Do you ever get the feeling as you observe the current health care reform debate that no one is really looking out for the “little guy”? The principle of subsidiarity has been tossed out the window. On the one hand, you have Democrats arguing for greater state control of our health care system; on the other, Republicans are arguing for continued control by private industry. One is arguing for big government and the other for big business, but neither is arguing that maybe — just maybe — control of health care should be put back into the hands of everyday people instead of either government or business bureaucrats.
Often, there’s a good litmus test for whether or not an idea is a good idea. If both the left and the right absolutely hate it, then it just might be a good idea because it doesn’t conform well to either of their ideologies. Enter the idea of health care cooperatives. The right dismisses cooperatives as government care under a different guise. The left rejects them because, they say, cooperatives will be fraught with mismanagement and corruption (because of course one finds none of this in government). Yep, anyone who talks about cooperatives have become persona non grata to Beltway ideologues. But what exactly are health care cooperatives?