Have you ever did something to in some way “save” something important to you and then find out you can’t live with the costs of what you are saving? Have you ever realized that at some point your solution is as bad if not worse than the problem it solves? On a personal level I have been there a gazillion times. Hell I am still there. But what about in the public sphere?
Tennessee is getting ready to “solve” the issue of 280,000 Tennesseans… but at what cost.
The Task Force by everything I have heard is going to do something people do all the time when confronted with a problem they don’t want to solve… They solve a different problem.
Insure Tennessee was a political problem. In a legislative session that wasn’t supposed to talk about it at all it was all some people did talk about. I think really the legislative insistence on letting it lay quiet did something no one really expected. The people filled the vacuum. Speaker Harwell in particular found herself being stuck in a rising tide that was only getting worse. She wasn’t t mean enough for the haters. She wasn’t brave enough for those suffering. She had to give an answer she didn’t have. So she gave us the Task Force.
The Task Force has, at least they believe, solved the problem of Insure Tennessee. They have buried it. The Speaker will probably not have people clad in purple shirts on her doorstep suggesting she walk in their shoes. She will have plausible deniability. She will have a plan that solves nothing approved by no one to point to a proof she really cares and the federal government is not ever going to push her around. She is going to sell us a bridge in Brooklyn and hope we are all in a bridge buying space.
In a time when people are dying and hospitals are closing she is going to show us what conservative principles really mean. We are going to make sure that those with mental health issues all get therapy while those with cancer issues get none.
Yes much will get solved. Speaker Harwell may get reelected. She may even be chosen Speaker again. And maybe she will even be our next Bill Haslam. But at what cost?
What really matters? Must the answer to our biggest issues always be about political expediency and personal ambition? How can the answer to your most central ethical dilemmas be the continued death and unnecessary suffering of 280,000 of your neighbors? How can this be the policy of a decent people?
The Task Force may win. Insure Tennessee may be dead. But in the end what will they have truly won and at what cost will they know victory?