | We want universal access with free market perks. We want all teens to graduate from high schools and go off to good colleges where they can major in whatever they wish…for a reasonable price. We want all Americans to have good, thorough, friendly health care…that is also affordable. It’s tough being a citizen in a wealthy superpower, where it seems like everyone should be able to have it all. Career and family, universal access but consumer freedom, bells and whistles but base price.
Obamacare is struggling mightily and its struggles reveal the dangers of trying to please everyone. President Barack Obama is under fire for being unable to stick to his guns regarding his pre-rollout claim that everyone would be able to keep their existing health insurance plans, reports CNN. Insurance companies have been alerting customers that they will be dropped from their current plans at the end of their contracts, allegedly because those plans do not meet the standards necessitated by Obamacare. The president and his administration have been quick to point out that individuals who are dropped from their health insurance plans can utilize Obamacare to find better plans quickly and easily.
I sympathize with the president. As a high school teacher I know well the difficulty of being both generous and fair to classes of up to 30 students and the wearisome woes of “gotcha” politics. Creating a policy meant to help that majority will provoke the ire of the minority, and woe to a teacher if extenuating circumstances create any changes! Emergency meetings, department printers running out of toner, and the assorted minutiae of adult life wring indignant outrage from teens when any policies deviate from their original form…or what the teens assumed was the original form.
“But you said…” is something I hear a lot. Most of the time the student was not paying attention.
Obama tried to make everyone happy with his health care legislation. He wanted to provide the universal access desired by the liberals, maintain the free market choices desired by the conservatives, and not force any changes in existing coverage on the masses of moderates. Any high school teacher could have gently informed the president to be ready for snags, hiccups, and indignant outrage.
At the end of every grading period, which occurs for me this Friday, the attempts to please the masses must end and, inevitably, an objective policy that favors some must be chosen. Usually, I become a hardliner and force the students to drum out rote daily work, gleaning from them as many points as possible to boost their averages. They gripe and whine, but a few get enough done to justify me turning an F into a C.
In the end, the president needs to pick an objective policy and err toward one side. Does he want the universal access of socialized medicine or the consumer choice of the free market? A choice must be made.
And, before long, America must make a similar choice about higher education.