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          State of health care not worthy of "crisis" label

          Tiffany Oliver

          Issue date: 3/26/10 Section: Opinion
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          Roughly one year ago, President Obama summarized the current state of the country as a chance to "discover great opportunity in the midst of great crisis." The quote is reminiscent to how progressives viewed the Great Depression, especially with Franklin D. Roosevelt's commitment to expanding government power through New Deal legislation. While the quote may appear harmless, or even an optimistic take on dealing with current economic struggles, it alludes to the concept of consolidating government power in times of "crisis," with crisis being defined by those in power. While the United States may be experiencing problems, I hardly consider the nation to be in a state of crisis.

          Progressives, during the Woodrow Wilson administration, used World War I as an opportunity to try new social policies. Franklin Roosevelt pushed through radical legislation during his first hundred days that completely changed the role of government from a protector of rights to a powerful entity that threatened other branches of government that did not follow the New Deal plan. During World War II, the United States government was able to gain unprecedented control of private industry, and President Truman made an ill-fated attempt to take control of the steel industry during the Korean War. Shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act, which was an assault on civil liberties unseen since the Alien and Sedition Act.

          History shows us that presidents and Congress have used responses to "crisis" to consolidate power, and it has taken years for that power to return to the people. President Obama has constantly referred to the health care situation as a crisis in an attempt to pass progressive legislation to "fix" the health care industry.

          I agree that there are problems with the health care industry, and by problems I mean instances in which insurance companies treat people unfairly. Then again, no industry is perfect. Many people, including myself, think it is wrong when insurance companies drop expensive patients, but I can also see the situation from a business perspective. In my opinion, the fairest thing to do is to mirror the auto insurance industry and have customers enter into contracts with health insurance providers, guaranteeing fixed rates for a fixed amount of time. Based on the historically low approval ratings of Congress and the almost regular occurrence of political scandals, I do not think that politicians are in any position to make judgments of morality. Some people have an issue that health insurance companies profit from health care, but grocery stores are allowed to make profits even though food is an absolute necessity.
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          In This Issue


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          • Representative Barbara Lee addresses concerns over new health care bill
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          • Weberian politics: Current vice president of finance Max Weber campaigns for the USG presidency


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