David, you say that:
“no one has taken what seems to me the correct position: loss of innovation be damned, we have a positive obligation to provide some level of basic health care to everyone in our society, since we can afford to do so.”
Isn’t almost the exact opposite the case? Nearly everyone, left or right, would agree with that rather elastic statement, and I daresay everyone at both First Things and Commonweal would. Does the principle simply require that we provide emergency-room care and a few other basic services? Or do we need cradle-to-grave provision for every medical need and more than a few medical whims?
There are good rhetorical and political reasons to not talk about the sacrifices required under any settlement. It’s fine if some people do, it may even be helpful, but it makes little sense to attack people for not setting flame to their own political causes.
I don’t know where the correct course on healthcare lies, but almost everyone already has a claim on the principle you just put up for adoption.