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“So now, a few days before that announcement is due, Obama officials are trying to sell the positive parts of the law,” Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi wrote on Thursday. “Good luck to them. Much of the public already thinks of health care reform as the end of America as they know it, because that’s the way opponents relentlessly portrayed it.”
Get it? People don’t oppose ObamaCare because of what it is. They oppose it because of how it is depicted.
The paternalistic pre-postmortem of ObamaCare by its supporters is entirely consistent with the paternalistic nature of the legislation itself. At every step, the crafters of the legislation have behaved as though the people covered by the law were too stupid to have their own opinions on it.
From drafting the legislation behind closed doors to the bill’s impossibly opaque verbiage to the late-night votes on it to Nancy Pelosi’s “Are you serious?” answer to a question on whether the bill passes Constitutional muster, the process of ObamaCare proved offensively arrogant. Of course, this says nothing of the bill itself, which tells individuals they must pay insurance companies for coverage, dictates to insurance companies who and what they must cover, pressures doctors to deny certain costly procedures, and so on. Kathleen Sebelius knows best.
Perhaps most patronizing of all is the law’s Orwellian name, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. By unnaturally ratcheting up the supply of insurance customers through the mandate, empowering the federal government to control prices (and thus create shortages and drive up prices), and taxing everything from medical devices to top-tier health plans, the act will necessarily make care less affordable. By creating boards and bureaucracies to make decisions better left to doctors and patients, the bill preys on rather than protects patients.
Instead of falling for the packaging most Americans see through it. A law presented as containing costs turns out to be a welfare entitlement exploding them. The underestimated masses are smart enough not to judge a bill by its title. The people who dismissed everyone else as stupid have ultimately demonstrated their own stupidity.
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