Sunday, October 24, 2010

Denial and Health Reform

De Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt.


I apologize for the pun. But after reading today’s New York Times editorial “Health Care and The Campaign,” I couldn’t resist. With regard to health reform. The Times may just be in an advanced massive state of denial about health reform.

What The Times Says

The editorial, in essence, says,

Republicans and their backers “deep-pocketed special interests” are either lying or distorting the facts about health reform.

For examples, the Times says the GOP is falsely claiming the new health reform law is limiting choices of health plans, causing overall costs to rise, driving up health premiums, propelling employers to drop coverage, introducing EHRs to track doctors’ performances, limiting competition, issuing waivers to employers like McDonalds to cover up the law’s faults, scaring Medicare recipients, and expanding the Medicaid population and bankrupting State budgets.

Just Wait Until 2014

These may be half-truths now, says the Times, but just wait until 2014. That’s when reform will really go into effect. Yes, costs and premiums are (still) rising and employers are (still) dropping coverage. But don’t blame the Obama administration. Blame the long-standing health care crisis and the bad economy, both the fault of Republicans.

“The major benefits start in 2014, when tens of millions of the uninsured will gain coverage through Medicaid or by buying private coverage — with government help for low- and middle-income Americans — on the new competitive exchanges. If you lose your job, you will no longer lose access to insurance. And with government help the coverage should be affordable."

"Far too few Democrats are explaining this on the campaign trail. The barrage of attack ads are hard to push back against. But the voters need to know that health care reform will give all Americans real security.”

Denying the Undeniable

There is, no doubt, delayed logic to this argument. But it denies some undeniable facts,

• The American middle class, as exemplified by the Tea Party movement and the upcoming wave election, is in open revolt against “liberal” policies, and 54% of American consider themselves “conservatives” while only 18% dub themselves “liberals.”

• Americans are an inpatient people, and they are not about to wait 4 years, while costs are rising, they are losing coverage, and they have no job, for the bulk of the reform law to take effect to decide if the reform law gives “all Americans real security.”

• For Americans, the route from doubting the effectiveness of a political party to denying it power is but one short step, at least until the next election.

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