On the eve of Obama’s much needed address to Congress to reshape the health care debate, Sarah Palin delivers a surprise punch with a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed entitled Obama and the Bureaucratization of Health Care.
Palin makes the case for empowering the individual rather than the government when it comes to health care reform:
Instead of poll-driven "solutions," let's talk about real health-care reform: market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven. As the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon and others have argued, such policies include giving all individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers; providing Medicare recipients with vouchers that allow them to purchase their own coverage; reforming tort laws to potentially save billions each year in wasteful spending; and changing costly state regulations to allow people to buy insurance across state lines. Rather than another top-down government plan, let's give Americans control over their own health care.
Palin goes about making many of the common sense arguments that many at the town halls have asked and Obama and the Democrats have failed to answer:
Common sense tells us that the government's attempts to solve large problems more often create new ones. Common sense also tells us that a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan will not improve the workings of a nationwide health-care system that accounts for one-sixth of our economy. And common sense tells us to be skeptical when President Obama promises that the Democrats' proposals "will provide more stability and security to every American."
With all due respect, Americans are used to this kind of sweeping promise from Washington. And we know from long experience that it's a promise Washington can't keep.
Palin again hits Obama and the Democrats with her highly effective term “death panels”. A term that robs the Democrats of their faux sense of compassion and exposes their reform for what it is, a ghoulish financial scheme to curtail health care costs at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens:
Now look at one way Mr. Obama wants to eliminate inefficiency and waste: He's asked Congress to create an Independent Medicare Advisory Council—an unelected, largely unaccountable group of experts charged with containing Medicare costs. In an interview with the New York Times in April, the president suggested that such a group, working outside of "normal political channels," should guide decisions regarding that "huge driver of cost . . . the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives . . . ."
Given such statements, is it any wonder that many of the sick and elderly are concerned that the Democrats' proposals will ultimately lead to rationing of their health care by—dare I say it—death panels? Establishment voices dismissed that phrase, but it rang true for many Americans. Working through "normal political channels," they made themselves heard, and as a result Congress will likely reject a wrong-headed proposal to authorize end-of-life counseling in this cost-cutting context. But the fact remains that the Democrats' proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we've come to expect from this administration.
If there is one single lesson that Obama and the Democrats should have learned by now, it is that it's in their best interest to ignore Palin. But like moths to a flame, they cannot help themselves. They will descend upon her Op-Ed with snark and insults, all the while inadvertently amplifying her message.
Look for Obama to address Palin’s points (especially “death panels”) in his speech to Congress. Why, because Sarah Palin gets inside Obama’s head big time. Ever since her first appearance one year ago, Obama has been unable to ignore Palin and tomorrow night will be no different.