Sunday, January 3, 2010

Do-or-Die - Ten Ways to Screw Up Health Reform and Commit Political Suicide

One, develop a plan that the presently privately insured Americans, estimated at 200 million, pay more in premiums, and to just make sure you succeed, immediately starting raising taxes by $400 billion over the next decade.

Two, alienate those over 65, the most dependable voting bloc, by promising to cut Medicare by $500 billion over the next ten years with the false promise, which you know you cannot fulfill, of not cutting benefits.

Three, turn young voters, who supported you in droves in 2008, by mandating they buy insurance or face financial penalties of $750 or more, or 2% of their incomes, to be enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, or by a new bureaucracy.

Four, ignore polls of the American people, which now, on average, run +12.6 percent against your plan, as they now understand it, and dismiss those who attend tea parties, mass rallies, and marches on the Capitol as “misinformed,” “liars,” or “fascists.”

Five, exclude the political opposition from the debate, vote against their amendments, hide their alterative suggestions from public view, call them the party of “No,” and remind them they have no voice in a matter of such “historic” and “moral” magnitude.

Six, dominate and control the debate through pronouncements from intellectuals, policy wonks, and ivory tower dwellers, of known political persuasions, and through media filters and denial of media access, as if there were no other legitimate or credible points of view.

Seven, mandate everything in sight – from individuals, to employers, contents of health plans, to market options for obtaining coverage – to assure the government remains in the catbird’s seat and to make sure it is your way or the highway.

Eight, create the illusion, even the reality, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely by buying votes or promising permanent political favors that Congress persons cannot resist, even if those favors lose elections for recipients of those favors and drive up federal deficits, already at a record high.

Nine, defy the wishes of Founding Fathers, the American Culture, and the Constitution, all designed to create checks and balances against an overly authoritative federal government run by the intelligentsia and to the elite and to give more power and a greater say to common people.

Ten, pay no attention to evidence that America outperforms socialist countries in medical innovations, market developments such as retail clinics and worksite clinics, superior results in treating cancer, heart disease, other life or lifestyle threatening disorders, and to health empowering information technologies.

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