February 9, 2012 12:02PM

Welcome to Our War‐​torn World, Health Care

Cato adjunct scholar John H. Cochrane has a terrific piece in the Wall Street Journal today on the Obamacare vs. religious freedom brouhaha. In particular, though it's not Cochrane's main point, I thought this was spot-on:

Our nation is divided on social issues. The natural compromise is simple: Birth control, abortion and other contentious practices are permitted. But those who object don't have to pay for them. The federal takeover of medicine prevents us from reaching these natural compromises and needlessly divides our society.

For those of you who don't follow education very closely this might seem like a fairly novel point. Unfortunately, this also probably seems novel for many who do follow education, even many who do so professionally. But it shouldn't, because unlike in health care, government has been the dominant provider of education for well over a century, and social conflict and division have been its constant companions.

Welcome to our war-torn world, health care. Better bring a helmet.