Great Letter to the Editor on Healthcare

 Posted by on 25 May 2007 at 9:56 am  Health Care
May 252007

Hannah Krening’s excellent letter to the editor was published in yesterday’s Denver Post. (It’s halfway down the linked page.)

Proposals to reform health care in Colorado

As a Colorado taxpayer, breast cancer survivor and one whose first husband lost a long battle with cancer, I want to say that the state 208 Commission’s recent choices of proposals to evaluate all add up to one thing for me: I hope I never have a life-threatening condition again in Colorado if any of these proposals become reality. And I hope that nobody I love has to be subjected to the rationing, waiting and other debilitating results of what they evidently believe are the best of intentions.

Bringing more government involvement into health care “reform” is not a solution. It

is a recipe for disaster. Of the proposals considered, only one reflected my views: the “FAIR” proposal, which has been cast aside. Only by reducing government involvement in health care will we get the kind of justice that will bring about the best care for all at the best possible price. We must remember that health care is not and cannot be free: the skills of doctors, researchers and technology companies must be fairly compensated. The alternative is slavery of the few taxpayers who will foot the huge (unworkable) bills and of the providers of health care who will ultimately leave the profession in order not to be enslaved by it.

This is not regulation on some dispensable part of our lives. This concerns everyone’s survival, to some degree; nobody will be untouched by the outcome of this process. We have a lot to lose.

Hannah Krening, Larkspur

Hannah’s experience with cancer gives her special credibility in the current healthcare debate in Colorado. Similarly, that Paul is a practicing physician gives his voice tremendous weight. Lin is gaining ever-more traction as a genuine health care policy expert in Colorado, thanks to her diligent study of the nuts and bolts of the subject over the past few months. Brian Schwartz (of has standing in the debate because he submitted a proposal to the 208 Commission.

When Lin began FIRM, I don’t think that any of us appreciated the importance of that kind of special credibility. Yet it makes sense: people are more swayed by the opinions of people with experience and expertise than the random opinions of unknown persons.

So in your own activism, don’t just rely on your general knowledge of the relevant philosophic principles. That’s boring, to both yourself and others. Instead, ask yourself what unique perspective you can contribute to the debate. Focus on the issues (or subissues) in which you have some notable experience or expertise. Appeal to that when you write, as Hannah’s letter did. Even if your particular issues or subissues aren’t the most exciting or sexy or crucial in the total context, you’ll do better in the fight. You’ll likely be far more motivated to write and speak at all. And if you speak as someone with some special knowledge, insight, and concern, your words will carry more weight.

So if you’re having trouble motivating yourself to write and speak, even though you know that you should fight for the future of this country for your own sake, think about what you as an individual can bring to the debate. I’ve been struggling with just that kind of inadequate motivation on the health care debate this week, but I know that I’ll be excited to jump into the fray once I clearly answer the question of how I can use my expertise as a moral philosopher, as the wife of a physician, as the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, and so on to give myself an angle in the debate. If you’re feeling unmotivated, perhaps you might ask yourself the same kind of question.

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