The Affordable Care Act regulates insurance companies, but does not limit the huge profits made by pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers or hospital administrators. That’s because the ACA would not have passed without the support of those three groups.

To corral those industries and really make American health care better, cheaper and fairer will probably require government intervention. I say that because every developed country that has some version of national health care uses government regulation to control access and set prices. Any move in that direction in the U.S., though, would bring further accusations of “socialized medicine” and stoke the “government takeover” fire.

This is why I say we’re focusing on the wrong thing — on principles instead of lives. And I came to that conclusion by thinking back to my own father. A country boy from Osceola, Missouri, with the gumption to become a philosophy professor, my dad deeply resents “Fasten Seat Belt” lights in cars. “It’s the government telling me how to drive!” was his common complaint.