Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Bully Pulpit

"Everyone who favors repeal is welcome to come talk to these people and tell them why we should go back to . . . the way things were. But you're going to need to explain why they and tens of millions of Americans should have their rights taken away." --President Obama

The Washington Post reports today that President Obama met with Health Insurance CEOs on the 90th day since passage of the health care reform law. He warned them not to increase rates simply because of the new law. Is this an appropriate use of the bully pulpit?

Fact: The law removes co-pays for preventive care.

Fact: The law removes annual and lifetime caps for care.

Fact: The law removes exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Fact: The law mandates coverage for adult children through the age of 26.

There are more facts, but these are sufficient to support the claim that regulatory requirements will increase health insurance premiums.

The quotation is also telling: Health insurance is a right. If you want to repeal the law, you want to take away the right to health insurance that the government just granted.

This is nothing more than emotionalism substituting for rationalism. Just what does an emotional government do when it can't afford to do it all? Tax people it thinks are bad for society? Borrow indefinitely from anyone who will loan the money? An emotional government cannot say "no"; it knows no constraint. A rational government says "no" in response to priorities and constraints; it's not personal.

It's not personal, President Obama. We want to repeal the health care reform law because it's bad regulation (as written) and poor fiscal policy.

One more thing: A right never imposes a duty on another citizen. You've made health insurance a privilege, not a right. Get your vocabulary straight, please.

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