What do you know about the proposed health care reform? Where did you learn it from? What's your source, and how do you know they're trustworthy?
Because here's the thing, right. I'll visit www.healthreform.gov, and read there that
"President Obama is committed to working with Congress to pass comprehensive health reform this year in order to control rising health care costs, guarantee choice of doctor, and assure high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. The Administration believes that comprehensive health reform should:
- Reduce long-term growth of health care costs for businesses and government
- Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs
- Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
- Invest in prevention and wellness
- Improve patient safety and quality of care
- Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
- Maintain coverage when you change or lose your job
- End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions."
This issue of epistemic trust is huge. When it's present, honest, productive exchange of ideas really can occur, because even if there's disagreement there's a common sense that all participants are honest, that they are representing themselves truthfully, and that you can trust what they say is what they mean. And this is precisely what we do not have right now.
That's the diagnosis. What's the solution?
Frankly, I'm at a loss. I don't know what could possibly fix this. But here's my attempt. Let's stop the shouting for a minute and just ask ourselves: is there a reason to distrust each other?
Is there a reason to distrust each other?
Is there a reason to trust each other?
Here's mine: we all live here. We all live here, and the laws that the representatives we've elected and empowered enact affect all of us. We all have a stake in this, and when we're talking about something as personal and basic and life-and-death as health care, we all have a huge stake in it. This seems to me to be reason to trust. Reason to assume that everyone has an interest in seeing this come out well. Reason to trust that it benefits everyone to sit down and list out what currently doesn't work about our system, and that it benefits everyone to brainstorm ways to fix it, and then talk about it until the best one of those ideas surfaces through the process of collective discernment. Or, as it is also known, democracy.