Pipsqueak Blogger Uncovers Health Care Coup Dâ€™Etat
Government Takeover Imminent!
We are on the threshold, or, depending on whom you listen to, it has already happened. A government takeover. Raw, unbridled, governmental violence, wrought on an unsuspecting populace. Here, in the U.S. The evidence:
· House Minority Leader John Boehner, quoted in the New York Times, “Americans want lower health care costs – not a trillion-dollar government takeover of health care.” (8/3)
· Representative Mike Pence, (R-Indiana), the third-ranking Republican in the House, “The American people want health care reform that will lower costs and make health insurance more affordable. But we don't want a government takeover of health care paid for with a trillion dollars in higher taxes…” (7/28)
· Pence again, on Fox News: “Folks know a government-run option would result in tens of millions losing insurance they have with their employer now and millions of Americans losing their jobs, and the idea now that piling on top of all that big government takeover of health care are going to be tax increases on businesses and employees is just astonishing.” (7/15) (Huh?)
· More Pence, Fox News, On the Record, with Greta Van Susteren, “You bet every member of Congress who votes for this bill ought to read it, read it thoroughly, and understand that what we're looking at here amounts to nothing more than a government takeover of our health care economy, paid for with nearly a trillion dollars in new taxes on individuals and small businesses.” (7/28)
· Still more: “The American people oppose a government takeover of health insurance,” Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, (8/3)
· Arizona Senator John Kyl (R), on NPR’s Morning Edition, called the government option a “government takeover” of health care. (8/4) He went on to say that a health care “overhaul” was not needed; we only need “some changes.”
· U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, (R-LA), “This bill [HR3200] sets the tone in Washington for a government takeover of the health-care system.” (8/4)
· Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA), “I'm deeply troubled by this attempt at a government takeover of health care.” 7/15
· U.S. Representative Connie Mack (R-FL), ““The Democrats’ proposal of a government takeover of our nation’s health care system comes as no surprise.” 7/15)
· John Thune, (R-S.D.), calls the public option, "the gateway to the government takeover of health care." (8/4)
· Senator Jim DeMint, (R-S.C.), "If I can stop a government takeover, I will..."(7/28)
· Senator John McCain, “Or you're going to have government have an enormous advantage which will over time have people gravitate into the government option, which then means a gradual government takeover of the health care system.” (8/1)
· Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, “"Obamacare is a government-run health care system that would result in a federal government takeover of 18 percent of our economy," (7/30)
· U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, “[A] government takeover of our health care system… will do nothing but damage the health of millions of American families, not to mention the fiscal health of our nation.”
· Representative Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), “Congress can reform healthcare and make health insurance more affordable. And we can do it without a government takeover of healthcare.”
Now from the Chattering Class…
· Rod Blum, in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, “Health care needs tweaks, not a government takeover.” (8/2)
· Connie Hair, from humaneventsonline.com, the “Headquarters of the Conservative Underground,” “[Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)] was run out of his own town hall meeting by protesters, angry about his support for the government takeover of the health care industry.” (8/4)
· Larry Greenley, The New American, “A government takeover of healthcare would lead to healthcare rationing, decreased payments to doctors and hospitals, and shortages of doctors.” (7/22)
· Larry Greenley, on The John Birch Society website, “Why Obama’s Government Takeover of Health Care Is Bogging Down.” (7/22) (A Larry Greenley twofer, on the same day!)
· John Lott, FoxNews.com, “Let's just hope that the government takeover of the rest of the health care industry doesn't result in similar ‘success.’” (8/3)
· Robert M. Goldberg, on the American Spectator website, “A government takeover of health care will be a fait accompli.” (8/3)
· Howard Smith, senior associate for Plexus Consulting, at Examiner.com, “Blueprint for a government takeover of health care and a prescription for deadly medicine.” (8/3)
· “Opinion Journal,” Wall Street Journal, “The only way to get a sensible health-care reform in this Congress is to show Mr. Obama that a government takeover won’t work and that he needs to rethink his political strategy.” (7/22)
· From the Family Research Council website: “The Family Research Council will host a special one hour Webcast to mobilize opposition to President Obama's proposed government takeover of the health care system.” (7/28)
· Female narrator, Family Research Council Action ad, "…stop the government takeover of health care." (7/28)
· Mark Souder, of the Fort Wayne News Sentinel, showed a little improvisational spirit with, “They [the Democrats] wanted the federal government to simply take over the health care sector of our economy.” (8/4)
And two early adopters:
· Bob Ashby, Holland Sentinel (Holland, MI), “For the sake of 3 to 5 percent of the population who cannot afford health insurance, we may be on the verge of another massive government takeover of another sector of the economy.” (7/10)
· Adrian Smith, McCook Daily Gazette, McCook, NE, “As the health care reform debate begins in Congress, some lawmakers are pushing a one-size-fits-all government takeover approach to health care.” (7/10)
Jackbooted Policy-Makers Lurking Behind the Medicine Cabinet
Did somebody say, “government takeover?” Anybody up for a PR offensive? Control the language and you control the debate. This is the first tenet of Rovian politics. Get a thousand chattering alligator-shoed dudes on message and you have a veritable symphony of faux discourse. You have a PR offensive. Or a fear offensive.
And talk about being on the same page; here we have everyone on the bus on the same two words. Perhaps it is time to stock up on the canned goods and ammunition. The Republican message is so simple, and so carefully designed: we don’t need a government takeover; all we need is a little tweaking. It just so happens that this message works perfectly for…the health insurance industry.
A Rasmussen Reports poll released on Monday indicates that 80% of those with insurance indicated that they like their plans just fine. Never mind the 47 million uninsured. Never mind the additional 25 million underinsured. Never mind what happens when their own kids are no longer eligible for coverage. Problem? What problem?
Is this the August recess dialogue we were promised? Is this listening to one’s constituents? Meanwhile, proponents of reform are hounded from the stage by synchronized street teams.
Where do the Republicans, people like Eric Cantor, (R-VA), get their facts for this offensive? From “independent research firms” like the Lewin Group. For the record:
The Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a UnitedHealth subsidiary that was accused by the New York attorney general and the American Medical Association, a physician's group, of helping insurers shift medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data.
Where did I find this? I kid you not, The Ethiopian Review. But Orrin Hatch, of Utah, calls the Lewin Group “one of the most nonpartisan groups in the country.” How do the findings of the Lewin Group propel the logic of the health care coup? Like this, from Republican House Leader John Boehner’s web page here:
Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Tens of Millions Their Current Health Care Coverage. The House Democrats’ plan could force more than 100 million Americans out of their current health care plan and onto the government rolls, according to a Lewin Group study published earlier this year. (Italics mine.)
If there has been a coup concerning health care I am afraid it is a coup on the part of the health care insurance lobby. All of this is over the “public option”— an idea that is embodied in the concept of a health insurance exchange. Here is how the San Jose Mercury describes a health insurance exchange:
It's a single market, structured for consumer convenience, in which you choose between the products of competing health insurers (both public and private). It is how we buy everything from books to socks to soup. Everything, that is, except health insurance.
Competing insurers, public and private. In Germany, these are called the sick funds. (I suggested in a previous post that they could be called health funds). They are risk pools, and under reform, these pools would be big enough to include everybody, even the sick. And every health insurance provider would be barred from excluding sick people from the coverage they need. But those sicker people—and consumers of many other profiles—might just prefer the public option—on the basis of cost and, well, hospitality. This is the tanks-and-artillery government takeover so desperately feared by the corporate bureaucrats who want to say no to your health care coverage.
In Germany, where public and private options coexist, people go either way; both variations thrive. But not here. Here we must have jackboots. There is something sad, desperately sad—sad in a sick way—about the rabidity of the resistance to reform. Have we really come to, “I’ve got mine, to hell with you”?
A public option under the health exchange scenario could be like Medicare. Or it could be an agency one-step removed, like a Ginnie Mae. It could be stand-alone nonprofits, that follow federal guidelines to include all, cover all, and not kick out the sick, in exchange for funds awarded under government contract. The services provided under these auspices are recognized in civilized countries worldwide as the human services of a civil society. And they may someday be recognized as such here.
“Corporate bureaucrats leave babies dying in the streets!” Control the lexicon and you control the debate.
“Nobody is talking about some government takeover of health care; I’m tired of hearing that,” said President Obama last week. Yeah, I bet he is. So am I.