As ironclad and inevitable as my logic seems to me when sealing the deal on an argument, I often find I have critics. In this case, I’ve been accused of “lying” about some of the arguments I’ve made, particularly in my blogs about the Public Option and Rationing. But, because I’m so fair minded I am more than happy to answer my critics and confront the accusation of lies. To me the accusation of lying breaks down immediately and it seems like the “lies” are really just disagreements of opinion, not a conflict over the facts, although sometimes that comes up too: In this case, my argument was the problem, not the facts:
the argument that we don’t want to be like Canada or Britain..
Because it’s the classic lie coming from the GOP…
what, is the lie?
That we will suffer the same consequences of these systems.. even tho this is NOT the system the Dems are trying to pass..
Well I would think that we can all agree that we don’t want to have the type of system that they have in the UK, but Canada has been held up as the gold standard of government healthcare by the American left for years. But the problems that Canada has now were not evident immediately after they switched to their current system; it took years to outgrow the infrastructure that they had to reach the current position of having too few medical facilities and too few providers, resulting in long wait and appointment times. We have the current medical infrastructure that we have, hospitals, urgent cares, outpatient surgery centers, even walk in clinics in Wal-Mart, because there is money in it. Take the financial incentive out of the system and you are stuck with the infrastructure you have.
The system the Democrats want to pass is one in which the germ of a government public option is available to eventually swamp over the current private insurance system. The long term goal and result is to eliminate private health insurance, as The President and Democrats have been saying for years. That would give us a system very much like Canada’s, with all that comes with it; shortages, long lines, months long wait for specialists and surgeries… no lie there.
Phrasing.. seriously.. I had to read it twice.. the placement of the word ‘uninsured’ makes it almost seem like you mean one those kinds of ppl getting breast or protate or any other cancer has a better survival rate here than anywhere else.. .. but thats simply not true is it.. because the survival rate you are quoting is only for those with insurance… those without of course, fare much worse than any other country don’t they..
I suspected that this wasn’t a valid issue to begin with, since counting only covered people would make the data fairly useless in determining actual survival rates worldwide. That might be an interesting study in its own right, but there was nothing I could find in this study, regarding long term survival rates for cancer, that limited the pool to only covered people in the United States. But I wanted to be sure so I went back to the original study, published in The Lancet Oncology, to review the methodology that was used in the study, and, as I suspected, health insurance coverage was not mentioned. For an international study, that might not have even been a consideration when developing the data points for producing the study. The NCPA’s analysis of the same study said that, “These figures reflect the care available to all Americans, not just those with private health coverage.”
Another “lie” seemed to be an interpretation of President Obama’s ABC Townhall on health care. President Obama, in response to a question, said:
But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that’s not making anybody’s mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what? Maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.
To me, this sounds like an implicit support for rationing care to the elderly. Of course we should eliminate waste in the system, but the President could do that now, without having a healthcare bill. Medicare is losing 60 billion a year to waste, fraud, and abuse. That is a worthwhile target to go after regardless of what happens to health reform. It shouldn’t be held hostage to health reform. In any case, there is nothing in the current HR 3200 that would attack this massive problem. Instead, they use the example of trading off care.
But President Obama, has made it clear, at least until the past few months, that he very much sees rationing as a method for cutting costs. As recently as April in an interview with the New York Times Magazine, President Obama brought up the now infamous red and blue pill analogy:
So when Peter Orszag and I talk about the importance of using comparative-effectiveness studies as a way of reining in costs, that’s not an attempt to micromanage the doctor-patient relationship. It is an attempt to say to patients, you know what, we’ve looked at some objective studies out here, people who know about this stuff, concluding that the blue pill, which costs half as much as the red pill, is just as effective, and you might want to go ahead and get the blue one. And if a provider is pushing the red one on you, then you should at least ask some important questions.
That’s fine as far as it goes, everyone, from insurance companies on down, would prefer that you use generics if there are no specific medical reasons to use the “retail” pill. But the President, who famously said last week that he did not want to kill our grandparents, seemed to have mixed feelings on his own:
I mean, I’ve told this story, maybe not publicly, but when my grandmother got very ill during the campaign, she got cancer; it was determined to be terminal. And about two or three weeks after her diagnosis she fell, broke her hip. It was determined that she might have had a mild stroke, which is what had precipitated the fall.
So now she’s in the hospital, and the doctor says, Look, you’ve got about — maybe you have three months, maybe you have six months, maybe you have nine months to live. Because of the weakness of your heart, if you have an operation on your hip there are certain risks that — you know, your heart can’t take it. On the other hand, if you just sit there with your hip like this, you’re just going to waste away and your quality of life will be terrible.
And she elected to get the hip replacement and was fine for about two weeks after the hip replacement, and then suddenly just — you know, things fell apart.
I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost. I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother. Whether, sort of in the aggregate, society making those decisions to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill is a sustainable model, is a very difficult question.
Yes that is a difficult question. And that’s exactly what is bringing the oldsters out to townhalls. They are afraid, and not because of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or whatever boogie man lefties have, it’s because of the President himself. The great communicator, if he is not in favor of rationed healthcare, sure likes to bring it up a lot.
I think my favorite “lie” is this one:
take for instance the argument of “It costs too much”.. well it costs more to do nothing.. But this truth is flatly rejected because there is no arguing it.. so it goes on the shelf labeled “Ignore at all costs”
I’m not sure how exactly this is categorized as a lie, but it’s a strawman argument. There is no advocacy for “doing nothing.” Neither Republicans, “villain” insurance companies, nor blue dog Democrats are arguing that it’s Obamacare or nothing. There are multiple proposals for reform, and I’ve made a few myself for years. But arguing that Obamacare is actually going to cut costs is ridiculous. The CBO is not buying it, and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence, other than President Obama’s say so, that his plan would cut costs, either in the short or long term. It’s a money pit. I wonder how in the tank to Obama you have to be to think that creating a major new entitlement program will reduce costs.
Anyway, I’m always open to respond to more “lies.” Maybe someday I will actually get some.