The Public Good and Obamacare

It’s not just the sprawling, unwieldy and imperfect Affordable Care Act (which, despite its flaws, has managed to save countless lives — mine among them) that Trump, Ryan and Republicans in general oppose, and it’s not just the very concept of “public health” that they oppose. No, it’s the very notion of a public good in general to which they are so vehemently opposed. This in spite of overwhelming evidence that the provision of a good that impacts an individual directly can positively impact others who may not benefit directly. Vaccination is the exemple parfait here. Republicans cringe in affected horror any time the public good as such comes under consideration, braying about “socialism” (which very few understand) and inveighing against the “unworthy” others who might benefit; the reality, of course, is that when it comes to health, everyone benefits if everyone else is healthier. The same holds for clean air and water, combating the effects of climate change, research and development, expanded access to communication, affordable quality education; the list goes on. No man is an island, John Donne famously wrote, yet the concept of isolated Promethean man seems to be the wet dream of much of the contemporary right. 

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~ by Benji on 7 March 2017.

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