Republicans accuse the Democrats of wanting “socialized health care.” Semantics expert, Dr. Frank Luntz, the man who brought us the less threatening “climate change” and the ever scary “death tax” gives Republicans all the talking points they would ever need to crush public health care. But first, he advises that they must be for “reform”:
“You simply MUST be vocally and passionately on the side of REFORM,” Luntz advises in a confidential 26-page report obtained from Capitol Hill Republicans. “The status quo is no longer acceptable. If the dynamic becomes ‘President Obama is on the side of reform and Republicans are against it,’ then the battle is lost and every word in this document is useless.
“Republicans must be for the right kind of reform that protects the quality of healthcare for all Americans. And you must establish your support of reform early in your presentation.”
Instead, Luntz says Republicans should warn against a “Washington takeover” of health care, and insist that patients would have to “stand in line” with “Washington bureaucrats in charge of healthcare.”
Good, we can agree that reform is necessary. My problem is their definition of “right reform.” They would have you believe the government will make your health decision instead of you and your doctor. They would scare you into thinking that the government will ration care and that a visit to the doctor will be the same as a visit to the DMV. The truth is, nobody wants that and I don’t think for a second that a plan will be enacted that would allow that type of care.
Republicans would argue that the free market would solve all problems. The fact is, health care has been part of the free market system since the beginning and here we are talking about reform. Therefore, the market is not working. In one sense, I agree, let the market decide. Think of the government as a conglomerate that wants to get into the health care business. If they deliver a better product than the private insurers at a lower cost, then people will choose the government plan. Ironically, big insurance is afraid of the exact thing they are arguing for, competition.
We will see health care reform. What is uncertain is what it will look like. Personally, I don’t care where it comes from. I only care about getting quality care at a good price. I don’t want to fight for procedures that my doctor feels are necessary. I don’t want to spend time on the phone being passed to one call center after another trying to get an answer to a simple question. I want to see everybody get care, including people with pre-existing conditions.
In the end, I want a choice. If private insurers do a better job at a lower cost, the I will go with them. If the government beats them, then I will choose public health care. Private insurance has had a chance to offer quality care and the country feels that they haven’t delivered. Let’s throw in some competition and see how the market really works.