The Spectacle Blog

Give Me A Break Marie!

By on 10.12.06 | 2:09PM

Marie Coco is carrying the water for the Citizens' Health Care Working Group that I blogged about a few weeks back. According to Coco:

More than a dozen years after Hillary Rodham Clinton's grand experiment in reshaping the health insurance system died in a pyre of overheated political argument and hysterical claims, it turns out the public wants pretty much what Clinton tried to deliver: Coverage for all Americans. A nationally mandated, guaranteed set of core benefits to replace the current patchwork that leaves even many people who have insurance with inadequate coverage for some illnesses and treatments. A national policy that refuses to let a family be crushed financially if someone becomes very ill.

All this would, naturally, be financed in a way the body politic considers "fair'' - without creating an undue burden on sick people and in a way that's related to a family's ability to pay. The most popular means of raising additional funds is through "some form of progressive, or 'sliding scale' income or payroll tax (like the Medicare payroll tax) specifically dedicated to supporting health care for all.''

Hmmm…I wonder if that "body politic" would consider it fair if people who smoke should pay more or people who don't watch their weight should pay more. I'm betting that the body politic would, but I'll further bet that won't enter into any financing mechanism that the Working Group or Coco envisions.

Also, I suppose I should be amazed that Coco thinks she can speak for the entire "body politic" based on the finding of one committee, but then I long ago failed to be surprised by a liberal's ability to claim that she speaks for all Americans. And about the Working Group, Coco states,

No, this isn't a script for a Democratic candidate's campaign commercial. And they're not talking points for an interest group pushing this health care solution or that.

These are the conclusions of an official, nonpartisan government commission set up by Congress as part of the Medicare prescription-drug legislation. What the commission now tells us - after taking soundings in 37 states, collecting tens of thousands of responses to polls and written questionnaires and listening at 98 community meetings - is that Americans see clearly what is wrong with the health care system, and have on their own achieved a remarkable degree of consensus on how to fix it.

"Official, nonpartisan government commission"? Puh-leaze! I am amazed that Coco thought she could get that one by her readers. Clearly she's trying to paw off the Working Group as some sort of objective, unbiased group just dutifully doing the nation's business. But as I noted in a press release for the National Center for Public Policy Research,

Members of the Working Group were appointed by the Comptroller General of the United States, David M. Walker. As is often the case with government commissions, the Working Group is heavily tilted to the left. Of the 14 participating members, one (Joseph Hansen) is the head of a union, another (Therese Hughes) has been involved with the liberal group Environmental Defense, and another (Deborah Stehr) has served on the board of the leftist group USAction. Another three members - Richard Frank, Frank Baumeister and Catherine McLaughlin - have contributed money to Democratic politicians and organizations. It included not one member of a free-market health care organization.

The Working Group was designed to come up with a command-and-control, government-knows-best approach to health care. "Nonpartisan" is increasingly an all-purpose smokescreen used by such commissions and their apologists to disguise their true agenda.

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article

More Articles From David Hogberg