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Gary Bauer, American Values: 8-12-09

From: Gary L. Bauer

Liberals Literally Buying Support

One of the more frustrating refrains used by liberals looking to denigrate the popular outrage against government-run healthcare is to dismiss the protests as “Astroturf” or the “Brooks Brothers Brigade.” Both suggest that opposition to socialized healthcare has been artificial or bought and paid for, that it’s not a genuine grassroots uprising, but “manufactured anger,” as the White House press secretary recently put it.

The charge is patently false. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The Left has a history of using “rent-a-mobs” like ACORN’s “muscle for money” program. Now there is more proof that liberals are literally having to buy support for healthcare reform. Sunday, the RedState blog posted links to Craig’s List ads looking to hire activists to promote healthcare reform for $11-16 per hour. Meanwhile, Rich Lowry of the National Review writes that the drug industry has cut a deal with the Obama White House and will spend $150 million this summer on ads promoting healthcare reform. And we know the labor unions are spending millions on ads and turning out their supporters too.

With Big Labor and Big Business in bed with Big Government, it’s amazing this bill has been slowed down at all. But who is looking out for average Americans? You are! You are not being fooled by the double-talk and slick rhetoric. You know Big Government’s track record of wasteful spending and inefficient bureaucracy. And you don’t want it getting in the way of the healthcare you and your family need.

The People Are Speaking Up!

Democrat John Dingell of Michigan is the dean of the House the Representatives. He’s been in Congress since 1955 and is the longest serving member of Congress today. He also happens to be the lead sponsor of the nationalized healthcare bill, a cause he has been fighting for since 1955. Every two years, Dingell is reelected by wide margins, and Barack Obama carried 66% of the vote in Dingell’s solidly Democrat district.

Last week, Rep. Dingell held a town hall meeting on healthcare reform, and the Washington Times was there to cover the meeting. Consider these two statements from folks who attended:

  • “It seems to me this is a push to nationalizing everything. The government has put us through so much financial stress. It’s burdensome on all Americans, and the middle class will be squeezed out, for sure. I’m not in favor of it. I’m very angry.”
  • “I don’t want government deciding if I can have a hip replacement or whether I should just be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. …This is Big Brother. And to hear Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi talk about a mob scene at these events. There are no buses out there. People are so mad, but our elected officials are not listening, so this has become festering frustration. I fear if we don’t do something, this is going to be shoved on through.”

The first quote does not come from a wealthy business executive, but from a 63 year-old retired social worker. The second quote is not from a conservative activist, but from a retired elementary school teacher and union negotiator, and a registered Democrat.

Beyond the anecdotal evidence, numerous polls prove socialized medicine is not popular. Two weeks ago, I reported on five polls conducted in a 24-hour period that all measured broad opposition to government-run healthcare. Yesterday, pollster Scott Rasmussen released a new survey of likely voters. Here are the key findings:

  • 42% of likely voters support the congressional healthcare reform plan; 53% oppose it. Those figures represent a 16-point swing in the past two weeks against the bill.
  • The intensity of opposition to the bill is twice as strong as the intensity of support for it: 44% of voters strongly oppose the bill, while just 26% strongly support it.
  • Now get this: 62% of independent voters oppose the congressional healthcare reform bill and 51% strongly oppose it! Among senior citizens, 46% are strongly opposed.
  • 51% of voters believe that the quality of healthcare will get worse if this bill passes (26% think quality will improve), and 51% of voters also believe that costs will go up if this bill passes. Only 19% believe President Obama’s argument that a thousand-page, trillion-dollar “reform” bill, full of government mandates, will make costs go down.

Politicians like Nancy Pelosi know full well what these polls are saying: The people do not want socialized medicine. They know the outrage at the town hall meetings is not manufactured, but very real as the intensity of strong opposition measured in these polls demonstrates. That is what makes the Left’s desperate attempts to dismiss the concerns of so many citizens so dangerous. Their statements about “Astroturf” are so obviously disingenuous that they invite further backlash. And labeling fellow citizens as “un-American” is just throwing gasoline on the fire.

Speaking Of Costs…

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a very informative editorial about “The Truth of Health Insurance,” what Obama says he wants to do and what it may cost you. Here are some key excerpts:

“New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts have both community rating and guaranteed issue. And, no surprise, they have the three most expensive individual insurance markets among all 50 states, with premiums roughly two to three times higher than the rest of the country. In 2007, the average annual premium in New Jersey was $5,326 for singles and in New York $12,254 for a family, versus the national average of $2,613 and $5,799, respectively. ObamaCare would impose New York-type rates nationwide.

“…ObamaCare would impose on all 50 states rules that have already proven to be failures in numerous states. Because these mandates would raise the cost of insurance, ObamaCare would then turn around and subsidize individuals to buy the insurance that the politicians made more expensive. Only in government could such irrationality be sold as ‘reform.’”

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