The film “Dallas Buyers Club”, starring Matthew McConauhey in his Academy Award winning role, is about Ron Woodroof, a man exposed to the AIDS virus who starts a buyers club – a network of infected individuals that help each other get life-saving medication.
The homophobic, free wheeling cowboy Ron contracts the HIV virus through the casual sex he has on a regular basis. The disease, stigmatized at the time as a “gay man’s” ailment, forces Ron into personal hiding, as he’s affronted with homophobic slurs despite his heterosexual lifestyle.
Thought y’all might be interested in checking out this new video from the Mercatus Center. Bob Graboyes’s metaphor of the Frontier vs the Fortress is a really insightful tool to look at ANY heavily-regulated industry, not just healthcare.
In debates about ideology, left or right, what’s often missed by both sides is the narrative, the emotional and experiential realities of policy. When we let fear of failure dominate our thinking, we are inexorably led to protecting ourselves and others from those failures. We often miss the fact that this protection, which seems a costless benefit, keeps us locked in a kind of creative prison. In order for creatives to use their imagination to solve problems and promote growth, opportunity and prosperity, we have to be ok with risk, and by virture of that risk, failure. While that may seem dangerous in areas like healthcare, where failure can mean death, we have to hold in our minds that putting our society’s creative minds in a prison also leads to death. As the FDA onerously tests drugs for years (saving people from bad drugs that could harm them), people suffering from conditions who are denied those drugs during the testing process experience harm and death while waiting. The notion that the fortress protects us is an illusion.
While it may be difficult and seem dangerous, we have to believe in the human capacity for creative thought. The innate human drive to the frontier, to exploration and achievement, is ultimately the only resource that can generate solutions that revolutionize life for all.