What’s really driving the Health Care debate.

We’ve seen some rancorous discourse around the recent debate on efforts to reform health care in the country. I am personally in favor of universal heath care; I believe we should take care of our fellow citizens. That’s my political position. But there are serious philosophical underpinnings to the debate along liberal and conservative lines.

Conservatives want to conserve what works for them. They believe the purpose of government is mainly to defend us against foreign enemies. So, they are supportive of the army, navy, air force, and marines. They are also Ok with the government building roads, running the police and firefighters, operating the prison system, and things like that. They are basically otherwise afraid of government and intrusions into their lives. They now seem to also be happy with social security, medicare, and similar programs that have become established rights of the people. But they are afraid of new efforts that might have an effect on their own health care, taxes, and basic life styles. They are afraid of immigrants and that the government might take away their guns.

Basically, conservatives are afraid. Their fear based thought system is driving the health care debate. Their anger you’ve seen at the town hall meetings is based on these fears. Their vitriol is based on these fears. Their refusal to say pretty much anything but NO in the legislative debates is based on these fears. They seem to want access to health care to continue to be based on employment status or ability to pay and are afraid that the choice to cover all citizens that all other industrialized countries have made would be bad. Finally, their strident animosity to the changes and new ideas espoused by President Obama are based on these fears and fuel their anger.

Now, surely, liberals have fears too. They are primarily afraid of conservatives. Liberals want us all to live together in harmony as one people; everyone in the world. They are like Robert Kennedy, who said, “Some people see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not?” Yes, why can’t we all live in peace? Why do some people have more money than some countries, and other people don’t have roofs over their heads? Why do some people have health insurance and others do not? Can’t we as a nation provide care for all of our citizens? Why not?

This desire to expand coverage for all, in spite of uncertainty about how it all might work out, is based on hope and a perception that we’re all one here on this planet. And that we all deserve the opportunity for life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and good health care. They believe as Teddy Kennedy, whose passing we mark today, that health care is a right and not just a privilege. This hope and oneness is basically an unconditional love that overcomes fear.

I have explained in a recent video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaMeR-zETyA,that many conservative principles are based on fear, and liberal principles are based on love. The current health care debate proves the point.