Joshua Holland (Alternet):
I have no interest in defending the mandate that individuals buy an insurance policy. I think it's self-evident that coercing people to shell out their hard-earned cash to Big Insurance is a distinctly sucky thing.
So I won't.
I do, however, want people to take a deep breath, and at least have a serious discussion of the policy without all the hand-wringing and hyperbole that have been flying around of late.
I used to labor under the naive delusion that liberals tended to be rationalists -- sometimes too nerdy in their reliance on factual arguments -- and conservatives were the ones who appealed to our basest emotions, our fears. Thankfully, the health-care debate's set me straight on this.You may well believe that there's this massive population in the U.S. who can afford coverage but go without simply because they like the insecurity of knowing that they're screwed if they get sick, but I think that's the worst kind of bullshit.
Equally obvious is that this is a rather convoluted way to get to a not-quite-but-almost universal health-care system. But in the context of the approach that's on the table right now, it's at least arguably a necessary evil. Maybe it isn't, but it'd be nice to have that discussion without the kind of demagoguery that we've come to expect from the right.