Congressional Candidates, Pay Attention on Health Care Debate

WFMZ features a story on a health care protest outside Congressman Charlie Dent’s office, featuring Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, who is also challenging Dent (HT Grassroots PA). Callahan is quoted often, usually repeated typical rhetoric that indicates he doesn’t understand much of the details. Callahan says:

“We need to pay for it, we can’t have any cuts to medicare, and we’ve got to make sure that at the end of the day that nothing gets in between the patient and doctor relationship.”

However, the “reform” Congressional Democrats are pushing would cut Medicare as a recent study from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services highlights. And national control of health care would certainly do more to expand the wedge between patients and doctors.

“Everybody realizes that the status quo and the system we have is unsustainable.”

As readers of this blog will now, one of my biggest pet peeves (behind people would walk out through the car entrance in the parking garage), is the demagoguery that critics of the Obama plan, or rather the Pelosi plan, have no alternatives. We have of course outlined numerous health care reform alternatives, and how anyone suggesting that we support the status quo is simply being dishonest.

“The public option that I would support would be optional.”

Callahan demonstrates little understanding of the criticism of the public option. That is, the problem of “crowd out,” as many would drop private insurance and enroll, that while the public option wouldn’t force anyone onto the plan, many would be pushed into the public option. Even the most ardent supporters of the public option suggest it is the first-step to a single payer system.

Of course when you don’t want to discuss the details, or debate the merits of alternate proposals, you can also chant the tired rhetoric of

“What do we want? Health care! When do we want it? Now!”

For more, check out our citizen’s guide to national health care proposals,