As a Canadian living in America, I find the intensely ideological nature of the U.S. health-care reform fiasco odd. Whether you are a free-market libertarian or a democratic socialist, these sorts of abstract commitments are only weakly correlated with the reform proposals on the table. In reality, the health-care debate in the United States is between technocratic reform A and technocratic reform B, with every feasible option tainted by varying degrees of profit motive and government force.

A businessman like Donald Trump is used to resolving conflicts over competing interests. When a real estate deal seems like it’s about to fall through, he simply raises the offer, buys off the holdouts, and gets to building. Values are secondary. As the punch line to the famously crude joke goes, “We’ve already established what kind of person you are. Now we’re just haggling over the price.”

This article originally appeared in the American Conservative. Read the rest here