Wednesday, September 01, 2010
... Half a Dozen of the Other
Hal Scherz, president and co-founder of Docs4PatientCare, rightly exposes and condemns an evasive campaign maneuver that certain Democrats are using in an attempt to avoid defeat in November:
We know you don't like ObamaCare, so we'll fix it.Scherz is completely right about the Democrats. But another, even more dangerous tactic is being employed by the Republicans now. Whether the tactic is disingenuous or honestly mistaken is unimportant in some respects. That tactic is called "Repeal and replace," and by that phrase, the Republicans mean that, unlike the Democrats, they will attempt to repeal the collection of government controls known as ObamaCare -- only to replace them with another collection of government controls.
This was the line offered by Democrat Mark Critz, who won a special election in Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district after expressing opposition to the law and promising to mend it -- but not to repeal it. As a doctor I know something about unexpected recoveries, and this latest attempt to rescue ObamaCare from repeal needs to be taken seriously.
What substantive difference is there between transforming one set of government controls into something more palatable to more people than ObamaCare -- and passing such a set of government controls from scratch? A temporary repeal?
Furthermore, even if the new set of controls were to remove the bureaucracy of the Department of Health and Human Services from setting care guidelines, how can the remaining heavy government influence on patient care not politicize "medicine and ... [destroy] the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship?" It can't, just as the current, pre-ObamaCare slate of government controls hasn't. And, since controls breed controls, the trend will continue to be for more problems to arise as a result of such influence -- and more legislative meddling to "fix" those.
Until one party -- either party -- adopts an agenda of "repeal once and for all, and phase out all government spending on and interference in medical care," the sacred doctor-patient relationship will be in danger. But that won't happen until more voters understand that the Republican "answer" so far has been to slightly repackage the Democrats' snake oil and, upon doing so, for us to demand the only cure: complete freedom in the doctor-patient relationship.
"Repeal and replace" may sound better than ObamaCare, and with opponents like the Democrats, the Republicans may look like a better choice. Both are illusions that threaten to undermine opposition to ObamaCare by (1) not really defeating it and (2) thus making the whole idea of opposition look futile.