Critical Condition

Heritage Defends Itself on Co-ops

The Heritage Foundation has drawn withering conservative criticism in recent days for both recent and past work. The past controversy involves its endorsement of the Massachusetts health-care legislation enacted three years ago and signed into law by then-governor Mitt Romney. The recent controversy involves some comments and blog posts from Heritage analysts on the idea of including new cooperatives in a federal package, assuming that a formal government-run health plan isn’t included.

Today, Heritage analyst Mike Gonzalez blogged at The Foundry to, in his words, set the record straight:

The Heritage Foundation has been clear and forthright in denouncing the health care co-op idea floated by liberals in Washington. As we have said on numerous occasions, their proposal is simply a cartel that would stifle competition, not foster it. It is clear to most reasoned observers that liberals plan to use the concept of co-ops as a backdoor for the introduction of government-run health care, which has already been rejected by the American people via the “public option.”


Words must have true meaning. So let’s call a “spade” a “spade,” or in this case, a “cartel” a “cartel.” And let’s stop telling each other to “shut up.” It’s unseemly when the President says it, and even more unseemly coming from those on the right. And let’s stop picking fights where there is no quarrel.

Okay, let’s agree to agree and move on. Meanwhile, conservatives — be they bloggers, think tankers, columnists, or politicians — need to remember to choose clear language that can’t easily be twisted by their opponents. And when you’re winning a debate, don’t feel the need to change your tactics.