With Time, the Truth About Healthcare Is Coming Out
So, according to Rasmussen, public opinion on the Democrats’ healthcare plan is currently at 38% for, 56% against. The specifics are even less positive:
Only 16% now believe passage of the plan will lead to lower health care costs. Nearly four times as many (60%) believe the plan will increase health care costs. Most (54%) also believe passage of the plan will hurt the quality of care.
One wonders how much of an effect it has had that, as the longevity of the debate carries it over Americans’ great wall of apathy, people are catching on to the oft-repeated falsehoods such as Ramesh Ponnuru addressed in a recent National Review article:
Earlier this year, Ceci Connolly reported, in another front-page story for the Washington Post, that people who go without health insurance raise premiums for the rest of us by $1,000 a year. Supporters of universal coverage routinely invoke this factoid. It’s not a fact. The source is a left-wing advocacy group, and nonpartisan observers, including the CBO, believe that the real premium increase is much smaller, perhaps $220 a year.
In the same piece, Connolly reported that the U.S. spends more money on health care than other countries while generating less impressive statistics. She specifically cited our high infant-mortality rate–without mentioning that we have, for example, a higher proportion of low-birthweight babies than other countries, which is hardly the fault of our system of health finance.
Maybe Connolly’s worst blunder was to report that there is a “consensus” that the cost of health care undermines the competitiveness of American business. That consensus includes other news outlets, such as Reuters, and President Obama. There is a directly opposed consensus that includes most health-care economists, the CBO, and some members of Obama’s economic team. It holds that health-care costs come out of wages, not profits, and thus generally do not affect firms’ competitiveness.
The mainstream media, by the way, is in a tough spot. If they continue with their current practices, many of its practitioners will be entirely devoid of credibility by the end of the Obama administration, and the same will be the case if they turn around to the opposite tack. Of course, the opportunity always exists for a great self-reckoning and a deliberate, visible effort to recapture objectivity.