Two editorials, two rebuttals—between Gary Crooks and David Broder—both published in the Spokesman-Review on the 28th of February 2010. David Broder of course resorted to polls that the GOP resorted to (the American people have spoken) in order to resist any desire to compromise substantively on any number of health care issues. Oh yeah, according to David Broder, the polls as conducted by a Republican pollster who of course is going to conduct his polls in accordance with GOP talking points. Which by the way, Broder wasn’t going to come out and actually be honest about, imagine that. And on the other hand, Gary Crooks in his “Smart Bombs” column discussed just how expensive and bad for business health insurance was becoming. And previously, on PBS “News Hour” (formerly The News Hour with Jim Lehrer) was the discussion of Well Point increasing its premiums, giving exorbitant salaries to company executives and financing expensive retreats. Could we also add at this point that the “people” who truly spoke were the health insurance companies who do not want to see premium rates being forced to drop and increasing coverage? Those with the deepest pockets speak every time. And this time, even the Business Roundtable mentioned in Crook’s column is trumped by the deeper pockets of the health insurance industry. In which case, the GOP are becoming highly selective as to which constituency to actually represent: businesses who suffer because of exorbitant hikes in health insurance premiums (Crooks) won’t get represented by November 2010 as the GOP use “the people” (read: the health insurance industry) to try to reclaim Congress.
What do they say again about pollsters and the statistics of polls anyway? It depends as much on the question as how you ask it. —Lies, damn lies and statistics, remember? Then too, just whom might a Republican pollster be certain to call or send a letter or even an e-mail to? It is always nice when you can refer to the RNC mailing list in order to conduct your polls; yes or no. I highly doubt that a Republican pollster would simply do a random and truly scientific study of “public opinion” when say, he could simply turn to “TEA Party” types instead. Or to any other members of the GOP base that absolutely hate all things Democrat. Even when they may actually benefit from it. Whereas Gallup, as an example, wouldn’t sample from partisan bases before presenting its poll to public viewing.
A prior column by Froma Harrop took note that while the GOP might have relied on the work of Republican pollsters, Ms. Harrop took note of the polls that the GOP chose to ignore. (Also republished in the Spokesman-Review.) So, is this a battle of polls? Or trying to use some polls as a tactical advantage to try to gain majorities in Congress? Which again, Broder wasn’t honest enough to admit to. But there are unintended consequences to revealing the fact that the GOP chose to hear “the American people” who “spoke on this matter” of what they (health insurance industry) does not like about Democratic party led reforms in health care by relying on the obvious partisan bias of fellow Republican pollsters. You aren’t going to hear all the people and how they feel about it if you conduct your polls exclusively with people you hope will vote for you by November. Statement of fact: why would the GOP compromise if they have the pulse of the “base” and are playing to the base on any and all arguments that they make? But “the base” isn’t the rest of us inclusive of the Business Roundtable. This is therefore a matter that my readers do need to take seriously into consideration. You may not like the current Democratic proposals, fine come up with something better. But you can not ignore the fact that as Crooks said, the health care system as it now exists and the health insurance industry as it currently operates, is bad for business. The GOP that “plays to the base” and heeds the paid for “speech” of health insurance lobbyists can only do damage to a Microsoft, Google, various oil companies, national chain retail stores, down to local businesses because of what the health insurance industry currently imposes as premiums on any American workforce as well as employers here in this country. It’s enough to make you sick (and uninsured) and go wait for hours in an emergency room somewhere U.S.A. It does say a lot about what the GOP choose to ignore while trying to use health care reform as a means to regain power.
So what would happen should what President Obama proposed actually get passed into law? The health insurance industry couldn’t pass bloated salaries and perks to its company executives? They couldn’t finance expensive retreats? Or would they simply “shrink the workforce” because they “couldn’t compete” with government intrusion into health insurance and health care in general? Or should we make that, government making the health insurance industry more accountable for eating up a substantial amount of the GNP and producing less and less for the money that’s paid into it for the services actually provided. And it is because there is no real competition within the health insurance industry as a whole. Sometimes, some states have more than one health insurance company. Sometimes, other states have only one insurance company. I don’t see where that makes much of a difference. If health insurance “profits” are eaten up by exorbitant salaries for company executives and by the expensive retreats that they can make use of, then it isn’t going to matter as to whether Jack Smith living in Oregon can buy a policy that Blue Cross has designed for Georgia; he still isn’t any better off. He still won’t get functionally the best coverage even if he can buy health insurance across state lines. Which of course, the GOP are simply not honest enough to admit to.
Now whom do you think provided the better answers? Crooks’ “Smart Bombs” or Broder’s perpetual habit of carrying water for the GOP?