Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mindless nonsense, and the people who follow it

One of the biggest drums the Left is beating these days concerning health care reform is that the entrenched interests -- Big Pharma, insurance companies, doctors, and hospitals -- all oppose it, with only the saintly government left to work on behalf of the people. It seems to just be assumed by nearly all Liberals that this is the case.

Not surprisingly, it's completely wrong.

Case in point: I was debating this very issue with a Liberal friend of a friend earlier today. He insisted that the above-stated interests obviously and inveterately oppose reform. He even sent me this Washington Post article on the issue as unanswerable proof of his argument. Not only that, but he playfully lambasted me for getting my (obviously biased) facts from Fox News (a curse word among Liberals, but it's the only remotely honest news network left these days).

The funny thing was, the article he sent me supported absolutely none of his arguments. In fact, it explicitly supported mine. I stood in awe of his obliviousness, and could only respond with the very words of the article he linked to. Here was my response:
"Of the $52 million spent so far [on ads regarding health care reform], [Campaign Media Analysis Group] calculates that the largest share -- $23 million -- has come from groups advertising broadly in favor of overhauling the health-care system".

"The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America organization has joined the nonprofit group Families USA to spend about $4 million airing an updated version of the iconic 'Harry and Louise' ads, but this time the couple is calling for passage of reform. The drug industry group has more advertising planned for this month."

"America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group representing insurance companies, is running ... [an] ad ... 'supporting bipartisan reforms that Congress can build on.' ... Karen Ignagni, AHIP's president and chief executive, said ... AHIP will remain focused on spreading the message -- via the existing ad campaign and other efforts -- that the group supports reform."

Yep, sure sounds like they oppose reform to me.
I mean, think about it. How blindly sold-out to a position must you be to use an article that offers clear evidence disproving your argument, and not be joking? (I suppose this guy could be joking. I hadn't thought of that -- though, from our conversations it seems very unlikely. That would at least make him a reasonable human being, instead of a Liberal dittohead automaton.)

The fact is that just about all of the relevant special interests have bought into the general framework of the health care reform bills in Congress:
  • Insurance companies (whom Obama double-crossed by vilifying them after promising to play nice) get a mandate that everyone must buy their product. (Sure, they have to cover everyone, but so what? It would be like the government requiring GM to cap their car prices at $15,000, but then ordering everyone to buy a GM car. The company would make out like gangbusters.)
  • Big Pharma ensure that drug prices aren't cut.
  • Hospitals and the AMA (and other professional associations) ensure that the current care provision and payment dynamics will pretty much stay the same.
  • The ABA ensures that massive malpractices suits won't be limited.
All this to say that the rhetoric about special interests orchestrating opposition to ObamaCare is -- for anyone who cares to actually look into this issue -- spectacularly, obviously wrong.

As an aside, the above conclusion also puts the lie to the Left's condemnations of "Astroturf" opposition. The opposition to ObamaCare is Of the People and By the People, because all the entrenched interests on on the side of ObamaCare. There's no one left on the Right to install the Astroturf: they're all to busy tending the grass or laying down sod.

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