This week, President Obama continues to hammer home his campaign for health care reform. He highlights the extremes to which reform opponents will go to scare the crap out of you. Bogeyman number 1 of course are the “death panels” made famous (and made up entirely) by former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin.
As I wrote in a prior post, Obama may be trying to do too much with this initiative. Recent changes in tone from Washington indicate that the administration is starting to realize this. The controversial “public option” is being deemphasized in recent discussions. The end of life counseling that inspired the Death Panels lie, may also be off the table. The far left will say this is a bad thing. I don’t necessarily agree. Surely there are ways to encourage true competition in the health insurance industry without ongoing government intervention. As I said last week, much of what ails the insurance industry can probably be fixed by tougher regulation.
But make no mistake, some of the folks opposing reform have been itching for a fight going all the way back to the 1960’s and earlier. There was a revealing moment on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday when Dick Armey, lobbyist extraordinaire, was basically forced to admit he opposes Medicare and Social Security. Let more politicians echo that sentiment and then watch how fast the elderly whom they’ve scared with Death Panels, turn on them. In fact, I quite delighted last week in watching Lawrence O’Donnell, sitting in for Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball” nail all these opponents of socialized programs. He asked them if, since they opposed Obamacare because it’s a government program, then surely they must oppose Medicare and Social Security. Not a single one would agree. You see logical consitency might lose them the entire elderly vote in 2010.
Politicians, including a disturbing number of Democrats, simply don’t want to rock the boat. Logical consistency be damned. No socialized medicine because it will turn us into a fascist state except for all the socialized medicine we already have. Just keep the status quo. If we change anything, voters might not like us anymore and of course, that is what government is all about right? Winning the popularity contest.
If we take any message from this week’s video address, it’s that the status quo will not do. If you want a bureaucrat between you and your health care, keep things as they are. Since the bureaucrat works for the insurance industry, that makes it ok, right?
And now the President of the United States of America: