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Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.

Let’s Face It: Nobody Will Ever Fully Understand This Bill



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As Americans gird themselves for the struggle to repeal Obamacare, it’s interesting to see how the government-media complex is shoring up its defenses. Before passage, the media — large and small — performed sterling stenographic duty, parroting the government’s talking points, deficit reduction and increased coverage, to a resistant public.

Now that it’s the law of the land, the media’s new message is that everyone is confused about what Obamacare does. Greg Scandlen, who edits the valuable weekly Consumer Power Report, has compiled some of these articles in his most recent issue (#217, not yet online). Mr. Scandlen gives us McClatchy Newspapers’s report of “mass confusion,” the New York Times’s “baffled lawmakers,” and the Manchester Union-Leader’s “Oops, we did that?

I do not  mean to unfairly paint these reporters with the pro-Obamacare brush: They are reporting people’s legitimate anxiety. But I definitely classify the L.A. Times’s Lisa Girion as a cheerleader for government-run health care (although I have also praised the quality of her reporting in the past), so it was with a touch of schadenfreude that I read her make the same error for which I recently apologized. Ms. Girion reports that “about the only thing Dr. Philip Schwarzman can be sure of under the national healthcare overhaul is that he is adding his daughters, ages 23 and 25, to his health plan immediately.” Nope: That doesn’t happen until September 23.

The defensive phase of Operation Obamacare is becoming clear: Just keep telling people that they need more time to understand it, until the momentum for repeal dwindles. It’s not a bad approach: With this bill, the more you study it, the more confusing it becomes.

John R. Graham is director of health-care studies at the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco, Calif.



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