To Get to Single Payer, Allowing Just a Single Voice

A group, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, has bought TV time in Washington for a half-hour advocacy program criticizing single-payer health care. The program, done in a professional documentary style, ran starting at 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning on NBC Channel 4 in Washington, D.C., and what we’ve seen has been very critical of the Canadian and British health care systems, although supporters are given an opportunity to speak, as well.

Ah, and now there’s a 30-second spot from activists that supports expanded government control of health care, “Health Care for America,” an attack ad against Rick Scott, founder of CPR and former head of the Columbia/HCA health-care company. You know the kind of campaign commercial — threatening voice, ominous warnings, personal attacks. A writer at the prominent left-wing blog, Daily Kos, described the efforts:

Dr. Howard Dean, from Democracy For America, has teamed up with other health care reform organizations such as SEIU and Health Care For America Now (HCAN), to fight back against the new swiftboating of the public option that we NEED in health care reform…[snip]

Well, we’re NOT going to sit by and let him lie so freely on the air! Let’s help out DFA and HCAN out by FIGHTING BACK HARD TODAY by asking NBC not to violate the FCC laws in running a misleading ad full of deceit, hatred, and lies for the public health of Americans.

Not satisfied with using the many, many resources they have available to them, the unions and activists want to ban speech, prevent expression, block a point of view. It’s typical enough. The SEIU and other unions spend tens of millions of dollars trying to elect candidates and win passage of the Employee Free Choice Act so labor can silence employees and employers who don’t want their companies forced into unionization.

A suggestion to all sides in the health-care policy debate: Let’s support vigorous discussion of all the issues, move deliberately and thoroughly to examine the costs to the taxpayers, the effect on economic competitiveness, and most importantly, the quality and availability of patients’ care. To those who would squelch debate, we ask: What are you afraid of?

P.S. The Washington Post wrote about Rick Scott, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, and the TV spots in this story, “Ex-Hospital CEO Battles Reform Effort.” 

P.P.S. The NAM’s policy statement on health care and employee benefits is here.  NAM President John Engler had an op-ed on health care policy in Investor’s Business Daily, “Keep Best Of ‘Employer-Based’ Coverage.”


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