Imagine you were tuned in to your friendly morning AM Radio chat show, and they were having this banter going back and forth:
A: So I think this new spacecraft that NASA has been working on is just going to be a disaster. I mean, it’s a government bureaucracy. Remember all of those times that NASA failed in the past? This is just going to be another case just like that.
B: That’s right. Plus, they are talking about it being solar-powered. That just doesn’t even make sense, does it? I mean, I’ve seen pictures of space, and it’s really dark up there. And they’re even going to be launching it away from the sun, where there is even less light! Plus, what happens when it’s night time? Does the spacecraft just, like, stop working? I mean, a solar powered spaceship just doesn’t make sense, if you think about it for a second!
A: Yeah… I just don’t know what these government people are thinking, trying to do something like that.
What would your reaction be? I mean, specifically, would you think to yourself:
A) Wow. What these guys are saying makes sense. Those NASA guys must be crazy, to try to make a solar powered spacecraft. This program sounds like a bad idea.
B) These guys seem funny and nice. Good guys to have a beer with. But they don’t know squat about rocket science. Who cares if they don’t understand? Those NASA guys spend their whole lives studying this stuff. I’m sure they understand it better than these bozos on the radio.
Chances are pretty good that you would lean more toward B. Most normal people do. We have an intrinsic understanding that rocket science is a complicated thing, that there are probably facts that the common person doesn’t know, and that there are probably things that the common person understands incorrectly, and that the opinion of two random people on the radio doesn’t mean a whole lot when talking about rocket science.
So why is it that a lot of people have the opposite reaction when listening to talk show hosts banter about Obamacare and health insurance?
A: So I think this Obamacare is just going to be a disaster. I mean, it’s a government bureaucracy. So think about the post office and the DMV. Everybody hates those! The same thing is going to happen to health care.
B: That’s right. Plus, it just doesn’t make sense to force everyone to get the same insurance. I mean, different people have different needs. That’s the problem with a one-size-fits-all socialist system. It assumes that you can apply the same cookie-cutter insurance to everyone in the country. I mean, that doesn’t even make sense, if you think about it for a second!
A: Yeah… I just don’t know what these government people are thinking, trying to push through Obamacare.
The fact is, almost every single “point” made in the above dialogue (which is actually taken from a dialogue on conservative talk radio here in Dallas, Texas) is completely wrong.
The VA is an example of government-run health insurance, and people who use it rank it higher than any private insurance system.
Obamacare will NOT force people off of insurance that they already have
Obamacare will NOT force everyone to have “the same insurance”.
Obamacare makes you buy insurance from private companies, so it not “socialist.”
But even beyond these obvious mistakes about the core of Obamacare, I have to ask myself: what are these people doing, giving their off-the-cuff opinions about this incredibly complex system?
The fact is, any conversation about health care and the way it functions (whether government is involved or not) is going to be incredibly complicated. We are a big country, we have diverse needs, the system itself is inherently complex.
Now, I’m not saying that you should give up and just “accept” that you won’t or can’t understand our health care system. I’m not saying that you should accept it on faith. All citizens should be informed, and all citizens should try to learn enough to know whether they agree with the policies.
But for heaven’s sake: when you, as a good citizen, are acquiring your information, please understand the difference between researching the truth from a fact-based source, and listening to two random bozos on the radio.