How to win friends and influence people’s health care debates

Debate over government-funded police protection heats up: Now that the president and the Democrats in Congress have set a fall deadline for legislative action on universal police protection for all Americans, battle lines are being drawn on Capitol Hill.

On the right are conservative defenders of America’s system of for-profit, private mercenaries. The Democrats are divided among progressives who favor universal, publicly funded police who would protect all citizens against crime, and moderate and conservative Democrats who argue that any citizen security reform should leave America’s existing system of soldiers for hire in place. (

If you thought, “That’s crazy – no one should have to directly buy individual police protection!” then welcome to the majority. You’re one of millions of people who thinks our government can and should provide universal, publicly funded health care.

Read the whole piece quoted above and the next time you find yourself in a health care debate — you know, at your aunt’s annual summer barbecue or something — you can one up your opponent by calling for private police protection. (Or private fire protection, roads, sewers, etc. The list goes on.)

If they don’t like that idea, then they’ve just convinced themselves of the merits of publicly funded health care. All you have to do is raise your glass and change the subject to another agreeable topic, like the weather. Nice.

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Posted in Health Care


  1. Peter says:

    Aaron, is that really what you consider debate? That nonsense aside, the government does not “provide” anything. The government steals from the haves, takes their cut, and doles out the scraps to the have-nots.

    • Aaron Keating says:

      I think the debate is what we’re having now.

      Here are few things our democratically-elected government provides for our families, businesses and communities: A legal system for settling contract disputes; transportation networks for moving goods and people; police and fire protection for our property; and building and restaurant codes to protect our health. That’s just for starters.

      Taxes are how we afford things we could never afford on our own. When a new company starts shipping its goods from Seattle to New York, they’re doing it on roads or runways built with other people’s tax dollars. It makes sense for that company to pay a portion of their economic gains from that infrastructure back to the public in taxes. It is a “civic dividend” of sorts that is invested in future roads so other companies can do the same. There are many more examples of this idea in action.

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