Obamacare’s Victims and Targets Speak Out

August 8th, 2009 at 10:17 am | 15 Comments |

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The healthcare debate is arousing passions unseen since the 1960s.  Not even Iraq War II evoked the visceral reactions that are being played out in Florida and Missouri, and in news conferences and op-eds.

Yesterday, Peggy Noonan and Paul Krugman each zeroed in on the debate. For Peggy Noonan, it is about opposition to things being taken away and the unknown. For Dr. Krugman, ever the Princeton prof, it is about motley white folks being gussied up in BSquared duds.  Pigs with lipstick.

Krugman way overstates. But he’s on to something. Something Team Obama is not keen on focusing on.  Government option healthcare has become the flashpoint of the Great Welfare debate redux. The reality is that there is an insurance gap between between working whites and minorities, and the Obama Administration is asking taxpaying Americans to a) pay for closing the gap and b) making government both the insurer and regulator for all.

On the tony end of things, the question gets posed as to whether Obama wants America to be more like Europe. The tony end is polite and a tad misleading.  Let’s face it: America’s demographics do not mirror Iceland or Sweden’s.

The more pointed question is does America want socialized medicine to be delivered by BHO, David Axelrod, Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel and Henry Waxman?

And at this point the question is unresolved. In the last election, Obama won by 7 points despite losing the white working class by 18. But Obama did so by winning the tax revenue generating core – folks with incomes over 200k – and the college grads.

Connecting with the white working class is not part of the Obama skill set. He lacks the words. He lacks the body language. He lacks the empathy. Obama is neither Bill Clinton nor Colin Powell.  Thursday night brew at the White House was an anthropological experiment — the Prof and the Cop.  But based on the ’08 election, Obama may be right. Working class opposition may not matter. Jacksonian and working class notions of elbow room and disdain for the dole are just too quaint and inconvenient.

But here’s the thing.  High income voters are looking at the price tag and know this one is coming out of their hides. House Dems have painted a bullseye on the wallets of wealthier America. Although wealthier America may be less vocal, it rightly fears that its medical care and the medical care of its elderly parents is about to be diminished, and that its back pocket is about to be thinned and skinned.  The 50-year plus folks who live in the suburbs of Blue America, who last fall stuck bumper stickers shouting “Hope” and “Yes We Can” and “Obama”, who tried to look and sound like college kids, are now tellingly silent.

And so while the “mob” may be making the noise, it is not alone.  The folks showing up at the town hall meetings to challenge Obamacare are not just speaking for themselves.  They are also voicing the concerns of those for whom protest would either be declasse or, more likely, a symptom of buyer’s remorse.

Do I think a healthcare compromise is theoretically possible?  Yes.  Its name is Wyden-Bennett.  But right now, Obama’s core supporters won’t bite.  Better to be uninsured and aggrieved, better to feel morally pure.  Better go hungry than take half-a-loaf. Better, in their mind, to roll the dice.

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15 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    “But right now, Obama’s core supporters won’t bite. Better to be uninsured and aggrieved, better to feel morally pure. Better go hungry than take half-a-loaf. Better, in their mind, to roll the dice.”

    ………No they are not really interested in a Republican half a loaf…….and there’s very little dice rolling involved because the outcome is almost certain and that’s a bill largely to the president’s liking passed on recon……We’ll get the usual republican screaming about bipartisanship…… not that they have exhibited any as the public well understands.

  • greg_barton

    How can there be victims of “Oabmacare” if no bill has passed yet? You literally cannot be a victim until an action has been taken. Try looking a word up in the dictionary before you use it.

  • wouldchuk

    Hey, even under the current system, healthcare quantity and quality are declining. MY CASE IN POINT, I work for one of the largest employers (service insource to corporations) of its kind in the US. They jsut reduced my monthly “cost” of healthcare premiums by 50%, RIGHT REDUCED. Uh-O, read the fine print, annual limit reduce form $1,000,000 to $50,000. THAT’S RIGHT a reduction in cost of premium = -50%. A reduction in benefits = -95%. Isn’t it great the way the “FREE” market is addressing things!??? Summary: my upline report simply said, “They did a study, they found that if they spent more than $50,000 in a year on an employee, the likelihood is that they were going to die anyway.” Will Uh-O Care really be worse??? And this is the “free” market the Cons are saying we all should fight, bleed and die for, “fear oh desperately fear” Obama-Care??? I affectionately call it Uh-O Care… THIS IS REAL, NOW, TODAY, NOT FICTION.

  • SFTor1

    Mr. Green doesn’t get it.

    We have plenty of victims under the current system. We are trying to reduce that number. We pay through the nose for health care already, and rates are on a steep upward curve. We are trying to reduce health care costs.

    We are saddled with a class of health care oligarchs in this country. Their power must be broken. That is why we need reform now. Going forward we will adjust the programs to deliver better outcomes, and better economics. The status quo is the enemy of every American, no matter what class or income level.

    Let the private health care leech therapy end. Now.

  • mickster99

    Have you found something in the current bill w/amendments that will diminish healthcare for the elderly vis a vis changes/reductions in Medicare? I am 64 and will 65 in 4.2010. Is this documented or are you just spreading more rumors. It seems to be we’ve had socialized medicine managed and delivered by the federal government for 44 years with Medicare/Medicaid. And the only nazis I’ve seen since then are the NeoNazis that marched in Skokie, Ill. or the ones Glenn Beck runs as the backdrop for some of his hysterical paranoid rants. Every industrialized country in the world has Socialized medicine and those countries seem to be quite happy with it. Indeed at the Townhalls informal polls seem a lot of those screaming and yelling want to keep their Medicare. There are some logical non-sequiturs floating around here. Googling reveals regarding voting demographics of 2008: McCain won white voters by a margin of 55% to 43% while Obama won black voters by a margin of 95% to 04%. Our demographics may not match up with Iceland or Sweden tho you might what to consider Britain, France, Germany in the mix. Although I’m not sure how demographics related to healthcare. Some nations are pretty homogenous (Japan being very homogenous) whilst France is perhaps more heterogenous. Perhaps Canada is in there. The public plan would provide an option to make government managed health care for all. But does not eliminate private insurers, providers so I am thinking you are creating strawmen here.

  • Moderate

    “Connecting with the white working class is not part of the Obama skill set. He lacks the words.”

    Considering that Obama is one of the most eloquent public speakers of his generation, one can only interpret this to mean “he doesn’t speak dumb to them.” If so, how revealing of the author’s low opinion of the white working class.

    Mr. Green also seems to be implying that working class whites would be more supportive of public health care in a country like Iceland or Sweden, not in one with minorities. So Mr. Green is indirectly calling working class whites stupid, inarticulate, and racist.

    This is one of the worst articles this website has ever published, and unless Mr. Green has compromising photos of Frum, there was no reason for it to have been greenlighted.

  • jpitney

    For a refresher on the president’s attitudes toward the working class, see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mayhill-fowler/obama-no-surprise-that-ha_b_96188.html

    For a non-right-wing analysis of one of the many dangers of Obamacare, see:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/07/AR2009080703043.html

  • sinz54

    ottovbs: The Dems will never pass their liberal wet dream, if the polls show the American people won’t buy it. They remember that Social Security and Medicare were successful precisely because they received a lot of moderate Republican support. They also remember that Carter’s Panama Canal treaty, passed by liberals, dug Carter’s political grave.

    Because the Dems don’t want to lose big in November 2010. This would give the Republicans exactly what they want–to define the Dems as arrogant and self-righteous (just like you) who rammed a single-payer system down America’s throats whether they wanted it or not.

    Your record as a prognosticator is awful.

    And you just don’t understand how much liberals are despised by everyone else in the country. Around the dinner table, in the bars, on the streets, liberals are despised by just about everybody else. And I hate their guts too.

    I’m willing to bet you that a strong public option NEVER gets passed. The Dems will pass something. But they’ll never get the steppingstone to single-payer they’ve been dreaming about.

    I’m willing to bet you.

  • sinz54

    moderate sez: “So Mr. Green is indirectly calling working class whites stupid, inarticulate, and racist.’

    I’m hearing that same argument now from all the liberals: HuffPo, Krugman, the NY Times, etc. The liberals have now reached the stage of blaming the American people for their failures. That’s the same attitude that sunk Jimmy Carter in 1980.

    Liberal arrogance has blinded them to the fact that Obama, Pelosi, all of those in government, work for the American people. Not the reverse. I don’t take orders from Obama. (If Obama called me on the phone, this very minute, I would have the right to hang up on him if I wanted.)

    And you never call your boss stupid. Not if you want to keep your job.

  • sinz54

    sftor1 sez: “We pay through the nose for health care already, and rates are on a steep upward curve. We are trying to reduce health care costs.”

    There’s nothing in the ObamaCare bill to reduce health care costs. The Congressional Budget Office said so.

    Obama keeps promising Americans “If you like your doctor and you like your current health care plan, you can keep them.” Well, surveys show that 80% of Americans are satisfied with the health care they’re getting. That means 80% of America’s health care system will stay as it is. Only 20% of Americans will be affected by ObamaCare (according to Obama himself).

    YOU CANNOT REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS, if 80% of the current system remains the way it is!

    STOP LYING.
    You’re not going to reduce health care costs.

    ObamaCare is medical welfare for the currently uninsured. You’re going to give them far better care than they can currently get, at a cost to the nation of $1 trillion.

    That’s all ObamaCare is: a $1 trillion medical welfare program for the usual suspects: The poor, the blacks, the Hispanics. The rest of us get stuck with the bill.

    I’m telling you:
    STOP LYING

  • barker13

    Re: Sinz54 // Aug 9, 2009 at 11:04 am –

    “There’s nothing in the ObamaCare bill to reduce health care costs. The Congressional Budget Office said so.”

    Sinz. (*SIGH*)

    THEY
    DON’T
    CARE

    (*SHRUG*)

    “YOU CANNOT REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS, if 80% of the current system remains the way it is!”

    Sinz. Logic is not their strong suit.

    “STOP LYING.”

    So now you know how I feel! (*GRIN*)

    “That’s all ObamaCare is: a $1 trillion medical welfare program for the usual suspects: The poor, the blacks, the Hispanics. The rest of us get stuck with the bill.”

    Hmm… did you throw that last out as some sort of “test,” some sort of challenge to see exactly how many posters in how short a time would call you a racist…???

    Interesting…

    BILL

  • SFTor1

    Don’t tell me I’m lying, Sinz.

    Cost cointainment is front and center of this effort. I don’t understand you would even deny it.

  • Churl

    Wouldchuck, under the present system, you have at least a hope of finding better insurance. The worry some of us have about Obamacare is that we will get the same end-of-life cutoff you mention in a government-mandated system with no alternative.

  • greg_barton

    sinz54 and barker13…

    Is your lawn plastic?

  • barker13

    Re: Greg_barton // Aug 9, 2009 at 11:49 pm (#14) –

    Hey Greg… are your meds placebos?

    (*GRIN*) (*WINK*)

    BILL