Paul Ryan’s Misguided Sense of Freedom

In his first address to Congress, President Trump made many sweeping pledges, but one of them was familiar to anyone who listened to him campaign. He said that he was “calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare” and demanding “reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs and, at the same time, provide better health care.”

That’s a lot to promise, and Republicans have thus far been unable to get on the same page about how to repeal the Affordable Care Act and what should take its place. But Mr. Trump is not the one who has to deliver on it. It falls to House Speaker Paul Ryan to rally the troops.

For his part, Mr. Ryan has been diligently tweeting pledges to the American people that the law is on its way out. Republicans haven’t landed on a replacement plan yet. But Mr. Ryan is sure they will come up with something because they know, as he said in a recent tweet, “Freedom is the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need.”

He went on to argue that Obamacare abridges this freedom by telling you what to buy. But his first thought offers a meaningful and powerful definition of freedom. Conservatives are typically proponents of negative liberty: the freedom from constraints and impediments. Mr. Ryan formulated a positive liberty: freedom derived from having what it takes to fulfill one’s needs and therefore to direct one’s own life.

– New York Times

Read the full article here.