At FIRM (Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine), we may or may not necessarily win the battle over any specific piece of legislation. But as Lin Zinser has pointed out, that’s a secondary goal. Our main goal is the promote the idea of free market health care and to make it part of the mainstream discussion, so that policy makers and the general public regard it as a serious alternative to the status quo.
Or to borrow a point from Richard Ralston of AFCM (Americans for Free Choice in Medicine), “Don’t worry about changing the politicians. The politicians will wear their fingers to the bone sticking them in the air to test which way the wind is blowing. Instead, work on changing the wind. If you change the wind, the politicians will follow.”
One indication that we are having the desired effect comes from our ideological opposition. A few months ago, Michele Swenson, an advocate of Canadian-style “single payer” health care for Colorado posted the following on the weblog for ProgressNow.org, which is one of the “progressive” leftist advocacy organizations in Colorado. She was complaining about the horrible media bias towards free market health care, and the appalling lack of coverage for her beloved single-payer “solution”. Here’s an excerpt:
Open Letter to Denver Media: The information blackout by the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News regarding Single Payer health care reform – their bias toward ‘free-market’ solutions
Throughout the process of the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform, the two large Denver newspapers have consistently failed to present factual information about the Colorado Health Services Single Payer Proposal — the one that was most favorably evaluated by the Lewin Group.
Since March of 2007 both the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News have each printed a number of commentaries by ‘free-market’ health care advocates Brian T. Schwartz and Paul Hsieh, as well as commentaries by Sen. Andy McElhany and ex-Senator Mark Hillman. Only Rep. Claire Levy was granted a commentary in the Post that dissented from the predominant ‘free market’ view.
At least five commentaries since the Spring of 2007 have been submitted by myself and others about the advantages of the Single Payer proposal, as well as the broken system of third-party multi-payer commercial health insurances. The information has been ignored by the Post and the News. Only out-state papers like the Pueblo Chieftain and some northern Colorado papers, including the Fort Collins Coloradoan and the Northern Colorado Business Report, have consistently printed different perspectives of health care reform, including the Single Payer perspective…
Our opposition definitely knows that we are out there. And they are clearly feeling a bit on the defensive.
So we must be doing something right if the statists are demoralized over what they believe to be a media bias towards the “predominant ‘free market’ view”!
Of course we still have a long ways to go. And there will be inevitable ups and downs throughout the process. But I believe that we can take heart from our opponents’ statements and recognize that we are changing the direction of the wind.