Conservatives fear Obamacare’s success

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Even acknowledging that our national politics have become increasingly contentious, here’s a development that is really odd: two billionaire brothers are spending millions of dollars to try to persuade young Americans not to buy health insurance. What’s up with that?
The industrialist Koch brothers, David and Charles, are among the very richest Americans — indeed, the very richest people on the planet. They are not merely members of the one percent; they’re in the topmost fraction of the one percent.
That means that they not only can afford to buy health insurance for themselves, but they can also buy physicians, hospitals, medical labs and pharmacies if they choose to do so. They have access to the very best medical care that money can buy — and, in America, that’s the difference between life and death.
But unlike, say, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, the Koch brothers have not concerned themselves with trying to make life a bit more comfortable and pleasant for others. Oh, no. The Koch brothers are the very stereotype of the greedy and selfish hyper-rich, the poster boys for self-interested plutocracy. They want to control the country’s politics — no matter who gets hurt in their grab for power.
That’s why they’ve funded ultra-conservative candidates and political causes over the past couple of decades. Their to-do list includes aiding the effort to torpedo the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. Among the political groups they fund is an outfit called Generation Opportunity, which is running a creepy ad to persuade young women of a lie: that Obamacare comes between a patient and her physician.
The Koch brothers know that the new health care paradigm depends on enlisting healthy young adults — people who tend to take the risk that they don’t need health insurance — into the system. If they don’t sign up, the new exchanges won’t have enough vigorous and youthful Americans to help pay the way for the sick and frail. Insurance companies need to be able to spread the costs around so they don’t go bankrupt trying to care for the ailing.
But the Koch brothers, like most conservatives, want Obamacare to fail. They are not concerned that the new health care law, which would extend insurance to the vast majority for the first time in history, is a “government takeover” of medicine or a “jobs-killer” or a ruinous new entitlement. None of that is true. (See factcheck.org or Politifact.com for actual facts about Obamacare.)
Nope, the real concern of most conservatives is that Obamacare will work, proving popular over the long run. Think about it: If they are so certain that the law will collapse under its own weight, why not step aside and allow it to do so? Why do they need to try to defund it and create creepy ads trying to persuade young people not to buy in? Why did they warn the National Football League not to promote the new health care exchanges?
If Obamacare succeeds, the generations-long conservative war against activist government would have lost another major battle, and more voters would be persuaded to vote for progressives. That’s the reason that conservatives went all out to defeat President Clinton’s similar health care proposal during his first term.
As Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, then fresh off his stint as vice-president Dan Qualye’s chief of staff, wrote in 1993: “…the long-term political effects of a successful Clinton health care bill will … relegitimize middle-class dependence for ‘security’ on government spending and regulation. It will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests.”
There you have it. They don’t dare allow Obamacare to proceed unimpeded because Americans might come to like it and depend on it, as the elderly like and depend on Medicare. Indeed, conservatives, including Ronald Reagan, fought the creation of Medicare, claiming it was pure socialism.
Meanwhile, the Americans who would suffer most if Obamacare doesn’t succeed are those without health insurance and the promise of decent medical care. That includes the young adults who will be victims of terrible accidents or unforeseen diseases. Not that the Koch brothers care about them.

Comments

  1. Steve Shaffer says:

    Your column on the implementation of Obamacare devoted nearly half of your space to trashing the successful Koch brothers instead of focusing on the real issues with this new law that was passed with no bipartisan support. So you have to ask yourself why?

    The reason is, (that you fail to recognize) is that this new healthcare law is gov’t taking over the insurance industry. You fail to see the horror story after horror story of people’s insurance cost going UP! Businesses cutting hours of employees to avoid the new fees, and so on. It’s a bad law and yes, it’s socialism at it’s core. Even the unions are up in arms about the consequences.

    Question: If this new approach to healthcare is so wonderful, why are so many groups, states, and institutions appealing for waivers? Why are federal employees begging for exemptions? Just the fact of hearing that waivers have been granted, violates the equal protection clause of the constitution. If it’s the law of the land, it applies to everyone. Because you’re supporting this bad law, means you do not have a basic understanding of the principles of this constitutional republic set up by the constitution.

    The answer is to promote competition among the insurance companies across state lines, tort reform so that doctors don’t have to practice defensive medicine and let the market take care of itself. If gov’t would just stay out of the way with the free market, (healthcare industry) then this will encourage competition. Then costs will go down, services will expand, and doctors will compete for your health business.

    Sadly, you continue your knee jerk support of this weak president intent on screwing up this great country.

    Steve Shaffer
    Tallahassee, FL

  2. Hi Ms Tucker,I really enjoyed your artical in sunday;s paper.I Thank You for telling the truth.PLEASE KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK.

  3. B says:

    Ms. Tucker,

    I consider myself an a moderate politically. I am curious as to why supporters of the ACA have not spoken about the exemptions our President put in place. Should those that govern, not be under the same laws that they force upon us?
    Regarding your article published on Yahoo today, I am also curious as to why you leave out some facts as to the financial status of the SS fund. Do you believe it will continue to survive at the current rate of income versus payouts?
    We are $ 16.9 trillion in debt, yet no budget is in place, and noone mentions why we haven’t had a budget in years. Eventually, the world will longer buy our Treasury notes and then the real fun begins for our country.
    Look forward to your reply,

    B

  4. Lady Irish says:

    I find it so said that a Pulitzer recipient has given up on her award winning journalism to become one of the thousands of Obama lovers – sacrificing a true gift all for the Obama bull shit machine…
    Either you have given up on doing your own research and have made the same mistake as the main stream media has and have gone on to just take whatever the Obama Machine tells you as fact! Because, you have been lying to your readers over and over with your bull shit numbers and made up facts. Especially when it comes to accusing your apposing parties.
    Hopefully, when the Obama Machine is finally turned off, you will go back to the award winning commentary you were so well known for. But for now we will just have to skip that part of the news paper.

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