(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
The current debate over the Affordable Care Act's, or "Obamacare's," coverage mandates illustrates the differences between liberals and conservatives over the proper role of government. To demonstrate, here is a debate between a liberal Lacy and conservative Chris over the ACA's coverage mandates.
Conservative Chris: Millions of people are losing their health insurance because of Obamacare.
Liberal Lacy: They are losing their current health insurance, but they will be getting new, better insurance.
Conservative Chris: They may like their current insurance and the government is telling them they cannot keep it.
Liberal Lacy: The only insurance plans people are not allowed to keep are crummy plans anyway. They lack basic services that insurance plans should have. Some of them do not even cover hospitalization!
Conservative Chris: Some people only want catastrophic coverage - a plan that only kicks in if they get in a really bad accident, or have a rare illness that requires costly treatments. The coverage mandates also require some to carry coverage for services they do not need. Why would an elderly couple need to carry coverage for birth control or maternity care?
Liberal Lacy: Requiring everyone to pay for those services will bring down the cost of covering those services for everyone. The elderly are helping to pay for services used by the young, but the young are also helping to pay for services that will be used by the elderly. This way, we are all covered for the things we should have covered.
Conservative Chris: Why should the government get to decide what coverage everyone should have?
Liberal Lacy: The government has experts who know what is best.
Conservative Chris: I think people should decide for themselves what is best.
Liberal Lacy: If people are able to decide for themselves, they will make mistakes, and the insurance companies will take advantage of their ignorance.
Conservative Chris: Yes, some will make mistakes, but they should have the freedom to do so. The government should not try to right every wrong in society. When it tries, it becomes too authoritarian.
Liberal Lacy: In a democracy, the government is not a separate entity making these decisions. The government is us!