Obama allies: Now we can stop pretending the insurers are the enemy 

Do you remember how the Democrats framed the health-care “reform” fight as a battle against the insurance industry and its allies?

Obama said the bill represented “standing up to the special interests.” Democratic House members attacked “reform” opponents regularly with statements like “We can either stand with the American people or with the insurance companies.” Majority Leader Harry Reid put it this way: “It’s about whether you will fight for insurance company profits, or for families’ peace of mind.” You could easily come up with dozens of similar examples with five minutes of searching the Web.

As the President increasingly shifted his message from one of “health-care reform” to “health-insurance reform,” and as his rhetoric became increasingly combative, his allies at the Center for American Progress applauded:

It’s a combative message that cuts through all of the detailed discussions about specific provisions and process and says something that actually resonates.

Cutting through details and specifics is a euphemism for avoiding the facts. CAP here was applauding Obama for abandoning substance for populist bomb-throwing.

Now, that same CAP blogger, Igor Volsky, says it’s time to drop the charade:

Insurers never opposed the new regulations as long as lawmakers understood that covering children with pre-existing conditions would increase premiums….

[T]he administration wa right to criticize insurers in an effort build political momentum for passing health care reform. But now that reform is reality, lawmakers will have to turn to work with the industry to enact the measure.

Insurers were the first to propose the regulations combined with the individual mandate. And the insurers’ objection to the health-care bill that became law was primarily that it would not contain costs — an objection Volsky seems to concede in the blog post.

So, yeah, now that bill has become law, there’s no need to pretend the insurers are the enemy.

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Timothy P. Carney

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