Reading about this, I’m reminded of that old liberal bumper sticker about how “it will be a great day when schools have all the money they need and the Pentagon has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.” In Miami County, Kansas, they had to hold the equivalent of a bake sale to make sure that low-income women received access to reproductive health services under Title X:
After the all-male county commission voted to cut off $9,000 in Title X funding for contraceptives, residents of Miami County, Kansas decided to restore the funds to provide access to contraception for low-income women in the area. Through individual contributions, the group raised enough to restore what had been cut. “The money was given with contingencies, and after meeting in closed session with their attorney, the commissioners decided to accept the money,” one woman in Miami County said in a statement to RH Reality Check, “how could they not?”
Sadly, this forms the basis of actual conservative thought around health care policy, including the claims from people like Ron Paul. Back in the 1950s, the story goes, everyone helped out their neighbor, and everybody got the care we need, so charity can stand in for government. This obviously leaves out an entire story about poverty and hidden suffering from that period. And it’s impossible to scale up. You may be able to scrounge up $9,000 for Title X funding in small communities, but that’s not the basis of a sustainable health care system, and indeed it never was.
There really are some tasks only government can perform. And a good bit of those things convey broad social benefits on the population and the economy. And if paying for them is your obsession, there are ways to do that. Ending corporate welfare comes to mind. So does progressive taxation. These problems are much easier to solve than those who want to stop the solutions make it seem.