Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Our Conservative Nation
I think they have nothing to worry about. Recent events here in California and in the nation's capital prove to me that we live in a deeply conservative country. California in particular seems to be a leader in conservatism.
I know that sounds counter-intuitive. However, look at what California is doing with the popular idea of public funding of election campaigns. Maine and Arizona have already enacted legislation that provides public financing of election campaigns. California has hemmed and hawed about the idea and finally has agreed to submit a measure to the voters in the next gubernatorial election (in 2010) to provide public financing for one (1) state official: the California Secretary of State. Why just that one? Well, providing public financing for all state elections is just too radical an idea.
In the nation's capital, the President and Congress are determined to have another go at reforming our tattered health care system. One popular reform, one that has the support of a majority of the public, is one that has operated successfully in Canada and in many other "advanced" countries for decades: a national system funded by the state that provides health care to all residents, just as the local fire department provides fire protection for all residents or the local police protect all residents from crime and criminals. One would think that, viewing the problem of health care world-wide, a universal system paid for out of tax revenue would be deserving of serious consideration. Well, not so. Neither President Obama nor the Chairman of the Senate Committee that's dealing with health care have much interest in promoting a single-payer system. They intend to keep the present system of private insurers, with regulations that make it difficult for them to drop subscribers. The closest they will come to a universal system is to provide a government-sponsored system that individuals can join, if they wish.
In both examples, conservatism wins the day. California is not going to have public funding of campaigns soon. The nation is not going to have a truly universal health care system during my remaining life time.