Trust in Government Health Programs

What do people like and trust?

August 13, 2009.  Conservatives are pretending people trust business and not the government so we should let big insurance companies completely control health care and not have one insurance plan sponsored by the government. That’s what Obama proposes — one government plan so you can choose it if you want.

So let’s check. You can mail your letter with the U.S. post office or with FedEx or UPS. Do you like having that choice? Here are the poll numbers for the post office and big business:

Opinion: Very Favorable Somewhat Favorable Somewhat Unfavorable Very Unfavorable
Postal Service: 58% 31% 5% 5%
Big Business: 6% 10% 42% 36%

You can find these poll numbers here. Just search for “Postal” and then for “Big Business”.

Now do the Republicans really pretend we trust big insurance companies more than the post office? Here’s what Arthur Laffer (a very conservative economist) said on CNN, Tuesday, August 4, 2009:

Laffer Lying: “If you like the post office and the department of motor vehicles and you think they’re run well, just wait until you see medicare, medicaid and health care done by the government.”

Now read that again, because he’s saying that the government is not running medicare and medicaid. But that’s ridiculous. He’s an economist right in the middle of the health care debate and doesn’t know those are government programs? Of course he knows.

Here’s the scoop. Medicare and Medicaid are very popular government-run health care, but believe it or not, a lot of people (something like 40%) don’t know they are government programs. And the Republicans really don’t want people to figure out that they already like government health care. So they are pretending these are not government programs. It’s completely deceitful.

American’s Love Single-Payer (Government) Healthcare. 
They just don’t know they have it! 
And Obama’s healthcare plan is not single payer and relies much more on the private market.

But Medicare is actually single-payer, government-run health insurance for people over 65. According to the Harris poll it is tied for third place in popularity of government programs:

The National Park Service:  85%
Crime-fighting and prevention services:  77%
Medicare:  76%
Social Security:  76%

Medicaid has 71% support. The Republicans call a lot of things socialist, but socialism is when the government owns big business and industry. When the government owns the highways that’s not socialism. The government owns and runs a lot of things: schools, the military, police, the court system, the post office. If that was socialism we would have been socialists since the country was founded. The Republicans are just defending big insurance companies by using the socialist smear to frighten people.

Passing the healthcare bill

Reconciliation myths