Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote an op-ed column for The Washington Post on Tuesday in defense of the Obama administration's efforts to "reform" health care. She wrote: "President Obama and I are working closely with Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate and health care experts to make sure we get the details of health reform right. But we can't let the details distract us from the huge benefits that reform will bring."
So, the objective is all that matters, not the process by which we get there? The most important words on a contract may be in the small print. Secretary Sebelius tells us not to worry about such things, but trust your government leaders and anonymous "experts" and leave the rest to us. A growing number of Americans are saying "no thanks."
The details matter because they are about government deciding who gets treatment when they are sick and who does not, who lives and who dies. Are there any details more important than that? Why would anyone trust government with their health and life when there are so many things government already does poorly and inefficiently?
Sebelius and members of Congress are fanning out across the country, trying to defend a health care reform plan that is only partially written, unexplainable and still unread by many representatives and senators. In a joint appearance with Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, Sebelius responded to shouts and catcalls from a skeptical audience at the Constitution Center in heavily Democratic Philadelphia. She said Specter shouldn't be criticized because the Senate's version of the bill has not yet been written. This takes hubris to a new level. It is one thing for a member of Congress to vote on legislation he hasn't read; it is quite another for government officials to ask for support of a bill that has not been written, at least in the Senate.
The attitude of the administration and supporters of its health care plan seems to be: "Take your medicine, and if you don't like it, or question its effectiveness, you will be sent to your room as punishment because we know better than you, even though 86 percent of you are perfectly happy with the health care you have now. Who are you to question us and our 'experts'?"
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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