*Posted by Joe Wooddell
According to her website, “Sally Kohn makes the world safe for radical ideas. As a veteran community organizer turned political commentator, Sally makes complex political issues accessible for everyday audiences. Sally is a grassroots strategist actively engaged in movement building for equality and justice. She is a Fox News Contributor and has also appeared on CNN and MSNBC. Sally has written for the Washington Post, USA Today, US News and World Report, Politico, CNN.com, FoxNews.com, Reuters, The Guardian and the American Prospect among other outlets” (http://sallykohn.com/about/).
I could simply focus on all the problems in the above paragraph (like the notion of making the world safe for “ideas” instead of people, and the fact that her views of “equality” and “justice” probably don’t make much sense). Instead, however, I shall critique her astonishingly poorly-reasoned March 28 piece, “5 Reasons ObamaCare is already good for you” (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/28/5-reasons-obamacare-is-already-good-for/).
Ms. Kohn defines the following five reasons ObamaCare is good for you as “facts.” First, “millions of Americans have already benefited from ObamaCare.” I’m not sure why that “fact” helps make ObamaCare good for me. If it’s unconstitutional, if it robs me of my right to private property or to keep more of what I earn, if it forces me to pay for things with which I have moral and/or religious qualms, then it might not be good for me.
The second reason Ms. Kohn says ObamaCare is good for me is that, “the law won’t fully take effect until 2014.” It sounds like she’s saying it’s good for me now, because I don’t have to endure the fallout for a couple more years. That strikes me as rather destructive. She says “critics are attacking the law based largely on hypothetical future predictions.” Why is that a bad thing? If there are good arguments that it will ruin the country and that it’s unconstitutional, then it should be attacked. Isn’t the whole global warming frenzy “based largely on hypothetical future predictions”? Isn’t every law we either endorse or denounce based largely on hypothetical future predictions?
Third, Kohn says ObamaCare is good for me, because “the individual mandate was originally a Republican idea.” She means that Romney came up with the idea in Massachusetts, and Nixon supported a similar idea in 1974. Her point is silly; it’s an ad hominem fallacy in reverse (an appeal to authority). I don’t do what people say only because they are part of a particular political party. The idea has to have merit on its own. There are plenty of ideas in both parties with which I take issue.
Fourth, ObamaCare is supposedly good for me, because “the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] recently cut health care reform’s cost estimates.” By how much, one wonders? From trillions to only half the amount? That’s not the primary issue. If the law is immoral and unconstitutional, then the price tag is only minimally important. She then says some estimates contend that repealing the law would actually increase the deficit by $210 billion. But how much would it increase the deficit to keep the law on the books? Perhaps more than $210 billion. However, these are all hypothetical future predictions, which she actually condemned in her second reason (above).
Fifth and finally, Kohn maintains ObamaCare is good for me, because “something had to be done about health care,” that Obama had a plan and the Republicans didn’t. But this is simply false; various Republican lawmakers had plenty of suggestions for fixing the health care system, but they didn’t involve a huge increase in government spending and regulation; and as the minority party in Congress at the time, their suggestions did not receive serious consideration.
In the end, Kohn wrongly maintains that “the president has a messaging problem, not a policy problem” (emphasis in original). She thinks that if he simply did a better marketing job the public would embrace the law. Obama had the platform, however. The media would have given (and did give) him as much time as he wanted, and he failed to make a compelling case. Again, however, all of this is irrelevant if the law is either immoral, unconstitutional, or both; and these are the primary things which believers should seek to ascertain. Breaking the law and/or acting viciously will not, in the end, help the poor.