Who has not heard the Republican rhetoric about the health care proposals in Congress? Too many myths, and not enough truths, have been spread about health care proposals of the Obama administration and those initiated in Congress. These myths are a part of the regular talking points of every Republican who makes an appearance before a crowd or a television camera.
Seeking to tap into the anti-government sentiments of a reactionary group of Oklahomans, Michael Steele hit several of these talking points a week or so ago in a visit to Oklahoma. The Republican party is running a one-minute ad touching on their various talking points: “Today our freedom is threatened in America. President Obama and Nancy Pelosi are experimenting with America – massive government expansion, government takeovers, redistribution of wealth, staggering debt to countries like China.” Tea-baggers are at it again with their signs, slogans, and smears.
All kinds of lies have been told publicly and circulated privately about health care bills since last spring. There were lies about “death panels,” rationing of health care services, waiting lines, people losing their present policies, raising everybody’s taxes, running up big deficits for health care, increasing health care costs and premiums for policy-holders, government bureaucrats coming between you and your doctor, and all those things.
Some of us will surely retch if we hear again the Republican accusation of “government takeover of health care, the sixth largest segment of our economy.” That is, of course, the share of our GDP spent on health care, and it is shameful that the most costly health care system in the world leaves out nearly 20 percent of the people, gives inadequate care to another 20 percent, and threatens to bankrupt the economy.
Since there has been no effort at taking over health care services per se, even the Republicans know that, then the myth would be better directed at efforts to regulate health insurance and to subsidize insurance for those who cannot afford its current high cost. But, then, what is bad about that?