Debating Obama's Health Care Clichés
As I listened to the congressional Democrats recite their arguments for the Pelosi health care bill, I was reminded of those Bazooka gum wrappers. Their speeches consisted of trite phrases devoid of any depth or intelligence, the words selected only for their emotional impact. These arguments sound so compelling -- as long as no measurable time is spent thinking about them. Here follows three gum-wrapper arguments for health care reform made by the Democrats. There are many, many more.
1. Health care is a right.
Barack Obama, in an interview in 2001, lamented:
... generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the Federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf.
A couple of years ago, a neighbor of mine had a hip replacement. When she returned home, she asked me to come by and change her dressing, check her incision -- general nursing assistance, which I was happy to provide. Now if health care were a right, my neighbor would be "justly entitled" to my nursing. There would be no need for her to ask me to help, with the possibility that I might refuse. A government bureaucrat could have pulled up his roster of health care workers in the neighborhood and, seeing RN after my name, ordered me to my neighbor's house. After all, she has a right to health care. It's much more cost-effective to send my neighbor home and assign me to care for her. (Could the government expect me to work for free? Anyone who has glanced at the Medicare reimbursement rates lately knows that "free" isn't too far off.)
If Democrats thought any deeper than gum-wrapper platitudes, they would grasp that if health care is a "right," then health care workers can be compelled to provide that right. As Mark Levin explained on his radio show, if health care is a right, then doctors, nurses, and all health care workers have to be enslaved to make sure we produce.
2. No one should ever go bankrupt because of medical bills.
Here's another gum-wrapper argument guaranteed to get American heads nodding in agreement, especially when garnished with a heartbreaking tale. When he unveiled his health care reform bill in September, Senator Max Baucus said,
Every year, about one and a half million families lose their homes to foreclosure because of unaffordable medical costs. No one should go bankrupt because they get sick. This bill would fix that.
3. No one should be denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition.
This truism requires a bit more effort to debate because the average gum-wrapper believer most likely does not understand why insurance companies don't cover "preexisting conditions." This platitude, however, can be debunked by a simple comparison with auto and homeowner's insurance. If I hit a deer and total my car (a preexisting condition), no one believes that I should be able to call Geico® and sign up for collision insurance from the accident site. If I don't bother to sign up for homeowner's insurance, I can't expect to purchase a policy while my house is on fire.
Believe it or not, the health insurance industry already takes on plenty of high-risk clients. When I took a job with family insurance benefits, the policy covered my husband and children, including any medical problems they may have had at the time. When an employee marries, his insurance usually covers his wife immediately, no matter what her health is.
It's much easier to spout gum-wrapper truisms than to debunk them. I'm well aware that the majority of America, including the mainstream media, lacks the knowledge to counter gum-wrapper philosophy. But there is a way to fight back.
The only weapon that works against a gum-wrapper platitude is truth, stated with gum-wrapper simplicity. Nobody has a right to the labor of others.