Brian Birdnow
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Last week Eugene Robinson, the noted Washington Post columnist, mounted his soapbox and declared that, “…Republicans scream that Obamacare is sure to fail. But what they really fear is that it will succeed.” Robinson arrives at this startling conclusion after imputing low motives to his adversaries, implying that the Republicans will behave like Democrats and put partisan political considerations ahead of the national interest. He peddles half-truths, myths, and falsehoods about the Affordable Care Act and uses these as a means to attack GOP criticism of the law. He falls back on platitudes and clichés about this bill and the great things it will accomplish. At the end, Robinson gives evidence that he is a “True Believer” as Eric Hoffer once termed it, impervious to reason and logic. He has become, quite simply, an unofficial propagandist, shilling for President Obama and his signature achievement.

Robinson launches into his piece, issuing the following bromide: “It (ACA) is indeed an achievement of which the nation can be proud.” He celebrates the provision of the law that allows children to stay on the health insurance policies of their parents until they are 26 years old, and points out that statistics showing that the number of uninsured between the ages of 22-26 has declined slightly since 2009. Regardless of the fact that this may be a reason why companies are dumping full family health care coverage, Robinson and his colleagues seem to prefer a situation wherein young adults are not encouraged to seek self-reliance, but, instead, are now dependent on their parents for an increased number of years. Mr. Robinson goes on to say that the law is already, “Slowing the rise of health care costs to a more manageable rate.” He concedes “Medical costs are still rising at a rate much faster the rate of inflation, but at the slowest rate in years.” We see here that Robinson is admitting that the system is breaking down, but arguing that Obamacare should be credited for keeping a sinking ship afloat a little bit longer.

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Brian Birdnow

Brian E. Birdnow is a historian and teaches at a university in the St. Louis area.