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Try getting reform proponents to answer health care questions

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“Obamacare is to Medicare what ACORN is to [Child] Protective Services.”

That’s the line that was best received by the 600-plus person audience at a debate on Obamacare I participated in, along with University of Colorado Law School professor Paul Campos, Thursday night in Denver. Campos, who writes for The Daily Beast and is a reliable lefty, earned enormous points with the mostly hostile-to-Obamacare crowd simply for showing up to defend the general outlines of the various “reform” proposals under consideration by Congress.

That’s more than most Democratic members of Congress will do, and with reason. Obamacare can’t be defended if the right questions are asked of its proponents — questions almost never posed by the legacy media.

Our debate’s moderator was John Andrews, a former Colorado state senator, founder of the Independence Institute and now head of Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute. Andrews structured our exchange so that we could ask each other questions. And as would be the case in any setting, Obamacare cannot be defended against very simple, very direct questions.

Here are the handful of questions every sponsor of any version of Obamacare ought to be obliged to answer, in detail:

  • Can you specify, at least to the level of tens of millions, exactly where the $300 billion in cuts to Medicare proposed by the president will come from?
  • The president and his allies agree that the cost of Medicare Advantage programs will have to increase for seniors. By how much? Will those increases arrive annually?
  • The president and his allies agree that some Medicare services will have to be cut. Which services?
  • Forty-five percent of doctors responding to a recent Investors Business Daily/TIPP poll responded that if Obamacare passed, they would consider quitting or retiring. Do you believe them? Even if only a significant portion of these disgruntled doctors retire or quit as a result of the passage of Obamacare, won’t that make the delivery of health care much more difficult than it already is?
  • The five-year survival rate of women with breast cancer in the U.S. is higher than that of women in Britain. The five-year survival rate for American men with any form of cancer is much higher than the same survival rate among all European men. How do you account for such a disparity?

Tens of millions of Americans who like their health insurance and didn’t vote to have it overhauled, even if they voted for “change,” are scared. Congressional Democrats ignore the deep, passionate and informed opposition to Obamacare at their political peril. Continued attempts to jam down this huge lurch to the left will result in a massive swing to the right in November 2010.

Examiner columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host who blogs daily at www.HughHewitt.com.