Well, it’s coming down to the wire; the Obama Administration is perhaps just weeks away from enacting legislation that will put our loved ones’ health in the hands of a colossal government bureaucracy comprised of nameless/faceless administrators, drive up job-killing taxes through massive spending, create huge waiting lists for life-saving procedures, cause a shortage of doctors, significantly harm the middle class and poor, elicit health-care rationing as we’ve never before experienced, and, in the end, bring us an inferior level of healthcare.
All of these are certain to be true…and presenting our case like this is exactly the WRONG way to win the hearts and minds of those we are trying to persuade.
Instead, we must communicate the issue at the very heart of this matter and which – as far as I can tell – no one; including any of the usual “Pro-Economic Liberty” pundits, are explaining.
In fact, the Pro-Universal Crowd has done a brilliant job of framing a false argument:
“Do we stick with a Free-Market Healthcare system which is not working?”
“Do we at least do something to try and help; for example, go to a system of Universal Healthcare?”
And (anti-Constitutionality aside), that question would make sense, except…
WE DON’T CURRENTLY HAVE A FREE-MARKET BASED HEALTHCARE SYSTEM. (Sorry for shouting but has nobody noticed that??!!)
Actually, we haven’t had a market-based healthcare system in over 50 years. When we did, it worked magnificently well for everyone, including the financially disadvantaged. Only after government first inched its way in and then eventually controlled nearly every aspect of it did we find ourselves in the predicament we are currently in, with the masses now asking the government to solve the very problem they created (I can’t think of anything more nonsensical).
While I explain all this in my five-part series, Check Your Healthcare Premises, it hardly matters if we don’t effectively communicate this faulty premise to those who advocate Socialized (i.e. Socialistic) Healthcare.
We must “control the frame” and re-direct the argument from a choice between a current “free-market” system (which it is not) that doesn’t work (and it doesn’t) and a socialized system of healthcare that will be absolutely disastrous…and offer a third choice; indeed, the only choice that can work, and – even better – has proven to work; a healthcare system based on the free market.
The next time someone presents the argument as the false choice of two, simply tell them (with no defensiveness): “We don’t have a free market healthcare system.”
They will say, “Of course we do; how can you say that we don’t?”
You respond: “There are 133,000 pages of health care regulation in the U.S. Federal Register. Please tell me why you would consider that to be free market.”
You have just reframed the debate. Now, he/she must explain why today’s system IS market-based instead of you explaining that our current government-controlled system works just fine (which it doesn’t, and everyone knows it doesn’t and it doesn’t do anyone any good when anyone tries to say differently).
They might, in desperation, say, “but something has to change.”
You respond: “Absolutely healthcare needs to change. Wouldn’t you agree that the right change is to the system that worked before; the free market? After all, you are genuinely concerned that people who truly need medical care get it, aren’t you?”
Again, you’ve reframed this to highlight the benevolence of the free market rather than an “I don’t care about others” attitude that they wrongly believe.
Important: Once the person recognizes (or, your reader or listener understands) that the free market is not to blame for our current healthcare woes, you can offer a third alternative; that we get government OUT of our healthcare system and go back to the excellent system we once had (either read my five-part series or utilize information you already know that provides the benefits of a free-market healthcare system).
The key is that – once you set the correct premise and offer the third alternative, you must remain totally disciplined to not get “sucked into” arguing their false dilemma and continue to bring it back to the correct premise.
If we can do this consistently, and teach our fellow lovers of liberty how to do the same, then not only will we not be saddled with a socialized system of healthcare that we’ll never be able to reverse, but we’ll provide everyone; including the children, the elderly and the financially disadvantaged with the benefits of the one healthcare system that truly works…the free market.