Five Myths About Health Care 'Reform'

Generalizations and assumptions like this are a major reason why rigidly ideological leftists like Obama are genuinely mystified at the failure of their ideas and proposals to sweep through and inflame the populace like wildfire. Were Democrats to listen to those they purport to represent, rather than simply relying on that which they “know” to be true, they would know that going after individuals’ health insurers and providers is a losing proposition in this country.

Simple polling shows this to be the case. A July 1 Quinnipiac poll found that 85 percent of Americans are “satisfied” with their health insurance plan, with almost 58 percent of those being “very satisfied.” A June 20 New York Times/CBS News poll found that 77 percent were satisfied with their health care. Further, that same NYT/CBS poll found that 77 percent of insured Americans found health care “affordable.” At the end of May, a Rasmussen poll found that a comparatively paltry 70 percent of Americans rate their health coverage “good” or “excellent.” Much like the Obama “reform” plan has grown less popular as people have found out more about it, Americans’ opinions of their own coverage and care have improved as they have gotten a better look at the government-run alternative.

Further, not only do fewer people than Democrats expect have stories of being “screwed over” by their insurance company, but there are myriad examples of people being denied treatment and care by government-run health care programs and so-called “public options” of the type Obama and his allies wish to implement here. State governments have even gone to court here in the U.S. in an effort to have bureaucrats ruled more competent arbiters of medical decisions than medical professionals themselves.

Pointing out such facts almost invariably elicits the rebuttal “private insurance rations/denies care, too” -- a response that is a complete non-starter as long as the goal posts in the health care reform debate remain where the Democrats laying out the playing field initially put them. The rationale for a government-centric health care overhaul has from the beginning centered on the ability of government to somehow do health care better -- more humanely, more fairly, and more universally -- than the pseudo-free market we currently have. Sadly, empirical evidence shows that such is not the case.

4. Republicans and “opponents of change” are employing scare tactics and peddling misinformation about the cost or contents of the health reform legislation in Congress and about President Obama’s proposal.

This has been the party line for the Democratic National Committee, MoveOn.org, the SEIU, and the Obama administration since opposition to their health care overhaul proposals began to take root among the general population. However, the actions of those pro-ObamaCare organizations -- which amount to employing actual scare tactics and waging a misinformation campaign against those citizens who have turned out at town hall meetings across the country to express their concerns about the proposed health overhaul -- have not been those of victimized policy proponents, but of professional agitators whose only experience dealing with people is as part of smear campaigns and astroturfing efforts, and whose knee-jerk reaction to dissent is to declare it “dangerous” and to quash it.

The information being repeated by opponents of President Obama’s health overhaul proposal comes from cost analyses published by the officially non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and from testimony by CBO director (and joint Nancy Pelosi/Robert Byrd appointee) Doug Elmendorf, as well as from ordinary citizens actually reading the health overhaul bills -- an exercise many in Congress (and the president himself) have turned up their noses at repeatedly.

Publicly stating the contents of legislation, and asking those who will vote on whether that legislation becomes the law of the land, is neither an illegitimate scare tactic nor a misinformation campaign. On the other hand, sending union thugs to threaten protesters, calling on American citizens to turn their fellow men and women in to the government for questioning the president’s policy proposals online or in “casual conversation,” and rallying Democratic supporters by repeatedly and publicly referring to civic-minded citizens as a “dangerous mob” that must be countered and stopped are examples of both scare tactics and misinformation.

It’s just not coming from Republicans, or from those nefarious “opponents of change.”

5. Republicans are preventing health reform from taking place despite the best efforts of President Obama and Democrats in Congress.

The persistence of this myth speaks to both the lack of civics education in our school systems and the prevalence of partisan finger-pointing in the political discourse. The Democratic Party currently has 60 seats in the U.S. Senate -- a filibuster-proof supermajority. If Senate Democrats actually want to pass a health overhaul bill, there is absolutely nothing the few Republicans in that body can do to stop them.

Further, Democrats have a 70-seat advantage in the House of Representatives. As Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) pointed out in July, this means every Republican representative could bring their surviving parents to a House vote and still not have a large enough contingent to defeat the Democrats on any legislation the latter wished to pass.

The Democrats got what they wished for -- total control of Washington, D.C., and of the lawmaking and enforcing branches of government. However, liberals traditionally specialize in owning intentions, not results or consequences, meaning many are having difficulty accepting responsibility for enacting those policies they so steadfastly claim to support.

In the end, Democrats’ problems passing a health care overhaul bill are theirs and theirs alone, as are their problems enacting any other aspects of the sweeping liberal agenda so many of them -- including the president -- campaigned for office on.