The N&O editors once again put on their sweaters and pick up their pom-poms for some more Obama cheerleading in this article.
Those who oppose reform, specifically the Republicans in Congress, have come up with inadequate alternatives, and their virulent opposition to a government-run health plan that would compete with private companies (and might bring premiums down for all) is suspicious, given the big campaign money many have received from industries with a stake in the debate. A willingness to modify their views would have given them more credibility.
This lowly, partisan tripe seems unworthy of the scarce ink used to print it. Notice how they overlook the fact that insurance companies and big pharma are largely on board and supporting Obamacare-style reforms. Notice how it must be the folks opposing the further politicization of medical care and health insurance who should show a “willingness to modify their views,” but the N&O insists the President must not “waver.”
And worst of all is this paragraph:
Tomorrow, Obama may speak of compromise, but the president should stick to essential principles of reform: that health care is a right and not a privilege; that everyone must have access to insurance; and that people must not be denied care because of a current illnesses.
This paragraph tucks three neglicent fallacies into one sentence.
1. People are “denied care because of a current illness.” I am assuming they are actually referring to people with pre-existing conditions being denied health insurance or who are charged much higher premiums. This blurring of “access to care” with the purchase of health insurance is either done with the intent to mislead the reader or due to sloppy writing. Fact is, insurance coverage for a pre-existing condition is not insurance at all – it is the expectation of the insurance company to pay for predictable medical expenses. Let’s be honest and call it what it is – not confuse the issue by bastardizing the meaning of the word insurance.
2. “Everyone must have access to insurance” – well, they already do. As far as I know there aren’t any laws prohibiting people from purchasing insurance, and let’s not forget the list of government subsidized insurance such as Medicare, Medicaid, NC Health Choice, NC Kids Care and North Carolina’s high risk pool. If they are talking about making insurance more affordable so more people can purchase it, then greater government involvement is surely not the answer.
3. Health care is a “right.” This lays at the foundation of the debate, and is grounded in people’s core beliefs regarding individual liberty. But the provision of medical care is not free, and must be paid for from the earned product of individual effort. There is no moral justification for forcibly burdening some humans in order to provide an unearned benefit for others. Such a concept is inherently divisive, injecting the use (or threat thereof) of government force to pit winners vs. losers in society – which is why we see such tension in the health care debate. In reality, saying there is a “right to health care” is merely rhetorical cover justifying greater government control over the provision of medical care.