October 13, 2009

It's Up To Us

Roger Kimball says it's crunch time on health care. Check out the video of Robert Reich from 2007, as he candidly reveals the end game of a government controlled system.

More to read before you call or email your congressman...

Stephen Spruiell - Obamacare Dissected

Power Line's John Hinderaker - Dumb "Reform"

Gregory Conko at CEI - Political Malpractice

Andy McCarthy's "Killing Obamacare" , which warned back in August that "we could still blow this thing"

James Capretta on the Baucus plan's defects

More from Kimball, including this bit...

I have often quoted from a speech Obama gave the week before the election in which he told his cheering acolytes that they were only “a few days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” I think he was in earnest about that, and I find the prospect frightening. Were America to be remade according to Obama’s blueprint, it would, I am convinced, be poorer, less free, and less secure. It would also more heavily regulated, more drearily conformist, more politically correct.

Those are the things I keep in mind when I contemplate the proposed “reform” of health care. At issue are not just questions about what sort of health care will be available to whom. Those are, to be sure, important questions. But they distract us from the larger goal: what sort of life will be possible to whom in this country.

George Will, a month ago, on the increasingly bizarre and dishonest rhetoric emanating from the White House..

His [Obama's] incessant talking cannot combat what it has caused: An increasing number of Americans do not believe that he believes what he says.

He says America's health-care system is going to wrack and ruin and requires root-and-branch reform—but that if you like your health care (as a large majority of Americans do), nothing will change for you. His slippery new formulation is that nothing in his plan will "require" anyone to change coverage. He used to say, "If you like your health-care plan, you'll be able to keep your health-care plan, period." He had to stop saying that because various disinterested analysts agree that his plan will give many employers incentives to stop providing coverage for employees.

He deplores "scare tactics" but says that unless he gets his way, people will die. He praises temperate discourse but says many of his opponents are liars. He says Medicare is an exemplary program that validates government's prowess at running health systems. But he also says Medicare is unsustainable and going broke, and that he will pay for much of his reforms by eliminating the hundreds of billions of dollars of waste and fraud in this paragon of a program, and in Medicaid. He says Congress will cut Medicare (it will not) by $500 billion—without affecting benefits.

The claim that opponents of the president's plans propose only to "do nothing" is specious and lazy. Reason's Peter Suderman spent two minutes on Google and came up with lots of alternative proposals. He concludes...

...not all of these essays and books come with thousand-page pieces of legislation attached (thanks goodness!), but every one of them offers innovative ideas for how to administer health-care and how to pay for it—ideas that, by and large, Obama has ignored.

Why? It's impossible to say for sure, but I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the fact that all of the ideas mentioned above would change health-care in ways that empower individuals, rely on markets, and emphasize patient choice and preference rather than government authority. No matter what the reason, however, it's just not true that reform opponents aren't proposing solutions. What seems a lot more likely is that Obama just isn't listening.

UPDATE 10/14:

James Capretta - The Baucus Death Spiral

Archive of WSJ articles on Obamacare

Posted by dan at October 13, 2009 10:55 AM