Huffington Post editor: You oppose health care because you are a status-anxious racist. 

Are you among the 56 percent of Americans -- or the 48 percent of Massachusetts voters -- who oppose ObamaCare?

Then you, sir, are a racist. Or so writes Huffington Post political editor Thomas B. Edsall for The New Republic:

The harsh reality is many voters consider the health care bill a multibillion-dollar transfer of taxpayer money to the uninsured, a population disproportionately, although by no means exclusively, made up of the poor, African Americans, Latinos, single parents, and the long-term unemployed. Providing medical care to this population is an explicit goal of the legislation, and a worthy goal, but political suicide in the current environment...[T]he populace, especially the white populace, is on a psychic hair trigger. The demographic transformation of the country and the birth of multicultural America have made this group extremely status anxious...

By Edsall's logic, even the mere refusal to lend a cigarette is an act of bigotry, provided that the spurned asker belongs to a disadvantaged minority group.

But setting such stupidity aside, what if I oppose ObamaCare:

  • because my own health insurance plan -- a high-deductible HSA plan with inexpensive premiums that fits my situation perfectly -- will certainly be cancelled if this bill passes?
  • because if there is a choice available, I don't want to be forced to pay for other people's viagara, acupuncture, prayer specialists, or any other such service whose trade organization happens to have a good lobbyist formerly employed by some senator?
  • because I know enough about taxes to understand that you don't lower medical costs by laying new ones on medical devices?
  • because I believe younger, healthier people with lower incomes on average shouldn't have to pay significantly more for their health insurance so that older, on average wealthier, sicker people with higher incomes can pay less -- even if they are riskier to insure because of their own poor lifestyle choices?
  • because when employers are fined for failing to cover all employees' health care, they employ fewer people?
  • because I don't think it's good public policy for any insurer, government or otherwise, to be so powerful that it can price the entire health care market unilaterally, as ObamaCare aims to do -- or even to influence all other insurers to eliminate covered procedures (hint) in the name of cutting industry-wide costs?
  • because I don't believe the federal government has any business compelling people to purchase products from the private corporations that funded Martha Coakley's or Barack Obama's campaign?
  • because I don't trust the Democrats' motives when they say they are cutting costs but they won't even touch the billions in low-hanging fruit that their financial patrons of the trial bar consume every year?

Does that make me a racist? I certainly hope not. I would hope that all of these are reasonable concerns about which people of good will can disagree.

And yes, so is the reality of higher taxes under Obamacare. Like all Americans, I have limited funds and better ideas about what to do with them than to dump them into a big-government program, no matter how well-meaning, that is just as likely to ruin what's good about the American health system as it is to fix what's wrong with it.

For the most part, President Obama has wisely avoided even subtly hurling the charge of racism at his opponents. In one instance he disowned such sentiments with the disarming statement: "I think it's important to realize that I was actually black before the election." Obama did this because he is not stupid, and it was the right thing to do because those who disagree with him are no more evil than he is.

But not all of our wannabe central economic planners are as wise as the president, something Mr. Edsall amply demonstrates.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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