Today’s New York Times features a number of stories about the proposed health reform bills, with one interesting thread: fear. Fear of “rationing,” fear of excessive costs, fear of the unknown, fear of the future. Take just the first, for example –
“Rationing.” It is what many people say they fear most from an overhaul of the health care system — the prospect of the federal government’s limiting the medical care they can receive.
Even some people who now have private health insurance through their employers have expressed this concern in opinion polls and public forums. They say they worry that the enormous price tag for providing care to tens of millions of additional Americans will eventually force everyone else to make do with less.
Of course it’s not a reasoned fear; rationing ‘s not going to happen any time soon. But somewhat like the tossing out of the utterly false “death panel” phrase, the R-word works to solidify the base for those who want no reform at all. And for some who simply want Obama to fail.
Aren’t the stakes a little too high?