Another Ridiculous Argument From The Right on Health Care

Conservatives have been offering a lot of totally absurd arguments to try to block health care reform. Daniel Henninger has one which makes absolutely no sense in today’s Wall Street Journal. Conservatives oppose the public option and know that there are real problems with Medicaid. Henninger had the idea of trying to block the pubic plan by getting people to think it is something like Medicaid:

Back before recorded history, in 1965, Congress erected the nation’s first two monuments to health-care “reform,” Medicaid and Medicare. Medicaid was described at the time as a modest solution to the problem of health care for the poor. It would be run by the states and “monitored” by the federal government.

The reform known as Medicaid is worth our attention now because Mr. Obama is more or less demanding that the nation accept another reform, his “optional” federalized health insurance program. He suggested several times before the AMA that opposition to it will consist of “scare tactics” and “fear mongering.”

Whatever Medicaid’s merits, this federal health-care program more than any other factor has put California and New York on the brink of fiscal catastrophe. I’d even call it scary.

There are serious problems with Medicaid, as I’ve noted. The problem with his argument is that the proposed public plans would be nothing like Medicaid.  Medicaid is a welfare program for the poor, beyond trivial co-pays, all the health care benefits must be paid out of tax money. In contrast the public plan will charge premiums just like private plans do. These problems with Medicaid simply have no bearing on a proposed public plan.

There are certainly arguments both for and against a public plan. The problem with the conservative movement is that they rarely debate upon the facts. Dishonest arguments such as this are the norm from them. Sometimes this works to their benefit when people believe their scare stories and go along with the policies of the right. What they are failing to realize is that a shrinking number of people fall for such conservative arguments anymore. While they are repeated in the conservative blogs, talk radio, and on Fox, they are ignored by a growing number of people who realize how often they have been lied to by the right wing.  Sometimes writers on the left also get it wrong (as I’ve noted here) but this is minimal compared to the vast amount of misinformation spread by the right.

Sometimes conservatives do have valid points to be made, but if they want to be taken seriously they need to drop the constant barrage of such scare tactics and engage in honest debate for a change.

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9 Comments

  1. 1
    Mr. Jeffersonian says:

    But that’s the problem right there, they have to rely on scare tactics, having an open arguement is too difficult for them, that and the fact that their pockets are filled by the pharmacutical companies who profit from the current system and that system only works for those who can afford it. We need to be persistant as well as vigilant, only then can we be able to get real health care reform for the benefit of all Americans.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    In this case they don’t necessarily have to rely on scare tactics. While there is a clear need for health care reform there is plenty of room fo debate on the specifics. They could certainly make a plausible argument for health reform minus the public plan. They just think that resorting to such dishonest arguments makes their arguments sound stronger, not realizing that in the end it just reduces their credibility.

    Of course the editorial and opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal have no credibility (other for the ocassional time they have an op-ed with opposing views from outside). It is actually a shame as they could be a great paper. The news sections remain quite good so I continue to subscribe but the editorial page is ridiculous due to frequently spreading misinformation.

  3. 3
    Ernie Vogel says:

    #tcot Another Ridiculous Argument From The Right on Health Care … http://bit.ly/DA4HW

  4. 4
    nomoreGOP says:

    “Of course the editorial and opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal have no credibility (other for the ocassional time they have an op-ed with opposing views from outside)..”
    I am glad someone said it.. I couldn’t agree more, although the comments are even more ridiculous.. Some of the “arguments” these people dream up are complete non-sense.. Obama really needs to drop the “bi-partisan” attempt and start getting shit done here.. Who even cares what the conservatives think anymore? They had their chance(s) and basically either ignored there was a problem, or diverted all attention to whichever War was getting the most attention at the time..
    And furthermore, why should we listen to these politicians anyways? They are the ones that actually have real socialist health care.. so who the hell are they to tell us that Obama is leading us towards some evil commusocialisttakeover..

  5. 5
    Ernie Vogel says:

    #tcot Another Ridiculous Argument From The Right on Health Care … http://bit.ly/DA4HW

  6. 6
    HipTooHip says:

    You may have “out-enlightened” yourself. The talking-heads on the right aren’t reffering to the exact details of Medicaid (or Medicare, VA healthcare, or even the government-managed American Indian healthcare disaster) when they make their “government-run” argument. Their point is very simple for “Joe-Sixpack to understand. These government-managed programs have documented fiscal, waste, fraud, AND delivery issues….documented. The right claims that left is offering up ANOTHER government-managed health program, and based on past performance, the “new” government-managed program will be just like the “old” government-managed programs, nothing more, nothing less.

    Good luck trying to win that argument.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    Of course the right loves to blur the distinctions between different plans. The point is that you cannot blur these distinctions. Medicare and Medicaid are entirely different programs.

    “These government-managed programs have documented fiscal, waste, fraud, AND delivery issues….documented. ”

    Actually the evidence is quite clear that Medicare provides health care far more economically than private health insurance, which is why you cannot blur the distinctions between plans.

    No “luck” is needed to win this argument when the facts are overwhelmingly against the talking points of the right. That is why the right needs to resort to such distortions.

  8. 8
    HipTooHip says:

    It’s so easy to let ideaology blur reality…but then facts are sometimes inconvenient truths that ideaology conveniently blurs.

    The agency itself describes a “rationed health care system.”

    The sad fact is an old fact, too.

    The U.S. has an obligation, based on a 1787 agreement between tribes and the government, to provide American Indians with free health care on reservations. But that promise has not been kept. About one-third more is spent per capita on health care for felons in federal prison, according to 2005 data from the health service.

    When it comes to health and disease in Indian country, the statistics are staggering.

    American Indians have an infant death rate that is 40 percent higher than the rate for whites. They are twice as likely to die from diabetes, 60 percent more likely to have a stroke, 30 percent more likely to have high blood pressure and 20 percent more likely to have heart disease.

    American Indians have disproportionately high death rates from unintentional injuries and suicide, and a high prevalence of risk factors for obesity, substance abuse, sudden infant death syndrome, teenage pregnancy, liver disease and hepatitis.

    While campaigning on Indian reservations, presidential candidate Barack Obama cited this statistic: After Haiti, men on the impoverished Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in South Dakota have the lowest life expectancy in the Western Hemisphere.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090615/ap_on_go_ot/us_health_care_s_forgotten

    South Dakota is Tom Daschle country. Or was. 26 years in Congress and the above AP news story pretty much sums up Daschle’s legacy.

    IMO this entire healthcare debate is about quietly rolling ALL government managed healthcare plans into one big plan so as to bail out ALL of the failed government managed plans to date. Obama has already made overatures regarding multi-billion $$ cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, and VA care as the “new plan” would absorb his proposed cuts to these old failed programs.

    I haven’t mentioned the fact that our healthcare represents 1/5th of the American economy….imagine the power and control that would come with a takeover of 1/5th of our economy.

    It’s not a left vs right argument……it’s a management argument….and the current managers both Dems AND Repubs have failed miserably.

    BTW…..did you know it was Ted Kennedy that shepperded the original HMO laws that he now decries ?

    Then. . .
    Just five years after the HMO Act of 1973 was signed into law, the U.S. Senate Committee on Human Resources, Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research, held a hearing to discuss amending the Act. Following are excerpts from Senator Ted Kennedy’s opening statement at the March 3, 1978 hearing:

    “Today the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research holds hearings on proposed amendments to federal statutes supporting the development of health maintenance organizations…These amendments would extend and strengthen current authorities supporting HMOs in this country….

    “As the author of the first HMO bill ever to pass the Senate, I find this spreading support for HMOs truly gratifying.

    On May 15, 2001, Senator Ted Kennedy released a statement regarding the need for an effective patients’ bill of rights to end HMO abuse. Following are excerpts from that press release:

    “Today, if your child has a rare congenital heart defect and no specialist in the plan is equipped to treat it, your [HMO] plan can condemn your child to second rate care from the doctor who happens to be on the plan’s list….

    “Today, if you have incurable cancer and your best hope of a cure is participation in a clinical trial, your [HMO] plan can deny you access to that trial….

    “Today, your doctor can be financially coerced by your HMO into giving you less than optimal care….

    “Today, if you need an expensive drug that is not on your plan’s list, the [HMO] plan can make you pay for it yourself or go without….

    “The list goes on and on….

    “It is time to end the abuses of managed care that victimize thousands of patients each day. It is time for doctors and nurses and patients to make medical decisions again, not insurance company accountants. The American people deserve prompt action, and we intend to see that they get it.”2

    http://www.forhealthfreedom.org/Publications/Choice/ThenAndNow.html

    🙂

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    “It’s so easy to let ideaology blur reality…but then facts are sometimes inconvenient truths that ideaology conveniently blurs.”

    I agree. I was ideologically opposed to government involvement in health care, but the facts overwhelmingly show the failure of the market to solve the problem and that this is a problem handled far more efficiently with government involvement. It is necessary to give up ideological positions such as yours when the facts demonstrate you are wrong.

    You have one confused comment which shows very little understanding of the facts. You are confusing managed care with health care reform and totally misunderstand what is actually being proposed. The abuses under HMO’s and private insurance which you note is a major reason why health care reform is needed. “IMO this entire healthcare debate is about quietly rolling ALL government managed healthcare plans into one big plan so as to bail out ALL of the failed government managed plans to date” That is nonsense which has nothing to do with the healthcare debate. Nor is it about the government taking over the health care system or 1/5 of the economy.

    The Indian article points out that many who qualify are not being signed up for Medicare and Medicaid. This is an argument which would support the need for health care reform to ensure everyone is signed up and contradicts your view.

    This looks like a case of coming to an ideological decision first and then trying to find facts to justify the position while ignoring everything else. The facts quoted do not support your position.

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