Conservative friends, sit down.
We’ve asked you here under false pretenses. We are not, in fact, attending a movie premiere for Atlas Shrugged, and I’m sorry, but the ghost of Ronald Reagan will not actually be joining us today. Someone, quick, catch them!
Are you OK now? I should have said earlier, we haven’t actually perfected Ghost technology. I’m sorry, that was cruel; I know how uncomfortable you are with science, and I shouldn’t have lied.
But you’re here, Conservative, because you have a very serious problem. You have an addiction to the free market.
Stop. Stop there. Stop defending it. Enough, already.
Listen, we all know that the free market is a valuable thing–our economy is based on trade, and–listen, stop raising your Invisible Hand, it’ll make this all go easier–we know that it’s tempting to put all of your trust into a single idea. Hell, some of us did that with our faith in work ethic, and you saw how communism turned out.
But your addiction is at a whole different level. I can’t count the number of times I’ve come to gently nudge you awake in the morning only to find you slumped over a fan letter to Ron Paul, a thin stream of saliva running out of your mouth, silently mouthing the words to “Here Comes The Money.” It’s gone far enough.
Your problem, Conservative, is that you treat the free market as an ideal condition, and there’s simply no such thing in nature. The free market isn’t regulated by the sum of human knowledge, it works on gut instinct; quick buys based on whatever’s best for us at the time. Human innovation is far weaker than human greed, and some amount of–brace yourself for it–regulation is necessary to protect our country and our race as a whole from cannibalizing itself.
The health care bill is a perfect example. No, Conservative, be quiet. Listen.
The free market had years to regulate the insurance industry. People had plenty of chances to “vote with their dollars” for the best insurance companies, and by your ideology, costs should have been driven down and health care should be affordable for all. That didn’t happen, because health insurance companies tried to make money. They denied coverage, they raised premiums, all with the knowledge that we could do absolutely nothing about it. And they were right.
The problem’s been around for a while. And before you claim that “there were better ways to fix health insurance, but you didn’t take our ideas,” I’ll ask you to keep in mind that yes, yes we motherf*cking did. This wasn’t a sudden, instantaneously generated bill. This bill was shaped for the last thirty years, and it’s actually far more conservative than health care bills proposed by Clinton and–brace yourself again–Nixon.
Conservative, stop foaming at the mouth. It’s embarrassing.
Obama is not some sinister enemy who has designs on everything you hold dear, no more than Bush was for us. Like 95% of public officials, he’s trying to do what he thinks is right, and yes, he fails sometimes, and sometimes he’s dead wrong. This is not one of those times.
What’s that you say? He just wants more money for the government? Actually think about that for a second. Why would he want the government to have more money? Who would do that? Corporations buy senators for $5,000. They don’t get paid a lot. They’re not a corporation, and they’re not the richest people in the world. With that being said, they make plenty of money to get by–they don’t need yours, and when they apply moderate taxes, they’re not the ones that get it. New branches of government are established for this huge, huge country, and those branches help to protect the weak and propel our society. Sometimes, those branches are unnecessary, and we can trim them off, but they’re never created out of Hatred for the American Taxpayer (except some high military offices) and Obama’s paycheck does not change simply because yours does.
This regulation was a long time coming. It provides incentives (remember, you like those) for health insurance companies that play by the rules, and places a big, big incentive on treating a condition rather than simply prolonging it. Medicine will need to cure a person to be considered effective.
Remember how in the 90’s, there was a story every week about a “possible cure for AIDS”? We were looking at tiger spit, twins, everything you can think of to cure the damned thing. Then we came up with a cocktail of drugs that suppressed symptoms and, magically, those stories disappeared overnight.
Nobody was trying to cure it anymore. Well, fewer people, anyways. There was more money in treatment. Now, you love the free market–that was the free market at work. With bundling, that’s not how it’s going to work anymore.
I know, you don’t like being forced to buy something. Get over it. We need to have health insurance as a country, because, frankly, when we go to parties with all of the other countries, it gets embarrassing that we have to spend all night hovering between the snack bar and the ambulance. It’s all they see of our domestic policy, and we look a little trashy. Especially with all of that gold you bring around, and those atrocious SUVs you insist on driving.
Plus, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but lots of people die without insurance. That’s your free market. People who don’t see an immediate need for health insurance simply don’t buy it, and who can blame them?
Yes, yes, stop calling the government “Mother” ironically. We get it. But you can’t make the slippery slope argument. Many countries have regulated their health care industries without becoming totalitarian dictatorships. I hate to say it–quick, Canada, grab the smelling salts in case he needs them–but many of those countries are more free than us. Look at Belgium and Norway and Sweden and yes, brother Canada. They’re doing fine. They gave their citizens a basic right to health, and somehow, they didn’t have cameras springing up all around their nations the next day. Quiet, Britain. We’ll get to you next.
The free market is a tool, just like any other tool. You shouldn’t have any loyalty to it. If it’s not working, you need to see that changes can be made. Oh, and we’re not all 100% sold on the path that health care reform should take–but if the bill isn’t working, we’ll change it.
That’s the great thing about being logical and avoiding loyalty to broad, sometimes esoteric concepts. We can change our minds. That’s the most powerful thing in the world.
Now, Conservative, let’s get you into rehab. We’re going to stop you from reading Ayn Rand for a month while we criticize her ruthlessly. You will be forced to hand over your car keys and eat rhubarb. We’re going to show you graphs, but you will not be forced to listen to Al Gore. It will not be easy at first, but with any luck, you’ll come out of it, and together, we can join the 21st century.
Oh, look! That ghost technology worked! It’s the ghost of William F. Buckley, here to enlighten us!
GHOST OF WILLIAM F BUCKLEY: Nyyyyyeeeeesssss?