The dust continues to swirl around the national food fight over universalizing some mutation of health insurance/assurance. President Obama, during his anybody-but-Fox tag-team campaign appearances this weekend, took pains to ruefully reflect on how unfair in argument and temperament are his critics … yet no mention of things like last Tuesday’s front-page story in the Los Angeles Times headlined “Doctors Go For Obama’s Reform” (which of course wasn’t referring to doctors at all, rather the AMA which lobbies for only 18% of physicians). In fact, 65%, of doctors surveyed say they oppose the proposed government expansion plan.
It gets worse: Forty-five percent of surveyed doctors said they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” if Congress passes the plan that Democrats and the White House are championing. Under the proposed medical overhaul, an additional 47,000,000 people would have to be cared for – an 18% increase in patient load – without an equivalent increase in the nation’s 800,000 doctors. If 360,000 doctors quit, stress on the system will only worsen.
These are meaningful considerations because we are told that all this – everyone suddenly being insured with no commensurate influx of new doctors (in fact, a likely decrease) – will result in better care, lower cost, no middle class tax increase and no rationing. Eat your heart out David Copperfield.
Feeding on the public anxiety over the discrepancy between the obvious and the claims of proponents, on Sunday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) told Meet the Press host David Gregory that the healthcare plan being pushed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats is now dead and will not pass.
“There’s been no bipartisan conversation on Capitol Hill about healthcare,” Boehner said, “at some point when these big government plans fail – and they will, the Congress will not pass this – it’s really time for the president to hit the reset button, just stop all of this and let’s sit down and start over in a bipartisan way to build a plan that Americans will support.”
“So you think the plan is dead?” asked Gregory.
“I think it is,” said Boehner.
This comes just a week after hundreds of thousands of people came to the nation’s capitol to yell “Stop!”
Numerically, this was possibly the most significant Washington protest since the civil rights movement’s epic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The march could be the leading edge of the fabled Silent Majority being silent no more. That might give President Obama, Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi reason to sit down and rethink everything they think they know about the American people.
Liberals continually misread the rest of us. Getting hundreds of thousands of kids, students, the professionally unemployed, and government workers to show up isn’t that hard [especially if someone buys the bus tickets]. Getting hundreds of thousands of middle-class, middle-aged people with jobs, careers, children and businesses to show up is way, way more impressive.
This misconception showed itself in media coverage (or lack of it) of the tea parties, which were portrayed as anti-tax protests, when the participants repeatedly told reporters that they were out to complain about the explosion of big government and take-overs of private businesses, ending in, but not beginning with, ObamaCare. This isn’t, and never has been, about a single issue. It’s been building since Congress passed an extremely unpopular bailout of banks; gave Chrysler to the UAW and General Motors to the West Wing; passed a “stimulus” bill that did little but pay back Democrat activists for the 2008 election; slammed cap-and-trade through the House; the appointing of three czars for every month of the year; and culminated in the heavy-handed attempt to gain control over the healthcare segment of the economy. The breathtaking pace of Mr Obama’s first few months in office has given us non-Liberals pause for concern over what the country will look like when he’s through with it.
The American people don’t like being hoodwinked and we don’t like being force-fed somebody else’s Utopia and we’re turning out to say “Hold it! … give us these swell ideas one at a time and give us time to think about them. They may indeed be terrific, but if you’re not even going to read them, you don’t mind if we do, do you?”
Trust me, at some point they will listen. A whopping 48 of those Democrats – eight more than the size of their majority – are from districts that voted for both Bush and McCain. That America is very different from the Democrat base in blue America, and it sees many major issues very differently. There is a growing view that the cumulative impact of Democrat missteps has reached a critical mass, with Obama receiving some damage and Democrats in Congress and the Democrat Party receiving much more. What we are seeing is an electorate growing just as disgusted with the Democrat majority as it did with the Republicans in 2006.
As if to underline the point, Americans now hold Members of Congress in lower esteem than corporate CEOs … in fact, lower than any other category of professions polled. Just one-out-of-four Americans have a favorable opinion of Members of Congress while seventy-two percent view them unfavorably, and there’s some intensity in that perception. Only four percent have a very favorable view of Congressmen, while thirty-seven percent view them very unfavorably. Even fifty-six percent of Democrats have an unfavorable view of Congress although their party controls both Houses of Congress. Of course, their opposition pales next to the eighty-six percent of Republicans and eighty-one percent of independents who have an unfavorable opinion of Congress.
I get into this degree of detail because we are told by the same people who think all of this is a good idea that the opposition is nothing but highly organized and artificial protesters, trying to drown-out honest, cultured debate (these are same people who called George Bush “Hitler” and the Bush West Wing “war criminals”).
The disgust is honest, and Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue ignore it only at their own professional peril.
 See Terry Jones, 45% of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Healthcare Overhaul, in Investor’s Business Daily, September 15 2009.
 The US already has just 2.4 physicians per 1,000 population – below the median of 3.1 for members of the OECD, the official club of wealthy nations.
 Terence P Jeffrey, Boehner Says Democrat Health Care Plan is Dead, CNS News, September 20 2009.
 Mark Tapscott, What next for the Middle America Rebellion of 2009, in Washington Examiner, September 17 2009.
 Brian Faughnan, Voter Attitudes Hardening Against Democrat Congress, in Red State, September 18 2009.
 Americans Now View Congress As Least Respected Job, in Rasmussen Reports, September 21 2009. This national telephone survey of 1,000 adults was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 17-18 2009, with a margin of sampling error for the survey of ± 3% and a 95% level of confidence.