Hey, here’s an idea!
In the currently-raging health care debate, I keep hearing from conservatives and opponents of reform the suggestion that “if Democrats in Congress think a public plan is such a great idea, why don’t any of them sign up for it?” Or, in slightly more-extreme formulation: “why don’t we force them to go on any public plan they want to make the people use?”
I’m all for people walking the walk if they’re gonna talk the talk – and Lord knows, Congresspeople of both parties definitely do plenty of talking the talk, LOL. But what’s irritating about such exclamations from conservatives (other than their simple banality) is that Congress is already on a variation of “public plan.” In fact, they are one of the very few sets of Americans who aren’t either incarcerated, in the military, retired or very poor to be enrolled in a public health care plan. Sure, it’s different from any public plans that are being considered in any of the bills currently floating around in Congress. But one of the reasons we provide them with high-quality, taxpayer-funded health care is (presumably) that we want them to be in the best of health, since they are our elected leaders. I’m not convinced that forcing them (or scolding them) onto an as-yet-to-be-determined public plan is a great idea to begin with.
Nevertheless, here’s my idea: how about if we promise conservatives that we’ll join them to advocate for supporters in Congress of the public plan for health care being compelled to enroll themselves and their families in it, but ONLY if conservatives agree to join us in advocating that any staunch opponents of government-funded, so-called “socialized medicine” be required to withdraw from their taxpayer-funded, top-notch Congressional health care plans, and instead be issued a voucher for the average annual amount that the federal government spends on Congresspeople’s health care, so that they can go out onto the wonderful free market and purchase their own individual insurance…and – importantly – report back on how it went.
Why do I have a feeling such a proposal would get very, VERY few takers? 😉