The notion that conservatives not only oppose liberal health care reforms but are vigorously working to deny Americans access is a popular one on the left. If you don’t support Obamacare, you are basically endorsing murder. A recent contemptible piece in The New Republic, which argues that Democrats should—without any evidence, if necessary—blame the unfortunate deaths of Americans on the rival political party, is perhaps the pinnacle of this brand of absurd demagoguery. Alan Grayson mainstreamed.
Although, it’s also the unspoken starting point for many pundits, including The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, who believes he’s detected a seismic shift within Republican ranks:
“Republicans remain gung-ho for repeal, and continue to insist Obamacare is destroying the lives of millions, if not American freedom itself. And yet, Republican Senate candidates are increasingly sounding like Obamacare’s most ardent supporters in one key way: they are rhetorically embracing the imperative of expanding affordable health coverage to those who need it.”
Two small problems with that contention: 1) It is possible to deem Obamacare destructive policy and still support “expanding affordable health coverage,” and 2) the GOP has been using the exact same rhetoric Sargent points to from the beginning of the debate. And I mean exactly the same.
The majority of Americans believe that Obamacare is detrimental to the health care system yet, one assumes, many of them believe extending “health coverage” to everyone is a worthy cause. There are— and I realize this might be inconceivable to some—other systems that deliver affordable, high-quality services and products to lots and lots of people. Presumably, most of you have bought food or clothing without an individual mandate in a highly regulated government exchange? This kind of delivery system may seem excessively chaotic, antiquated or even unfair to you, but it’s worth mentioning that the moral objective of those who support competitive markets over contrived technocratic schemes is probably just as good as yours.
—David Harsanyi, with the “it’s amazing someone actually has to point this out to be people” piece of the day.