How The Dems Lost Control Of The Debate

by Patrick Appel

Mark Thompson makes several good points. Number one:

The reason why the health care debate has favored liberals and Democrats in recent years has been their ability to appeal to powerful anecdotes of the uninsured and other actual victims of our current health care system.  What the health care protests have done is to put actual people who sincerely (if very, very wrongly) believe they would be victims of Obamacare front and center, providing reform opponents with easily-relatable appeals to emotion that they’ve never had in the past fifteen years.

Number two:

The trouble is that Democrats and liberals have become so closely associated with single-payer and government-run universal health insurance that people can’t comprehend that they’re now pushing for something substantially less than that, particularly when so many Democrats, the President included, have suggested that this is a step on the road to single-payer.  Attempting to explain that the current leading proposals would not, in fact, be a single-payer system or “socialized medicine” is thus either difficult to believe or impossible to do well in a few sentences.  Even where it can be done, there’s not really any way of credibly denying the “slippery slope” argument since so many liberals and Dem politicians have made clear that creating a slippery slope towards nationalized health insurance is precisely what this legislation is supposed to do.