Libs: Obamacare Destroys Private Insurance!!

File this under being hoisted by your own petard. I've come to learn that petards are dangerous because the only time you hear about them is when someone is hoisted by their own.

We've been told for months by liberals that the public option will have absolutely zero effect on the private insurance industry. We've been consoled that if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance.

But now you've got liberals who've previously said the public option won't affect private insurance now screaming that they're worried that the public option will harm private insurance and decrease choices.

Wanna guess why? Did they suddenly gain respect for the free market? Nah. It's just because they're worried about...ABORTION!

You see, now it's something that liberals love. It seems pro-choicers are worried that if the healthcare bill includes the Stupak Amendment, it will negatively affect access to even private insurance for abortion.

But I thought that nothing in the public option would affect the private insurance industry? Were they...gasp...not telling the whole truth?

From the GW Hatchet:
The author of the controversial amendment to the House of Representatives-approved health care bill is rejecting the findings of a Nov. 16 report authored by five GW professors in the School of Public Health and Health Services.

The study found that the Stupak-Pitts amendment - which is designed to restrict how abortions could be offered by a government-run insurance plan and through private insurance bought using government subsidies from the health care plan - would eliminate insurance coverage for medically indicated abortions in the long run, and not just those covered by the new health care plan.
Wow! Remember how liberals laughed when conservatives argued that a public option plan would harm or even eliminate private insurance. They laughed and laughed right up until the moment when the Stupak amendment passed. Then everything changed, I guess.

Now, what I really find hilarious is that Stupak is quoted as essentially using the liberal talking points against the pro-choicers by insisting Obamacare will not affect private insurance at all.

My, how infuriating it must be to have your own talking points used against you.
Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., told the political blog Talking Points Memo D.C. that the report is based on speculation and the amendment would not limit private health insurance companies from offering medically indicated abortions.

"The idea that insurers will stop providing abortion services because of the Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts amendment is nothing more than speculation," Stupak said in a statement to TPMDC. "There is no language in this amendment that in any way prohibits private health insurance companies from offering these services."
I'm starting to really like this Stupak guy.

I don't think the lead author of the GW study, the Department of Health Policy Chair Sara Rosenbaum, feels the same warm and fuzzy feelings about Stupak though. She said she believes:
"The treatment exclusions required under the Stupak-Pitts Amendment will have an industry-wide effect, eliminating coverage of medically indicated abortions over time for all women, not only those whose coverage is derived through a health insurance exchange."
What?! The public option will "eliminate coverage?" What?

Now, just a few months ago Sara Rosenbaum was quoted in an NBC story, as being a strong advocate of the public option exactly because it would lead to:
"much broader coverage, more benefits, more services, deeper coverage, thereby allowing people a choice of a product that actually is tailored to their needs."
So you see the public option encouraged more choices in everything until the Stupak amendment. That doesn't make much sense now does it?

Liberals are caught in their own talking points and Stupak knows it. There's no way liberals can argue vociferously that the public option will harm private insurance without exposing their own lies. So I'd bet liberals plan to keep their petards in hiding and intend to win the healthcare battle not by argument but the old fashioned way- they'll buy the votes.


  1. I think the proper expression is "hoist by your own petard."

    Great post nonetheless.

  2. A pétard is a kind of small bomb ( so you are 'hoist' - blown up - by it - not hung.

    Just to keep you straight, Matthew :-)

  3. I am now hoisting rather than hanging. Thanks.

  4. five college professors in a place that doesn't even have congressional representation now speak for American liberalism?

  5. This is a classic tactic of liberal argumentation: when a potential setback appears, subtly change the terms of the debate so that you and your opponent are no longer speaking about the same thing, even though people may think you are.

    Stupak et al., as well as previous liberal defenses of the bill, pointed to the technical legal affects of the bill's language, which does not bear on private healthcare in any way (supposedly, I don't actually know this myself).

    Now, however, liberals have shifted from speaking of the language to positing likely secondary repurcussions of enactment: how the market might react if the bill becomes law (i.e. absence of abortion coverage in a new dominant public option plan might create market pressures that force private carriers to drop such coverage). That is not an illegitimate argument* so far as it goes, but it is an entirely different species of argument from the Stupak/prior liberal argument. Making the second argument, while allowing people to imply that you are making the first, is disingenuous to say the least.

    * One could argue that any argument in favor of abortion services is illegitimate on some level. I'm merely saying that it's not a fallacy, straw man, or some other breach of conventional debating rules, independently of its actual merits.

  6. Given how liberals are so anti-military, petards might be too violent for them. How about we change it to "foisted by their own canards" instead?

  7. Excuse my ignorance but what is the great concern for protecting private insurance anyway? If the public option is comprehensive then private insurance would seem to be redundant. And if that mean abortions might be harder to procure, all the better.


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