You lie

Here is an extract from the Republican response to President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress:

It's clear the American people want health care reform, but they want their elected leaders to get it right. Most Americans wanted to hear the President tell Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and the rest of Congress that it's time to start over on a common-sense, bipartisan plan focused on lowering the cost of health care while improving quality. That's what I heard over the past several months in talking to thousands of my constituents.

Replacing your family's current health care with government-run health care is not the answer. In fact, it'll make health care much more expensive. That's not just my personal diagnosis as a doctor or a Republican; it's the conclusion of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office – the neutral scorekeeper that determines the cost of major bills.

Since no one offered such a plan, this is a hollow man–one of the many hollow men to inhabit the minds of health care opponents (see the commercial on TV about the alleged horrors of the Canadian system–a model which no current plan follows).  

This strikes me as little different from the "you lie" guy.

6 thoughts on “You lie”

  1. But if individuals do not decide their care provider (Their employer does) then I don’t really see how that is a non-sequitor.  Surely it assumes that one sees clear cause and effect and how the government plan can be set up to replace people’s current coverage without direct litigation to that effect, but it is surely not a non-sequitur.

  2. No one has proposed “replacing your family’s current coverage. . . ” with a government plan.  That isn’t one of the plans.  Sheesh.

  3. According to the Lewin group, the public option (which is one of the plans) could reduce private insurance by 83.4 million people as employers shift their employees to the public option. That means some people would have a different insurance plan. So it is not a non-sequitur to suggest that your current insurance could be affected by legislation that affects the insurance market.

  4. Hey Tristan–

    On that study–the Lewin group seems to be owned by Insurance Companies.  See here.

    On the other point: Obama in his speech–the one given right before this very dishonest individual spoke–did not advocate for replacing your insurance with a government plan–unless you’re in the military, work for the government, or are on Medicare or Medicaid.

    If an insurance industry consulting group thinks so, then they’ll have a heavier burden on account of their obvious interest in the matter.   In any case, that didn’t come up as the basis of the guy’s claim.  That you can find someone saying that this is what it would eventually amount to (on the view that insurance companies won’t want to compete for those customers) doesn’t change the fact that this individual is arguing against a hollow man.

  5. One thought that occurs to me (but I’m too tired to do a credible job of making this relevant, assuming it is relevant at all) is this: If employers shift their employees’ plans from a “private” (which is to say, a massive for-profit corporation) to a/the government plan (a massive not-for-profit corporation) then the employees have not had their “choices” in any way limited since they in fact had no choices to begin with. The entire thing was determined by the employers, whose actions altogether trump any wishes of their employees.

    This is not something that has been “caused” by the government plan, since the absence of choice on the employees part was already there. The employers are merely exploiting this pre-existing absence of choice to save money. Another way employers have been doing this is by dropping insurance altogether. In the last 5 — 10 years the percentage of employers providing insurance has dropped from approximately 62% — 63% to around 58% now. (I’m pulling these numbers from memory, and as previously noted I am tired. What matters is the trend, so please let us not cavil over details.)

    So (1) the government is not forcing anything because (2) employees did not have any meaningful choices to begin with.

    Insofar, I’ve got to side with John: Gerson is tilting at a hollow man.

  6. Gary,
    You’d be completely right, except that it’s the government that is tying employees to employer provided health care through the tax code.  So government has ALREADY limited consumer choice and crippled the market dynamics at work.  So it’s only not a further afront to personal freedom and choice because the government has already stomped all over that, “for our own good” of course.

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