There’s a saying in atheism circles that aims to show Christian hypocrisy related to how they dismiss all the thousands of gods that have existed previously, yet fail to understand how atheists dismiss theirs:
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. – Stephen Roberts
Interestingly enough, the same concept applies to conservatives and healthcare. Here’s my modified version of this quote:
I contend that we both support public services. I just believe in supporting one more than you do. When you understand why you support public schools, a public fire department, and a public police force, you’ll then understand why I support public health care.
In other words, you’ll find that most conservatives are quite comfortable with calling a taxpayer-funded fire truck when their precious home is engulfed in flames. Similarly, if a conservative sees someone suspicious in his neighborhood he’ll probably not suffer any philosophical anguish while calling the taxpayer-funded police department.
Neither of these entities are for-profit. They are publicly funded and aren’t competing directly with private services. And it’s the same with public schools. Private services can compete with them if they so choose, and that’s fine, but you won’t find many conservatives arguing that the public versions of the services should go away.
Ultimately, conservatives need to answer a very simple question: what is the difference between someone’s home being on fire and someone’s child needing chemotherapy?
The answer is nothing–not in a modern society. So sure–debate all you want about implementation. Let’s hear plenty of conversation about efficiency and avoiding bureaucracy and such, but the concept itself of public healthcare should not be fought on principle. If one wants to have that conversation then it must also be had regarding all the other public services that are widely accepted as foundations of any first world society. ::