surely you jest



Freddie deBoer used to blog at, and may again someday. Now he blogs here.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Mark says:

    With no hint of self-awareness, Conor called “the neg” the “sleaziest pick-up tactic short of date rape.” Without hyperbole, I’d say the sleaziest pick-up tactic is lying about the popularity of health care reform.Report

  2. Avatar Rj says:

    I think you’ve hit on an important truth: conservatives always assume that their policies are popular. You may recall in the aftermath of last year’s elections the endless stream of blog posts explaining how the policy was never the problem and that Republicans would win again if they just did a better job “explaining” the same old three decade old Reaganite mantras. It’s like conservative ideology was perfected completely in 1984.

    Of course, if you can’t sell “messaging” as the single step to conservative dominance, just blame the media for the public’s views. It’s the same victim mentality they tut-tut minorities for.Report

  3. Avatar mike farmer says:

    “One policy position that’s important with Democratic activists is health care reform, which continues to poll well when removed from the context of one party and one ideology despicably, flagrantly and knowingly lying and fear-mongering about it.”

    So you are saying the Democrat proposed healthcare reform is popular among its supporters?Report

    • Avatar Freddie says:

      I’m saying universal health care was and is very popular, and that the current health care bill (more popular than generally regarded, by the way) has been hurt by nothing so much as out and out lies.Report

      • Well, yeah, universal health care/insurance is popular in the abstract. Hell, I’m even in favor of universal health care. The trouble is the assumption that this translates to support for a particular path to universal (or near-universal) health insurance. The other problem is the details of that universal health care or insurance – it’s easy to support something when there is no cost associated with it, but when the rubber meets the road….

        I also don’t think that this is solely an issue of lies, either. The same polling that finds a plurality of opposition to the existing legislation also finds an overwhelming majority of people who are angry at the way the Republicans have handled themselves in this, which I think also translates into anger at the more ridiculous town hall protester claims. In other words, the perpetuators of lies don’t seem to be getting away with it in opinion polling.

        I think the problems here are instead primarily that: 1. The legislation is unduly complicated and difficult to understand; 2. Existing recipients of Medicare are going to oppose anything that is going to include cost controls on Medicare (and any meaningful reform, from either party, is going to have to include such controls, which I think is part of why Republicans have been so disinterested in proposing alternative reforms); 3. Slippery slope arguments; 4. Deficit concerns; and 5. All the different reform proposals that have been floating around without any being firmly settled upon, meaning that any thing that appears in any proposed reform can get attacked as if it may be part of any reform that actually gets passed.

        This last factor is partly Obama’s fault for taking a relatively hands-off approach to the legislative side of this.Report

        • Avatar mike farmer says:

          I think what would have been best is to have two competing plans — one that proposes single payer, government-run healthcare with all the essential elements, killing off private insurance and allowing government to control it all — then plan two which would be free market oriented — tort reform, selling and buying across state lines, licensure reform and tax breaks for individuals buying their own policies – with a proposal to promote private charity hospitals and clinics to address the needs of the poor, coupled with an across the board income tax reduction.

          Now, that would be a choice!Report

          • Avatar Freddie says:

            It would be very interesting.

            Personally, I would take a cue from the fact that all of the other major industrialized nations have abandoned the profit model in medicine. Even in countries like France and Switzerland, where the insurance is nominally private, the actual companies themselves have gone non-profit.

            The evolution of Switzerland’s health care is pretty interesting. In the mid-90s, their for-profit health insurance companies had gotten around to doing what they do in America, which is not cover people who are sick or are likely to become sick. Because of this, at one point 5% of Swiss people couldn’t get coverage. So there was a national referendum and the Swiss banned for-profit medicine entirely, keeping a private model but turning all of the health insurance companies into non-profits.Report

  4. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    I think health care reform is very popular but a large portion of the electorate is ambivalent toward this particular reform effort, which may be justified or no, may be the result of lies and distortions, and may also be the fault of the administration which is hardly doing a good job making their case. And more to the point, this may just reflect the larger cynicism of the electorate toward our political process.Report