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  • “The taxpayer-funded PR blitz for Obamacare”

    Posted by Jonathan on December 2nd, 2012 (All posts by )

    It’s already underway and will only get worse. J.E. Dyer’s analysis is worth reading:

    It’s one thing when advertisers seek to drive emotional connections with lite beer, pick-up trucks, and air fresheners. It’s something else when the government hires advertisers to drive emotional connections with government policies and institutions. This goes far beyond the old-fashioned “good government” idea of providing information to citizens. In its essence, it differs not at all from a Stalin-era poster hyping the Soviet government’s policies to a beleaguered Russian people.

    Advertising is a dangerous thing in the hands of the armed state. I am no more in favor of Republican administrations spending a lot of money on it than of Democrats doing so. With Obamacare, we have reached the fork in the road. A government with the powers conferred by Obamacare cannot, on principle, be trusted to “advertise” its policies to us. The inevitable descent into untrustworthy propaganda has already begun. Until Obamacare is repealed, it will continue to get worse.


    22 Responses to ““The taxpayer-funded PR blitz for Obamacare””

    1. Tim Says:

      Well, I opened up the Washington Post this morning and there, in the news section, is Ezra Klein giving us the lowdown on the fiscal cliff. Yes, Ezra Klein of Journolist fame. Is this any different than the White House writing the news?

      It’s a brave new world out there. My own program (Federal Government) could probably use some outreach because there are a lot of misunderstandings out there. This is different than advocacy for a particular program though.

    2. Mike K Says:

      This is only one reason why I’m pessimistic about the future. I understand that those younger than I am must live it and retain some optimism. I have five children and four (so far) grandchildren and would much rather be optimistic.

    3. Jonathan Says:

      I’m optimistic about the long run, because I foresee technological and knock-on cultural developments that have the potential to overwhelm the reactionary leftist attempts to loot the country. Also I think far too many people are pessimistic. But the short and medium run, maybe decades ahead, look rough.

    4. veryretired Says:

      I am fascinated by the attitude that the individual and his/her rights are helpless in the face of an activist state attempting to sell itself as a competent entity.

      We have not lost our freedoms of expression and conscience. We are not subject to a monolithic information source, even if the legacy media has defaulted on its traditional adverserial role in the current era.

      We have, within the living memory of a significant part of our population, defeated fascism, despotic militarism, and marxist communism. We have watched the allegedly irresistable totalitarian state implode upon itself, not just once, but several times in various places around the globe. Nearly bloodlessly, led by groups of ordinary people who simply had had enough, and would no longer cooperate in their own enslavement.

      Are we facing difficult challenges? Threats? Internal and external dangers to our freedoms and prosperity?

      Of course we are—we are a free people—we have always faced such issues, and always will.

      The 13th apostle wrote that the greatest virtue was love, but he was wrong. It is hope.

      Indefatigable, unquenchable, effervescent, irrepressible, undying hope that life and liberty can continue if we never accept defeat, never accept anything less.

      The current enemies of freedom are roaches and mice compared to past threats, compared to the tigers that roamed across the earth just a few decades ago.

      We may live in an older house now, with some dry rot and mildew, some dampness in the basement, but we do not need to tear it down or replace it.

      A simple fumigation,and some judicious repairs, will do nicely.

      Start with the schools, and the local boards, and city councils. Learn the ropes of self-government all over again.

      And each day, each week, each month, find another way to subvert, to not cooperate, to disassemble, and to unravel the leviathon state.

      The incompetence and unreality of the statists and collectivists are our greatest weapons, and our strongest allies.

      Nothing they propose actually works. Nothing they claim is actually true. None of their grandiose plans and programs actually accomplish anything they claim will happen.

      Shine a bright light on all of it, and watch the roaches scatter.

      The future belongs to the free, and independent, creative mind that can create value, and innovate the next steps in our progress for a better life for us and our children.

      The collectivist faux-reality has already begun to collapse. Push it over, and create a free world again each and every day.

    5. dan Says:

      Veryretired I always look forward to your comments…please never stop posting here!

    6. veryretired Says:

      Dan—Thank you for such a kind and encouraging comment. I get carried away sometimes, too many times, and appreciate the feedback.

    7. PenGun Says:

      It’s interesting to see an attempt at universal health care characterized as theft of your freedom. It really is not.

      I guess it’s hard to understand that one of the benefits of universal health care, such as we have in Canada, is much less burden on medium and small business as to health care. That is one of the main reasons why many countries find it preferable to the shark tank you call home.

      Apart from the benefit to the poor and unfortunate … it’s good business sense.

    8. ScottJ Says:

      Thanks for the dose of optimism in the face of uncertainty. It is easy to feel downbeat over the number of people who don’t seem to know or care about the underlying principles of our republic. But you are absolutely right, the answer is to recognize that we didn’t get here overnight, that it took 50-80 years (depending upon which catalyst you define as the starting point-FDR or LBJ), and that we must be patient, persevering, and diligent in our efforts to turn the ship back on course.

      We must find ways to push back at pressure points in the culture; entertainment, academia, and the media. Difficult, but eminently possible.
      It is just a longer term project than we thought.

      And we must comfort and encourage each other. We are much larger in numbers than the picture painted by the alliance of media and government.

      Thanks again.

    9. Mike K Says:

      “PenGun Says:
      December 2nd, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      It’s interesting to see an attempt at universal health care characterized as theft of your freedom. It really is not.”

      That must be why private health care has returned to Canada. Perhaps that will reduce the medical tourism to the US from Canada. If you were curious, you might wonder where all the patients come from that fill the four huge medical centers in Spokane. But you aren’t. Just full of yourself.

    10. Death 6 Says:

      “Start with the schools, and the local boards, and city councils. Learn the ropes of self-government all over again.

      And each day, each week, each month, find another way to subvert, to not cooperate, to disassemble, and to unravel the leviathon state.”

      Well said. The progressive cult and their useful facilitators are rooted in their virtual monopoly control of the government education system and the dependency fostering social welfare system they have succeeded in creating. Let the disassembly and decentralization begin now in these two engines of statism.


    11. grey eagle Says:

      In the days prior to the Presidency of JFK, hospitals were charitable institutions. Religious groups would collect donations and build a hospital. The hospitals were staffed with unpaid labor – ‘volunteers’. Catholic hospitals were staffed with nuns and monks. The hospitals developed their own schools of nursing to train these volunteers. Most of the volunteers believed they were called by God to aid their neighbors. This was called a Vocation.

      Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Jews and many other religious groups did the same as the Catholics.

      Patients were charged what they could afford. The poor normally got free treatment. It was quite common that if there were 10 patients who got exactly the same care that they would each be charged 10 different amounts based on each person’s ability to pay.

      Under LBJ, Medicare made it a felony to treat poor patients for free but still charge other patients what they could afford. Therefore, religious organizations sold their hospitals to corporations. Malpractice lawyers hastened this divestiture.

      When hospitals no longer had free labor they hired nurses and other workers. Unions quickly moved in, supported by federal regulations. Because the government paid the bills and required unions, the hospitals agreed to all union demands and passed the costs to the Federal government.

      Now progressives are faced with the problem that they can’t print money fast enough to keep up with sky rocketing medical costs. The doctors have sold their practices to the hospitals and are now employees. Soon the doctors will unionize to protect themselves from both the hospitals and the government.

      The progressives have killed God and charity. Death panels are the only way to cut health costs. But progressives refuae to call them that.

    12. Mike K Says:

      “The doctors have sold their practices to the hospitals and are now employees. Soon the doctors will unionize to protect themselves from both the hospitals and the government.”

      Very true and sad. I am so grateful to have practiced in the years before the left took over. I spent hundreds of hours operating on illegal aliens and people who could not pay. I made a good living from those who could pay and did the charity work as my share of the cost of health care. When I was a senior resident in surgery in 1971, I worked in the ER of St Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank at night for extra money. It was still run by nuns although there were only about four nuns left there. One was the administrator, one was an EKG technician and one was an ER nurse. I don’t remember the fourth. St Joe’s prided itself in never turning down a patient who couldn’t pay. They never sent a patient to the County Hospital.

      The hospital in Orange County where I practiced for 25 years is now owned by another order of nuns. They have an administrator who is a crook and his brother-in-law is a chiropractor who is about to become the head of sterile supply. Neither knows anything about medicine. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it; except as a patient of course. So far, I know enough to pick and choose. I now go to the university hospital for problems.

    13. veryretired Says:

      The takeover of medicine by the current regime is merely another symptom of a chronic and long-term cultural illness.

      The collectivist mantra is well known and simplistic. It always starts with a declaration of crisis brought about by the inability of private agencies to accomplish some task perfectly enough for whichever batch of alleged reformers is pushing for state control.

      Then the claim is made that a state run system will be more efficient and fair, solving all the shortcomings of the private system due to the expertise and beneficence of non-profit actors as opposed to evil profit seekers.

      When problems develop, or results fall short, the response from the collective is invariably that the state system is too limited and underfunded, that new powers and funding will expand the program and solve the deficiencies, and that any opposition is mean-spirited, and an attempt to deprive the alleged benficiaries of the program of their just services.

      Even when the net effect of more state control and funding is relentlessly negative and disfunctional, as is the clear case with education, or welfare, or the various prohibitions in drugs or other naughty behaviors, the script never changes.

      The one idea that is never considered, can never be allowed, is poisonous kryptonite to the super-state, is reducing or eliminating a program that has failed, even when the failure is well known and repeatedly documented.

      The collectivist disease is the result of committing oneself to the illusion that the individual is a danger to society, but the power of the state is benign; that the desire to make a living by selling a product or service is suspect, and probably lacking in virtue, but controlling the choices of one’s fellow citizens by political means and coercive restrictions in the law is presumed to be both compassionate and effective; and that all the failings and faults of ordinary humans when conducting private business are magically repaired and corrected when they are cadres of the state.

      The collectivist world is a magical universe without cause and effect, without the restrictions of economic law or human nature or, indeed, reality itself, and a wonderful place in which intentions become results without the grubby necessity of actually accomplishing anything that was claimed would occur.

      The blue social model has run to the end of its viable utility. As it collapses in bankruptcy and recrimination, one thing will become abundantly clear, regardless of any obfuscation intended to disguise it—the elites who proclaim their superiority over mere money grubbing private citizens simply don’t know what they’re doing.

      For all their vaunted expertise, they are lost, their programs don’t work, and their ideas consist of the same simple-minded claim that the problem can only be solved by more of the state, more power to the cadres, and more resources taken from individuals and given to the collective.

      The collectivist state is a one-trick pony. After a century of razzle-dazzle, the pony has died a well deserved death from exhaustion, and the repeated self-inflicted wounds of decades of corruption and failure.

      The time is long overdue for the funeral of the cancerous state, and a rebirth of freedom for the individual.

    14. PenGun Says:

      “That must be why private health care has returned to Canada.”

      We have been through this recently. The only ‘for pay’ health care in Canada is for things not covered under our national plan.

      You miss the point entirely as is not uncommon. Did I not post that it is mainly to remove the burden from small and medium sized business? This is why countries with universal health care are more competitive.

    15. Jonathan Says:

      This is why countries with universal health care are more competitive.

      Cargo cult thinking. A good or service comes from the govt with no direct payment required from the consumer. Therefore that good or service is free. We must keep voting for leftist pols so that we may continue to receive the free stuff.

      In Miami there’s a downtown elevated train. It cost at least $1B in 1980s dollars (mostly federal funds, of course). It has substantial operating expenses. Initially they charged passengers to ride it, but few people used it so they eliminated the fare requirement; now it’s “free”. But is it costless? Of course not. It’s actually very expensive relative to the service it provides. Yet because remote taxpayers indirectly, rather than riders directly, pay for the service, people who think as Pengun does call it “free”. And like other “free” services that are paid for indirectly it is not responsive to the needs of actual customers. In this respect it’s like socialized medicine, except that unlike socialized medicine no one is forced to use the train.

    16. grey eagle Says:

      Every 6 months at the nursing home we have a farewell dinner for the patients on hospice. Dinner begins with the patients giving ancient toast “Ave Obama, nos morituri te salutamus”. Of course most can’t remember the words but it help us remember there are limits to Obamacare.

    17. PenGun Says:

      “Cargo cult thinking. A good or service comes from the govt with no direct payment required from the consumer.”

      Why is it then that all the modern first world countries with universal health care have so much lower total health care cost than the USA?

    18. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

      }}} It’s a brave new world out there.

      You missed a letter:

      It’s a brave news world out there.

      Welcome to the BNW.

    19. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

      }}} Why is it then that all the modern first world countries with universal health care have so much lower total health care cost than the USA?

      a) They don’t actually provide health care as effectively as the USA does. Look at the 10 year survival stats for cancer once identified.
      b) They don’t have to pay for research as the USA does… the USA does it for them.
      c) They don’t have to pay the expense of developing new medicines. Americans do that for them.

      This is all kind of duh because it’s all be pointed out before. We only bother answering you because someone else watching might actually never have encountered it — we know YOU have and are just lying your ass off about that, asking the question hoping it’ll get past us unanswered.

    20. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “Why is it then that all the modern first world countries with universal health care have so much lower total health care cost than the USA?”

      They call it rationing where free speech still exists.

      PenGun, it isn’t that hard to learn the truth. You should try it sometime.

      No medical association or government body keeps official track of private clinics at a national level but what evidence exists suggests that the numbers have swollen well into the hundreds. In Quebec alone, there’s been a big explosion of private clinics, says Dr. Zoltan Nagy, president of the Canadian Independent Medical Clinics Association, a lobby organization for private health care in Canada. The Quebec government does not keep a comprehensive list of private clinics operating in the province but Nagy estimates there are around 300 private clinics there, including several that focus on providing executive health and cosmetic services.

      Verbauwhede notes that Quebec clinics are not only expanding in number, but also in size. “They’re becoming mini-hospitals,” he says, noting that one-day cataract, knee and hip surgeries are increasingly being performed in private clinics.

      Meanwhile, the colleges of physicians and surgeons for British Columbia and Alberta publish lists of independent clinics providing surgeries outside of hospitals, but other provincial colleges don’t do so because they don’t regulate such facilities (although Ontario is in the process of registering clinics that provide anesthesia).

      British Columbia lists 66 clinics, many of which do only one type of surgery and about a dozen of which provide a variety of services. Alberta lists 60 in total, including 12 that perform multiple types of surgery. Neither the British Columbia nor Alberta numbers include private executive health or imaging clinics.

      So, knee and hip surgeries are not provided by the national health plan ?

      ” The only ‘for pay’ health care in Canada is for things not covered under our national plan.”

      You mean “not provided”, not “not covered.” Ignorance about your own country is less understandable.

    21. Percy Dovetonsils Says:

      This is why countries with universal health care are more competitive.

      Yes, more competitive countries like France, Italy, Greece, etc. Jesus, you are like a poutine-covered pinata that just strolls in for us to whack at with sticks.

      Question for everyone else: do you think we’ll evolve to a two-tier system like education, with a crappy public insurance/medical service, then private clinics that actually provide effective health treatments for cash? More importantly, will government regulations try to stamp out such an evolution?

    22. grey eagle Says:

      We need a law: If a person tells a lie and gets elected to office, then that election is void, the person is removed from office, and new elections will be held.

      The trial should be held on prime time TV as a reality show in the first month after the election, complete with dancers and singers. Decision to void or unhold the election will be by nationwide viewer vote. This may seem absurd but it will be faster and more accurate than the current judicial system.