The Conservative Fear

>> Monday, December 1, 2008

Some interesting reading on conservative blogs now that Obama has been elected but not yet taken office. 'Cause, you know, he might actually DO something worthwhile in office. GASP! What's the worst thing he might be able to do? Create a national health care system! And possibly kill conservative parties in its wake.

First was U.S. News' James Pethokoukis in "How Tom Daschle Might Kill Conservatism." What?!?! Sarah Palin isn't going to kill it first? I'm shocked—SHOCKED—at the suggestion. But anyway, James' rationale is as follows:

On top of all that, Obama clearly wants to make healthcare reform a priority in his first term, as evidenced by the selection of a heavy hitter like Daschle. And even if he wasn't interested, Congress sure is, with Max Baucus and Ted Kennedy readying a plan in the Senate. A few observations:

1) Passage would be a political gamechanger. Recently, I stumbled across this analysis of how nationalized healthcare in Great Britain affected the political environment there. As Norman Markowitz in Political Affairs, a journal of "Marxist thought," puts it: "After the Labor Party established the National Health Service after World War II, supposedly conservative workers and low-income people under religious and other influences who tended to support the Conservatives were much more likely to vote for the Labor Party when health care, social welfare, education and pro-working class policies were enacted by labor-supported governments."

Passing Obamacare would be like performing exactly the opposite function of turning people into investors. Whereas the Investor Class is more conservative than the rest of America, creating the Obamacare Class would pull America to the left. Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute, who first found that wonderful Markowitz quote, puts it succinctly in a recent blog post: "Blocking Obama's health plan is key to the GOP's survival."
Like, OMG! Conservatives really must feel screwed. (And Sarah Palin isn't even involved!) Or possibly just those writing for conservative magazines since Ramesh Ponnuru at the National Review also feels the harbinger of doom hovering over conservatives when it comes to health care.
"Obama’s health-care plan is designed to evolve into a national health-insurance program along the lines of Canada’s. The resulting government monopoly or near-monopoly on health insurance would stifle innovation, require bureaucratic rationing, and infringe on freedom. But it would also move American politics permanently leftward ... the inevitable disappointments and failures of a nationalized system would just as inevitably be blamed on underfunding, creating a bidding war that liberals would usually win ... the creation of a new system would make free-market alternatives look more radical to the public than they do now, because they would be more radical. The public’s aversion to risk, which now hurts advocates of liberal policies as much as it helps them, would only help them. So national health insurance could be a lasting political success for liberals even if it is a colossal policy failure; it could, indeed, succeed politically because of its failures."
Wow! I'm amazed after reading that paragraph. Like how out of touch is he? "Bureaucratic rationing?" HMO's don't do that now? Have you been living in the U.S., Ramesh? Ever had to pay for your health care yourself, even if you're perfectly healthy? I'm looking at having to pay for my COBRA coverage and that's more than $300 per month. Ramesh must never have known someone who's had to jump the HMO hoops to get urgent tests done. But really, these two articles just prove how out of touch conservatives are when it comes to the every day needs of "Joe Six-Pack" and "Bob the Builder." Guess the GOP will have to go bye-bye if you can't come up with any new ideas.

But I do love some of the comments posted at US News on this topic.
The conservatives have been in charge for a while now and they did not solve the health care problem. Instead they showered favor on the health insurers and other big power and big money interests in this equation. The result is a system that does ration right now! 47 million are left out due to cost. Thousands each year are bankrupted due the horrors of major illness in their family. A cruel double attack on the family from these family values conservatives, the irony. In what warped universe is that a success? Conservatives have been doing nothing but grease the wheels for the rich and powerful while the middle class takes it on the chin or worse. Good riddance do nothing conservatives, you didn't deliver, your market didn't deliver, you are worthless and your ideology is toxic. It is very clear that the people want this solved not spun and messaged and apologized for. Conservatives don't have any ability to work for the best interests of the country or the majority of Americans. That is why Obama is going to the Whitehouse to fix the mess that the GOP made of this nation.
Yes, the "inevitable" failures of nationalized health care. These would be the same "inevitable" failures that lead it to have such high approval rates in countries like the UK, Japan, Canada, Switzerland and Germany, no doubt. I wonder how WWII vets and Congressmen feel about their nationalized health care? I suppose those staunch paragons of freedom must just swallow their shame and suffer through it with the stoic constance of a true citizen.

What, exactly, about this prevents its opponents from admitting that it works? Surely, it can't be the cost considering that the US spends over 25% of its GDP on health care, whereas the highest percentage spent by any nationalized system is the 16% of Britain.
If the private sector can deliver health care so much more efficiently than the government can, why does private Medicare coverage cost the taxpayers MORE than traditional government medicare coverage? Could it be he cost of spreading the wealth around the insurance industry?
Best overall healthcare system in the world? France.

Let's face it -- conservatives have been in power for the past 8 years and the overall quality of our healthcare system has dramatically decreased because the costs have increased dramatically and less people are insured. Millions of Americans are not getting the care they need, and the rest of us are paying for it.

So yeah, we are more than ready for Universal Healthcare.


Small Business Owner, AZ
When it comes to healthcare, yes, "THERE IS AN AVERSION TO RISK". What free market capitalists haven't figured out is that there are somethings not best left to the free markets. Given that we tend to highlight our largest fears, I think Mr. Ponnuru does this very well... His real fear: "it would also move American politics permanently leftward." When it comes to the free market of ideas, I'm afraid that you are both intellectually bankrupt. The freemarket system is not working and the people are responding to just that!


Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP