Monday, June 03, 2013

Confronting Pelosi’s Obamacare Propaganda Toolkit

Nancy Pelosi, Democratic congresswoman and House Minority Leader, has published a 78-page ‘toolkit’ to help supporters of Obamacare sell it to the public. Colleagues and fellow travelers are exhorted to focus especially on the elderly, young people and women.
Maybe they should focus especially on… Democrats. It is the rank and file of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers International and the SEIU United Healthcare Workers of New York who are getting murdered by the real-world effects of the law, losing plans that were working before and petitioning for redress (and in the case of the not-so right-wing Roofers, outright Repeal).
The fact is that the more that people including Democrats learn about the law, the less they like it. Many sincere citizens thought they were just doing the right thing by their fellow man, especially the poor, by supporting universal healthcare, and they assumed there would be no cost to themselves, as promised by Obama. But they are waking up to the fact that Medicaid is the model for Obamacare, that Medicaid has been exposed as statistically no more beneficial than no insurance at all, and that everyone, themselves included, is now to be herded into a Medicaid-type plan designed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and enforced via increasingly frequent encounters with that most beloved and trusted of agencies, the IRS. Seeing what is coming, alarmed citizens are having second thoughts; Democratic Senators are voting with Republicans to repeal parts of the law (like the medical device tax) when they aren’t outright stampeding for the exits leaking “train wreck!”.
Among the talking points are “If you like your doctor, you can choose to keep your doctor”. Notice the weasel-word difference – the legalistic plausible deniability – from the original promise? Yes, you can choose, but if your doctor chooses otherwise (such as to retire early, as 80% of physicians are contemplating) because of the burdens put on him/her by the law, or if he or she is no longer in practice as before because the law has forced him/her out of business and into an employee role in a corporation, your ‘choice’ will have no meaning.
As it happens, this author published in February a 100-page toolkit (I called it a pamphlet, but in the spirit of bipartisanship and compromise, ‘toolkit’ will do) to help citizens including Republicans to refute the arguments of Obamacare’s hucksters, to wit:
• The PPACA was sold under false premises, such as that there were 50 million Americans without health care and that America lags behind other more enlightened nations.
• It is destructive: of liberty, of the privacy and sanctity of the patient-family-physician trust relationship, of public finance, of your ability to keep the plan or the doctor that you like, of the economy and employment, and just about anything else it touches.
• It cannot and will not work, because it contradicts fundamental laws of economics, liberty and constitutional government.
• And we have plenty of positive alternatives previously proposed by Sally Pipes, Betsy McCaughey, John C. Goodman, Michael F. Cannon, Milton Friedman and many others, even if the Republican Party hasn’t been particularly articulate.
Of course it’s doubtful how effective such pamphlets written by mere citizens (without non-profit status) can be in the face of a publicly-funded propaganda machine backed by almost unlimited resources (how many more times bigger than the Pentagon’s is the HHS budget again?). After all, all the opponents of Obamacare have on their side are facts, logic, history, economic science and the Constitution, without pandering to mascots. Pelosi and her fellow travellers have at least three trump cards in their hand: unbeatable organization, the irresistable emotional tug of the sob story, and the (they hope) enduring belief on the part of a large swath of the voting population, that there really is a Santa Claus, and his name is Uncle Sam.

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.