QCFM vs. The Heritage Foundation, Round 1

The Heritage Foundation

It's on like Donkey Kong.

I saw this on Facebook, linked by Michael Durbin, an old friend and author of Principled Thoughts. It’s an entry in The Heritage Foundation’s blog, “The Foundry,” about the House vote to repeal H.R. 3950 – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They take the stance that it’s not a political stunt that will eventually amount to nothing. It’s actually an “important step in the democratic process of protecting and conserving our constitutional freedoms.”

Allow me to respectfully disagree with the author, Ed Feulner, and make my case here. A quick note, though: Feulner is president of the The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, holds an MBA and a Ph.D., is a published author, public speaker, well-respected conservative who has served on congressional task forces and commissions, etc. etc. etc. So, yeah, I’m punching up a weight class or two here, but as Cam Janssen of the St. Louis Blues knows, you gotta do that sometimes.

I read the blog entry with an open mind, but Feulner lost me right off the bat – and not just by using the pejorative term “Obamacare.” Feulner calls the healthcare reform law “increasingly unpopular” without any references at all. And there’s good reason for that, because he’s completely wrong. This bill is not as unpopular as some conservatives would lead you to believe.

A CBS News/New York Times Poll from Jan. 15-19 shows 48 percent of Americans want Congress to let the law stand, while 40 percent want it repealed – outside the +/-3 margin of error. In November 2010 those numbers were 44 and 45, in favor of repeal.

Even more interesting in that poll is that, between November and January, the percentage of self-identified Republicans who want it repealed went down from 76 to 73 percent. Democrats’ support for the law went from 71 to 77 percent, while independents went from 38 to 45.

That’s increasingly unpopular?

And I’m not putting all my eggs in the CBS News/New York Times. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from Jan. 13-17 found support for repeal at 45 percent and opposition to repeal at 46 percent. That same poll has found that the percentage of people who feel “this plan is a good idea” has gone from 32 percent to 39 percent since Dec. 2009, while the percentage of people who feel “this plan is a bad idea” has gone from 47 to 39 percent.

That’s increasingly unpopular?

ABC News and The Washington Post find support for and opposition to healthcare reform has gone virtually unchanged since March, with roughly 50 percent opposed and 45 percent in favor

That’s increasingly unpopular?

In fairness, a CNN Opinion Research Poll has support for repeal of the entire bill at 50 percent and opposition to repeal at 42 percent, but there’s no previous data to show if that’s gone up or down. Also, that’s just one poll. The majority of the polls I found paint a picture of a country pretty evenly divided on the topic of repeal.

Clearly he’s opposed to this healthcare reform bill, as are a lot of conservatives and some independents. I’m not opposed to it, just like some other independents and a lot of liberals. I’m not going to hash those arguments out. Read this post and this one, both by Ezra Klein, to see the other side of the coin. My beef with Feulner isn’t about his opinion of this healthcare reform act. He’s entitled to his own opinion, and I’m sure he came to his conclusions honestly and fairly. My beef is with his characterization of the bill as “increasingly unpopular” when data clearly contradicts that claim. How can I trust any of your other arguments when you characterize something that is statistically gaining support as “increasingly unpopular”?

That false claim is one of the primary pillars of his argument. He says for majority leader Harry Reid to not let repeal come to a vote on the Senate floor would be to “thumb his nose at the will of the American people.” What he really means is the will of approximately half of the American people. If Republicans work to de-fund or repeal healthcare reform, they, too, are thumbing their nose at the will of approximately half of the American people.

Fuelner finishes up by saying that debate on health care reform can begin again. It is “a national debate we need to have, and we need to have it now.” To which I say, “Noooooooo! Please!!!!!!! Noooooooooooooo!” I don’t know if my stomach can take another round of that.

Alright. If we’ve got to do this again, I want a clean fight, Republicans and Democrats. No low blows, no “death panels,” no “socialists,” no “fascists,” no “ramming it down our throats.” None of that. Feel free to work the body, throw the jab and stick and move. Now touch gloves and come out boxing.



1 Comment

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Window Man and SteveTaff, QueenCity FamilyMan. QueenCity FamilyMan said: New post! I take on @EdFeulner & The Heritage Foundation's definition of "increasingly unpopular." http://tinyurl.com/5tg758a #healthcare […]

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