Friday, March 9, 2012
Obamacare and Freedom
Yes, we’ll rally around the flag, boys, we’ll rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.
George Frederick Root (1820-1895), The Battle Cry of Freedom (1863)
Obamacare, is, in fact, a death knell for freedom, and that is why it must be repealed.
Rick Santorum, in speech before GOP supporters, in Huntsville, Alabama, March 9, 2012
March 9, 2012 – I’ve been trying to figure out the appeal of Rick Santorum. After all, in most polls, he is considered unelectable. He lost his Senate seat in Pennsylvania by 18 points, a huge margin. He often wanders off the centrist reservation into right field, into charged subjects like contraceptive rights, gay rights, and women’s rights, which do not poll well.
What’s his appeal? According to Daniel Henninger, columnist for the Wall Street Journal (“Santorum’s Power Case Against Obamacare,” March 8), his appeal resides mostly in his argument that Obamacare deprives people of personal freedom. Henninger says when Santorum speaks of freedom, his audiences go crazy. They erupt in thunderous applause and shout, Rickie! Rick! Rick!
Last week Henninger travelled to Cuyohaga Falls, Ohio, to hear Santorum on the stump. Henninger wanted to witness first hand what the excitement over Santorum was all about. After hearing Santorum speak, Henninger explains the Santorum appeal this way, “It’s about Obamacare, And it’s about the idea of freedom.”
Maybe Santorum is on to something. As a physician, I can identify with this reaction. Donald J. Palmisano, MD, JD, former AMA President, speaks often and well on the loss of freedom theme. Prominent physician supporters, like Grace Marie Turner of the Galen Institute (Why Obamacare is Wrong for America, Broadside, 2011)) and Sally Piles of the Pacific Research Institute(The Truth about Obamacare, Regnery, 2011), assert Obamacare violates constitutional rights. I’ll leave the constitutional rights issue up to the Supreme Court to decide.
According to Henninger, the voters’ message to Obama is; Don’t tread on me Don’t tell me what to do. , Don’t foist your health care program on me. Don’t make me pay for everyone else. Don’t make me dependent on government. Don’t burden my children and grandchildren with debts they can’t repay.
Santorum’s working class Ohio audience roared when Santorum delivered this message:
“Obamacare is usurping your rights. It is creating a culture of dependency. There is no more important issue in this race. It magnifies all that is wrong with what the president is trying to do. This race is coming down to the economy, the deficit and control of your life.”
I am not comfortable with this red meat rhetoric. It sounds jingoistic.. But the broader public understands and appreciates the message, as shown by these recent polls.
1) March 8, Obamacare and Democrats Health Care Plan –average of six national polls.
For/favor 38.3%, Against/oppose 49.8%, Spread 11.5%
2) March 3-4, Repeal of law, Rasmussen - poll of 1000 likely voters
For repeal 53% (of these 42% strongly for repeal), 42% opposed to repeal, Spread 11.0%
Henninger concludes: “Rick Santorum should stay in the race for now until summer to preserve the link between the Obama model and the American idea of freedom. It looks like the best argument the GOP nominee will have for a win in November.”
Tweet: A significant majority of Americans favor repeal of Obamacare and look upon it as an intrusion into their personal freedom.