Archive for February 2011
President Jimmy Carter famously put solar panels on the roof of the White House, at a time when energy independence was considered a bummer topic for polite discussion. His successor President Ronald Reagan famously took the solar panels off the White House roof. Energy independence is no longer taboo, and Reagan looks in retrospect far less conservative on issues of energy independence than Carter. “Conservative” as in “finding ways to save money.”
Similarly, President Barack Obama signed a law requiring everyone in the USA to have health insurance. “Everyone into the (premium) pool” is considered a bummer topic for polite discussion. Obama’s successor, if he is succeeded in 2012, is going to run on the platform of repealing the health insurance mandate. And you can bet that no matter who that person is, they will also be running on a platform that opposes solar panels.
If the mandate is repealed and there is a subset of people who can legally have no health insurance, yet still expect to be saved by our health care system when they get hit by a bus, it will bankrupt us. Eventually health expenditure in the US will hit a “crisis moment” similar to the pinch we currently feel from the oil industry. Then it will not be impolite to talk about cost-sharing in the US. And then on issues of health care, Obama will be historically remembered as our most conservative President.