Preparing for War: Boning Up on the Left’s Health Care Myths

July 30, 2009

I am gratified that an awakened public has sent Congress an unequivocal message not to socialize our health care system, but note that this war is just beginning. Gen. Barack Obama is not the slightest bit deterred by the public’s negative reaction, because he knows more than they do about what’s best for them.

As we go forward, it’s imperative we recognize that the current hiccup in Obama’s momentum is a result of so-called Blue Dog Democrats’ refusing to go along with his plan — and this, largely because their constituents are raining down “tea party” speed bumps on their heads warning them against endorsing this disaster.

But if we’re not careful, Obama will negotiate a path around this opposition, and it’s important we anticipate it and prepare accordingly. The key lies in understanding the main reason for the Blue Dogs’ resistance.

The Blue Dogs see themselves as being all about fiscal responsibility, even though most of them enthusiastically signed on to his budget-busting trillion-dollar porkulus scheme and his cap-and-tax debacle. Those little details aside, they have based their opposition to the bill thus far on their fear that the program wouldn’t be able to pay for itself.

If that’s true, then all Obama has to do to capture their support (he may already have) is to convince them it will be deficit-neutral — or better. He can do that either by manipulating the numbers or by making adjustments to create the illusion it would pay for itself.

Let’s set aside for now the canard that socialized medicine could be structured to pay for itself even with the diminution in quality and quantity it guarantees. What’s relevant here is that Obama might be able to convince the Blue Dogs that it could. Then the bill would regain momentum, setting in motion the inevitable destruction of the world’s greatest health care system.

Here’s the point. Fiscal concerns aren’t the only reason to oppose this Stalinist nightmare. We have to understand that socializing our entire health care system would destroy the great things about our system, much more completely than mandates, regulation and other government intervention already have.

Health care quality, quantity, choice and cost are all in jeopardy. This message has to be communicated effectively to the already skeptical public before Obama negotiates his end run around the fiscal responsibility issue alone — as if that were the only legitimate objection.

In selling his scheme, Obama has already been promoting the myth that our system is no better than those of other advanced nations. His recent statements have betrayed his openly contemptuous attitude toward American health care and our top-flight medical profession. His attitude is consistent with his revealed general attitude about America, which he denigrates every time he gets a chance, especially on foreign soil.

He enjoys saying — incorrectly — Americans pay $6,000 more per year on health care than people of other advanced nations for no better care.

The statement is abominably false. Just as Obama is manipulating the cost and benefit numbers to enlist popular and Blue Dog support for his socialized medicine conspiracy, he distorts statistics to make the specious claim that our health care system isn’t far superior to all others.

That’s why we opponents of Obama’s war against our health care system must bone up on the facts that put the lie to the ongoing liberal hoax concerning the quality of American health care — as well as to all their other health care myths.

A great place to start is “The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care,” by Sally C. Pipes. This is an extraordinarily edifying book that should be must-reading — a health care mandate even I can agree to — for every citizen upon whom socialized medicine could be visited and every politician contemplating visiting it upon us — or properly opposing it.

This book could be so helpful to the national discussion that I intend to devote a number of columns to it. But with the remaining short space in this one, let me highlight just one of its 10 myth-busting chapters, which debunks the notion that government-run health care systems of other countries are superior or even remotely equal to the American system.

I’ll address in future columns how the proponents of socialized medicine distort the statistics to hide the overwhelming superiority of the American system, but for now, I’ll quote Ms. Pipes on the quality issue: “In measuring the quality of a health care system, what really matters is how well it serves those who are sick. And it’s here that American really excels.”

Please stay tuned, and in my following columns, I’ll give you specific data backing up Pipes’ claim — data that expose President Obama’s disgraceful attempt to deceive Americans about American health care quality. And I’ll expose you to Pipes’ other nine myth-debunking chapters — and her market-based solutions. The system needs reform, but in the direction of less government, not more.