Pay attention long enough, and sooner or later liberals will violate all of their own talking points, no matter how indignantly they profess to believe them in other contexts. For instance, their euphemistic cover for abortion-on-demand is that protecting unborn lives would deprive women of the right to make “personal healthcare choices” for themselves, or “put government between women and their doctors.” They’re practically trying to change the violent procedure’s very name to “women’s health.”
“Pro-choice” has always been a bad fit for a movement that is stridently anti-choice on gun ownership, school vouchers, micromanaging businesses, gas-guzzling cars, subsidizing art, light bulbs, unhealthy foods, smoking in restaurants, participation in gay ceremonies, letting states decide issues for themselves, and more. They’ll fight tooth and nail for the “choice” to kill another defenseless human being, but have little patience for choices that truly are personal and/or involve no actual coercive force.
If their insincerity wasn’t obvious enough, now the launch of ObamaCare and the way its Democrat backers have responded to the Americans they’ve hurt by it have struck the final nail in the coffin of the Left’s claim to be “pro-choice” in any meaningful sense.
ObamaCare’s individual mandate set the tone by taking away the individual’s right to choose whether they want insurance in the first place, or what kind of insurance. For instance, singles, post-menopausal women, and gays can no longer forego maternity and pediatric coverage, nor can teetotalers opt to not pay for substance abuse treatment. And just forget about catastrophic-only plans.
Its minimum-coverage requirements and other regulations on what plans are legally permissible dramatically reduced the variety of choices available to Americans; a Nov. 8 Heritage report by Aylene Senger finds that “in the vast majority of states, the number of insurers competing in the state’s exchange is actually less than the number of carriers that previously sold individual market policies in the state.”
And all of this is pushing insurers to drop more expensive doctors and hospitals from their coverage networks—in fact, Obama’s oft-repeated “you can keep your doctor” promise has now been reduced to, in White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s words, “you can look and see if there’s a plan in which that doctor participates.”
As millions of choice-deprived Americans found themselves priced out of their old insurance and herded into far costlier coverage, Team Obama’s first instincts were to sneer that the common rabble didn’t know what was good for them. Your old insurance wasn’t worth keeping anyway. It was “substandard.” “Junk.” Not “up to code.” Your enlightened masters have replaced it. You’re welcome.
Sure, when that failed to calm nerves they conjured up some phony indignation and scrambled for halfhearted fixes (as if they hadn’t expressly opposed loosening ObamaCare’s regulations from the original drafting all the way up to a few weeks ago), but it remains undeniable that personal choice and the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship never even rose to the level of afterthought in the formulation of their healthcare stance.
To appreciate just how little they believe in the values supposedly at the heart of one of their core constituencies, consider Nicole Hopkins’ Nov. 20 piece in the Wall Street Journal, in which she relays how ObamaCare not only forced her mother out of her old insurance plan, but forced her into Medicaid – which she had spent her life consciously avoiding:
“Before this, she had never been, in effect, ordered to take a handout. Now she has been forced to join the government-reliant poor, though she would prefer to contribute her two mites. The authorities behind ‘affordable care’ had erased her right to calculate what she was willing to spend to preserve her dignity—to determine what she thinks is affordable. That little contribution can mean the difference between dignity and despair.”
“Right to choose.” “Women’s medical decisions.” Snort.
Many observers have noted that Obama’s approval rating is finally starting to show his personal likeability taking a hit, perhaps because Americans are getting a long-overdue inkling of things like the above. Just imagine where we’d be today if more Republicans were unafraid of saying the good intentions behind liberals’ bad ideas weren’t so good either.