See this picture?
What's missing? That's right, our Obama sign. For the past few weeks, we've had five signs marching up our curbstrip, exercising our right to free speech, sharing our support for the President, our congressperson, our senator, and a couple of local guys.
This morning, the Obama sign was in the middle of the road, and the wire frame that held it up was nowhere to be found. Now maybe, just maybe, someone had a need for sturdy wire in the middle of the night and thus liberated the frame for important purposes, but somehow, I don't think so. I think someone doesn't like the President and was offended by my yard sign.
No matter. I'm still voting for Mr. Obama. I think he's the best hope for our country, and I think Mr. Romney would be a mean-spirited, nasty-minded, destructive force should he be elected.
There are a lot of issues on the table right now. For me, I am horrified by the degree of inhumanity evidenced by Mr. Romney vis a vis women and gay people. I am dismayed at his lack of concern for the "47%". I am shocked by his poor grasp of foreign affairs, and the way he's put his foot in it over and over again. But one of the most important things to me is our domestic policy as regards health care. I wrote about this not too long ago, when I talked about how much it cost for us to have our daughter's broken arm attended to.
One of the issues for my family is that my insurance is a "high deductible" plan, which is supposed to make the patient be a better consumer. In point of fact, that is nearly impossible. James Surowiecki wrote about "Romneycare" in the New Yorker recently, and he explains far better than I did why patients don't make good consumers:
But the free market, though it may be the best way of allocating new TVs and cars, falters when it comes to paying for bypass surgery or chemotherapy. The reasons for this were established nearly fifty years ago, by the economist Kenneth Arrow, in a classic article entitled “Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care.” Arrow showed that health care is distinctive in ways that limit the power of the market. Because people don’t have the expertise to evaluate doctors, hospitals, or treatments, it’s hard for them to comparison-shop. Because they can’t pay for major care out of pocket, they must rely on insurance, thereby often losing the final say in what to buy or how much to spend. More fundamentally, markets work only when consumers have the power to say no if the price isn’t right. Yet it’s very hard for people to say no in the case of things like end-of-life care or brain surgery.
For me, the health care issue crystalizes why I will vote for Mr. Obama again. I want the United States government to help people. Health care is a necessity for the collective good, for the whole of the country, just as national defense is something done for all of us, not just a lucky few.
And after Hurricane Sandy flies by, and assuming she doesn't take out the oak in front of my house, I'm nailing my Obama sign to the tree.