When Republicans put together their "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act" it was a new demonstration of political skill at presenting, in a clear, concise, easy to understand way, the direct opposite of the truth. In fact, repeal of Health Care will kill jobs because it will increase health care costs to small businesses. But, as a purely political exercise, it has several virtues.
It is intuitive. Everyone knows Democrats, especially liberal Democrats, are big spenders, right? If the Congressional Budget Office says Health Care reform will actually reduce the deficit by making health care better and cheaper, well, something must be wrong. So Republicans come up with a series of plausible sounding explanations that can bring nods from ordinary people. Analysts are comparing ten years of savings with 5 years of cost. Ah, that's it. We knew there was something fishy there. Except that turns out to be untrue.
It is repeatable. And it is repeated by the conservative echo machine. Fox News even now presents a calculator to tell you how much Health Care reform costs you, depending on your income. It looks precise and quite scientific. And the narrative is pounded like a drum. That's their story, and they're sticking to it.
It is simple. Benefits come with costs, right? If you're going to pay for health care for people not now getting it, it has to cost someone something. Now, in reality, cost cutting measures are tried and true. They involve increasing competition, cost controls, and incentives to increasing health rather than the number of medical procedures. But these things are for policy wonks. The MEGO effect, My Eyes Glaze Over, competes very effectively with complicated sounding truth. Easier to believe it's all mumbo-jumbo.
Republicans have toyed with the idea of a change, following the Arizona murders and attempted murders. They have talked about changing the name of their bill to the "Repealing the Job-Crushing Health Care Law Act" or maybe the "Repealing the Job-Destroying Health Care Law Act." A kinder, gentler falsehood.
Democrats are fighting back with something Republicans scoff at: the truth. They suggest dividing the votes into specific provisions the Republicans might hesitate to approve. Like allowing discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. Or taking away the right of parents to put children on their policies up into their mid-twenties. Or removing cost containment benefits for seniors who know very well what "donut hole" means.
The strategy is helped by a GOP contradiction. Republicans say they don't simply want to repeal. "Repeal and Replace" is the current phrase. But, when pressed for what the "replace" part might consist of, GOP leadership defers to committees that have yet to meet, plans that have not yet been devised, and broad principles that are as insubstantial as a summer breeze.
Both sides, I suspect, are missing the central lesson of the election. Health Reform was a very good idea. The opposition was split between those who wanted less and those who thought it should have been stronger. But the core resentment, the fuel for volcanic anger, was the feeling that Congress and the President were living in their own little world, debating the minutia of a "good idea" while real people, good people, hard working people, suffered. The what-the-hell-are-they-thinking-about reaction was understandable. Your hair is on fire? How about a nice foot massage?
Democrats are fighting the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act" with a little rebranding of their own. They have taken to calling the GOP repeal program the "the Patient's Rights Repeal Act." Catchy, huh?
I have a better suggestion. How about the Oh-My-God-You-Want-To-Put-America-Through-This-Dumb-Complicated-Argument-All-Over-Again-When-We-Need-Jobs Act?
Trackback address for this post
The Republican Party has a position and the Democratic Party has one, and overall, most people who belong to their respective parties agree with the dogma of the party. The real issues involved (other than Judge Hudson's illogical position), are too complex and require too much knowledge for the common man to really have a legitimate opinion about what the truth is. Even if he had the knowledge, lots of the data is then a religion opinion. Each side can go back and forth with augments and stats and then counter arguments and status. Each person is using a its own data store. Of course they see things differently.
The issues are way too complex and one would have to devote his life to the study of each one to have a well-reasoned opinion.
That said, I completely agree with you!
Oh, and welcome back! We missed you immensely.
Leave a comment
|« Way Too Cute||President Obama's State of the Union Message »|