The Baltimore Sun: Cynicism for All
One might actually take your editorial page’s charges of cynicism against opponents of Obamacare seriously, if it weren’t guilty of the same sin. By singularly focusing on things like Ellen Sauerbrey’s poor choice of signage, the Sun is itself cynically demonizing all opposition to Obamacare and short circuiting the “genuine debate” it claims to want on the matter. What in-depth analysis of the health care bill has the editorial board performed or provided for readers? What bad policies contained in the bill has it’s writers decried? None! In fact, they have their sights narrowly focused on the bill’s opponents.
Indeed, earlier this week in the Sun proudly patted itself on the back for “debunking” another so called “myth.” In it’s August 9 editorial titled “Myths of health reform” the Sun cited president Obama’s mendacious claim that under the bill, “if you like your healthcare, you can keep it” as evidence from on high that the public option would not force people out of their current coverage. However, as I pointed out yesterday that claim is patently false. There are specific provisions in the bill HR 3200 specifically section 102 pp 16-17 that put the truth to that lie. Section 102 sets up a five-year grace period before federal mandates apply to private insurance plans. After that time if your plan does not conform to the guidelines you will have to shift to plans, which conform to those guidelines. Therefore, you can’t keep the coverage you like, and you might not like the plans you will be forced to choose from.
Furthermore, the “if you like it you can keep it” canard was designed to be just that a canard. Jacob Hacker the Yale political science professor the architect of the public option has said as much. “Someone once said to me, ‘This is a Trojan horse for single payer,’ and I said, ‘Well, it’s not a Trojan horse, right? It’s just right there… I’m telling you, we’re going to get there, over time, slowly.” Hacker also provided the rationale for Obama’s underlying rhetorical deceit, “One of the virtues of it [the public option] though is that you can at least make the claim that there is a competitive system between the public and private sectors.”
Let me repeat that for the Sun, “IT’S RIGHT THERE.”
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Of course, the evidence that Obama is now cynically denying the single payer system he truly covets, is incontrovertible. However, those words from the president are too inconvenient a truth for the Sun to address.
Again, one would take the Sun editorialists seriously if they bothered to address the 88 million workers who would lose their private insurance after being dumped into the government plan, or discussed Obamacare’s trillion dollar costs adding to CBO-projected $1.8 trillion deficit for FY 2009, or maybe the serious wage stagnation the plan would foist on American workers.
Yet the Sun isn’t interested in any of that ripe debate material, they ignore it in favor of focusing on a few bad apples to paint the whole barrel as illegitimate.
Now tell me again, who are the cynics…