Suppose a hungry man looks in his larder and sees he has nothing more to eat than a crust of bread and a stick of carrot. What possible difference can it make what order he eats them in? He's still going to go hungry because he just plain doesn't have enough food. It only makes sense that instead of wasting his time trying to decide whether to eat first the carrot or the crust, he should be out looking for more food.
That to me in a nutshell is the problem with today's debate over health care. In essence, what we are talking about is how best to arrange the parts and everyone has an opinion. Some say the machine will work better if we arrange the parts this way, others say that way - and still others think we ought to just leave it alone. But lost in all this back and forth is the first and fundamental truth that we just don't have enough parts to work with, no matter how we arrange them.
Now the dirty word which always crops up is rationing. But people who throw this word around in the manner of criticism are missing the point. All products, from aspirin to zucchini, are rationed in one way or another. And it is their relative abundance which ultimately dictates what we pay for them.
How many ways and times is this parable repeated in all cultures: a group of learned men are debating complicated solutions to a problem when up walks a child who uncovers the perfect solution by merely pointing out the obvious. When it comes to health care and all our raging, passionate debates, I don't think we ever more needed just such a child.
And that's where I'm come'in from...