Americans not buying Obama's health care snake oil
The current debate over health care reminds me of that scene in the movie Outlaw Josey Wales where the snake oil peddling carpetbagger tries to sell a bottle of his tonic to an Indian, only to be asked about what was in it. After saying he didn’t know, the Indian said, “You drink it”.
Obama and the Democrats are selling snake oil. And the American people aren’t buying.
But after a full year of debate, speeches, emails and town halls promoting his health care agenda it has come down to this: an all out, last ditch effort to ram a bill through Congress that a majority of Americans don’t want. Public opinion be damned. “Change” is coming.
The biggest (political) problem with ObamaCare, and thus Obama’s problem, is that the public doesn’t want it. Worse, the latest polls seem to indicate that the more Congress and the public focus on the issue, the more opposed they become.
The latest Rasmussen survey shows fifty-three percent of Americans opposed to Obama’s notion of reform, and only forty-two percent supporting it. Further, fifty-five percent think Congress should scrap the whole thing and start from scratch. Rasmussen also points out that the strength of opinion is overwhelmingly with the opposition, finding that only twenty percent "strongly favor" the bill, while forty-one percent are "strongly opposed".
Keep in mind that these numbers come after Obama and Congress spent over a year promoting it, which puts the lie to the suggestion that if Americans knew more about it they would see that it's in their best interests and support it. As George Will recently put it, "There you have the premise of this legislation and the core of today’s liberalism: the American people are such dopes they can’t be counted upon to buy their own insurance". Exactly.
Of course, public opinion isn't the only "problem" with the bill. In fact, it's the other problems that have public opinion where it is today.
Given that it took the Democrats almost three-thousand pages to lay the groundwork for what they propose to do to health care, (and they still can’t fully explain it), it goes without saying that the problems created by such a bill would consume far more pages than the reader could bear. With than in mind, here are some highlights to make informing your neighbor (or your congressman) a little easier.
The bill would fund abortion. The current Senate version allows taxpayer funding of abortion by way of coverage in insurance plans.
It busts the budget. Despite the fact that Obama has stated that he wouldn't approve a health care bill unless it didn't add a dime to the deficit, this bill does. Big time. So how does he keep a straight face? Well this is Washington, where you can find an accountant or statistician to make any square peg look like it fits in a round hole...as long as you don't look too close.
It raises taxes. Obama's campaign promise not to "raise taxes on the middle class" not withstanding, the Senate bill does just that by way of, among other things, an increase in the Medicare part of the payroll tax as well as taxes on high value insurance plans.
It also blows a huge hole in state budgets, as it puts more unfunded Medicaid mandates on the states. This means cuts in other state programs, or – you guessed it – tax increases, (making ObamaCare the big spending gift that keeps on giving… Merry Christmas).
It makes you a criminal if you don't have insurance. The Senate bill contains an "individual mandate", meaning that you have to have insurance coverage by law – or else pay a fine or go to jail. It's the first time in history where the federal government will have pretended to find the power in the Constitution to force individual Americans to purchase a consumer product.
It will raise insurance premiums. In accordance with the fundamental laws of economics, if everyone has to buy something the price goes up, meaning insurance premiums will rise. In addition, it creates a risk of insurance companies becoming little more than “public utilities”, which will later be deemed “too big to fail” and kept alive by massive public subsidies just like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
It's a "big government" bill. As Ronald Reagan once said, a government agency is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth – and this bill creates a host of new immortals. Over one hundred new boards, commissions and other bureaucratic fiefdoms will be created, staffed and defended by those who think they know what’s best for everyone – each of which is sure to continually grow and enlarge its scope in order to justify its existence.
Additionally, the bill requires the White House Office of Personnel Management to establish the parameters of health plans in proposed "state exchanges", meaning the White House will be defining what health care plans should and shouldn’t cover. In other words "one size fits all" federally defined insurance plans.
Finally, this massive government takeover of one-sixth of our economy will be managed by the same people who run the Post Office.
All of which explains why most Americans continue to refuse to drink the snake oil. No matter how much Democrats try to sell it.