Sanders Gets Entangled in His Own Veil of Ignorance

As the discussion surrounding Obamacare raged on, CNN decided to host a debate between Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. To say it was a bit ironic would be an understatement– considering both of them were the underdogs last year in their primaries. What I found especially amusing was that each time there was a commercial break, CNN kept repeating that they are the most trustworthy media house of them all. Well, the numbers don’t lie, and I tend to agree with Margaret Thatcher who was rather poignant when she said: “Power is like being a lady… if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

Early in the debate, it became apparent that Cruz could list the facts in regards to Obamacare until the Judgment Day, while Bernie Sanders turned out to be a one-trick pony. All he did through the entire night was deflect the questions and rage against his imaginary one percent. It should be an obvious sign your narrative is flawed when you accuse a woman of not taking care of her employees, by providing them health insurance, only to discover that she herself cannot afford health insurance.

This did not phase Bernie though. In his eyes, it is fine to vilify the poor woman just for being an employer. In Sander’s eyes, an employer is held in the same category as Karl Marx’s bourgeoisie. The employers are the one with the capital, and thus inherently evil. From his perspective, they deserve to be punished by life. They need to suffer because they are “part of the problem”, part of that imaginary one percent Sanders likes to tout so much about. He is so deluded, he puts an employer who cannot even afford health insurance for her own family in the same category as Bill Gates.

What I believe is Sanders’s cardinal sin, is the fact that he refuses to accept how ordinary people tend to view things when he employs the veil of ignorance. Sanders seems to think that people want health insurance for all when in fact, people just care about their own health insurance. When talking about the veil of ignorance we suppose that we do not know about our own place in society, so the thought process states that people will in general,  tend to lean toward a choice that is the least damaging to them. The veil of ignorance only works when you end up profiting as a result. This is why slavery is such a good example when using the veil of ignorance. Nobody wants to be a slave, everyone wants to be free. With Sanders and his idea of health insurance, it’s not so. And you don’t need to believe me, the facts, on which Cruz turned the people’s attention throughout the night numerous times, speak for themselves.

The choice ends up being either bad and expensive health insurance for everyone on one side, or an affordable and customized health insurance on an individual basis. Considering the horror stories of the people affected by Obamacare, the result is obvious. People want to freely choose the size, price, and coverage of their health insurance. They don’t care if millions of others stay without it. At the end of the day, all people care about is whether they can afford it or not. There is between twelve and twenty percent of the lower class population, depending on which statistic you look at, that cannot afford health insurance. Thus, the remaining eighty percent can afford health insurance. This means that the eighty percent were the ones affected the most by the rise of premiums. It’s important to consider that the working and lower-middle class form the majority of the American population. From a purely utilitarian point of view, it makes more sense to please sixty-five percent of the people in comparison to the twenty percent that would end up dissatisfied. Especially once you consider which side is paying the taxes.

Another thing that I took issue with, is Sanders’s cynicism. He never addressed the false assurances Obama gave to the people when he introduced ACA. Cruz brought the issue up several times, and Sanders decided to ignore it as if the fact that people were lied to was insignificant. As Sanders put it at one point responding to Cruz: “Well, Ted, first thought, as everybody knows, health care is pretty complicated. I think President Obama is an honest person, and I think, based on his assessment, that’s what he believed.” Cruz responded by asking a simple question: “Was it true?”

We all know the answer to that one. It isn’t true. It is far from it. People prefer to not have health insurance and pay the exorbitant tax penalties because of it. The alternative is having health insurance that covers basically nothing and is even more expensive. Sanders’s response to this was outrageous. When asked if it is unfair to put this tax burden on families, he said: “No. It’s not. But on the other hand, is it fair to not raise the revenue that we need to provide the kinds of benefits that we are providing? That is a way to do it. I don’t think it’s a particularly good way.”

Call me shocked and appalled, but after already establishing that the current system is a disaster where only the insurance companies profit, Sanders is still defending the ACA at the cost of working and middle-class families. So much for his imaginary one percent. C.S. Lewis had it right when he said: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

People want health care, not health insurance.

By: Ivan Šokić

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