American Elephants

They Focused the Hubble Telescope On An Empty Spot in Space, And Look What they Found! by The Elephant's Child
August 25, 2009, 2:38 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: ,

It’s Not Just About Our Health Care, It’s About Our Freedom. by The Elephant's Child

Progressives never anticipated the intensity of protests at town-hall meetings. They never anticipated the rapid drop in President Obama’s approval rates — now at only 27 percent.  The forces backing President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul have spent years polling and using focus groups to find the exact language that would win over  voters.

The effort began four years ago, when a center-left coalition of advocacy groups, union leaders and health-care experts teamed up to try to change the language of the health-care debate.  The Herndon Alliance, named after the northern Virginia suburb where proponents first met, included the AARP, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the American Cancer Society and the liberal health-policy group Families USA, among others.

The alliance, now based in Seattle, hired the Democratic polling outfit Lake Research and California market-research firm American Environics.

The idea was to take a page from the Republican playbook, said Robert Crittenden, a physician and founder of the Herndon Alliance.  Republicans had become adept at using words to seize issues, turning the estate tax into the “death tax.” for instance.

If it took a PR firm and polling to turn the estate tax into the “death tax,” somebody really got cheated.  A tax on the savings one has struggled to put away all their lives that is taxed when they die, on savings that were already taxed when they were saved, is not long going to get away with the euphemism “estate tax.”  This is not rocket science.

I’m not sure just who the health care “experts” are supposed to be in this bunch.  If their proposals for remedying  the problems in American health care made sense — which they don’t — they wouldn’t need to find  poll-tested words to fool the public.

Words to use are: ‘public’ as opposed to ‘government‘; ‘choice and control’ instead of ‘competition‘; ‘quality, affordable health care‘ instead of ‘Universal coverage‘; ‘rules‘ instead of ‘regulations‘ and ‘a choice of private and public plans‘ instead of  ‘Medicare for all.’  Does this all begin to sound familiar?

Obama has been careful to use these tested words.  He is a young  president in a hurry,  as Peter Wehner says, “a man of preternatural self-confidence and soaring ambitions.  That combination, tethered to a liberal worldview, is inflicting considerable damage on his presidency.”

Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, famously advised,”You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” This assumed that in the throes of a recession, with jobs evaporating, Americans would be so panicked that they would look to the wise government in Washington to rescue them quickly from the downturn.  That the public would yearn for prompt government action.  But most Americans are not so confident in government action, especially hasty action to irrevocably alter one seventh of the economy.

And voters are far, far, too familiar with government’s tendency to overspend in ways that severely damage their pocketbooks. Americans are basically fairly conservative.  They believe deeply in our Constitution, in the freedoms it ensures, in the separation of powers, and in the enumerated powers that we the people grant to the government.  And Americans are very aware that our representatives in the Nation’s capitol are inclined to forget the limitations on what they are allowed to do.  If you can find the passage in the Constitution that allows the federal government to take over our health care system, please point it out.

Obama wanted to pass his health care bill quickly. He did not want prolonged debate, or even discussion, yet that is what he is getting.  His arguments for ObamaCare are specious. He has argued that a new healthcare system is necessary to spur an economic recovery.  He has offered health care as an antidote to rising deficits.  Earlier this week, in a conference call with Jewish rabbis he claimed a moral imperative for revamping the nation’s healthcare system.

This is nonsense.  The bill before the House has been estimated by the CBO to cost over $1 trillion in the next ten years, and another trillion in the following ten.  Private, nonpartisan analysis has doubled that figure.  We have the best healthcare system in the world.  It is not in crisis.

We have problems with health insurance which are quite open to solutions far short of a government takeover.  ObamaCare is hardly an antidote to rising deficits. The budget deficit is already estimated at $9 trillion.  There is nothing in the house bill or in the several bills in the Senate that would not add to the deficit.  There is no one who is going without health care in the United States.  And contrary to what folks in Europe seem to think, we don’t have dead bodies lying around in the streets.

Democrats have attempted to demonize insurance companies, suggesting “profits” although the insurance companies have a lower profit margin (under 3 percent) than most American corporations. Obama suggested that Doctors take out tonsils just to make money, and secured a backroom deal with pharmaceutical lobbyists to cut some costs in return for a promise to leave them alone.  He has sent out his SEIU Union thugs to disrupt town halls, and sent Acorn members out to convince citizens to support his plan.

Perhaps his biggest mistake has been to attempt to demonize angry citizens who have turned out to protest at their representatives’ town-halls.  They have been called “brownshirts,” and “kooks,” and “flunkies of the RNC.” In his arrogance, Obama has chosen not to recognize the genuine anger being expressed by the public.  He forgets that it is the voters on whom he is declaring war.

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