YOUR OPINION: Media Is ‘Propaganda Claw of Statist Predators Lurking At Far Left End of Swamp’
By Kristin Story Held, MD // November 30, 2016
Trump, the Media, and ObamaCare
EDITOR’S NOTE: According to a new Gallup poll, most Americans want to see some changes made to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare). Data show about 80 percent of respondents “favor either changing the 2010 law significantly or replacing it,” while some 43 percent want it to be significantly overhauled, but not repealed, and 37 percent want it to be repealed and replaced.
The law, which requires nearly everyone to obtain health insurance coverage, has never been overwhelmingly popular.
President-Elect Donald Trump’s recent selection of Rep. Tom Price, an orthopaedic surgeon and ardent opponent of Obamacare, as the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) appears to be a strong embrace of the House’s effort to dismantle Obamacare and help Congress enact a new health plan. Price is the chairman of the House Budget Committee and has authored legislation for an Obamacare replacement plan.
In this Op-Ed, practicing ophthalmologist Dr. Kristin Held, who served on the healthcare policy advisory team for Dr. Ben Carson during his presidential campaign, addresses the challenges faced by President-Elect Trump in delivering on his campaign pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare.
– Dr. Jim Palermo, Editor-in-Chief
Americans are learning that the media is not a free press but rather the propaganda claw of statist predators lurking at the far left end of the swamp.
President-elect Trump is but a few days out from his media-exposing election, and the swamp monsters are already out baiting and snapping at every word he utters, reporting their catches out of context, scented with leftist dogma. They are attempting to create a false narrative that Trump will renege on his campaign promises to undermine his trustworthiness and integrity from day one.
Throughout the campaign, candidate Trump pledged to repeal and replace ObamaCare and vowed to convene a special session of Congress to begin this work as one of the first things he will do once he takes office. He has outlined a common-sense approach to patient-centered health policy and surrounded himself with experts such as renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson. Those of us who entrusted Trump with our vote believe he will do precisely what he said he would do.
When asked whether there are any features of ObamaCare he would like to keep, Trump said he supported the availability of insurance coverage to people with preexisting conditions, and allowing adult children up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ policy. These two features drive up cost but are regarded as desirable by most Americans. Rather than laud President-elect Trump for “flexibility,” the swamp media accuses him of already defaulting on his ObamaCare repeal promise.
This technique is actually projection of the modus operandi of the media’s preferred candidate Hillary Clinton, who espouses separate public and private stances on issues and follows Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, onto Donald Trump. We must not allow this false narrative to morph into what people perceive as truth, as happens when lies are repeated over and over again.
Since it is now clear that Trump will be dealing with a concrete, infantile, psychologically defensive press, he must take this into account starting now. Example one: completely get rid of ObamaCare, every word, so the media cannot accuse him of duplicity or reneging, and then replace it with a plan that could reintroduce desirable provisions.
What should the plan be? Those of us who have spent the last 8 years trudging through thousands upon thousands of pages of bureaucratic jargon and waste in ObamaCare, MACRA, and the reams of rules and regulations they have spawned, envision something short and clean. And it must recognize the realities of economics. As Thomas Sowell states, “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”
A good law must restrict the government from excessively interfering in people’s lives and choices, and instead empower states and individuals according to our founding principles. We have learned the hard way that coverage is not care; companies that sell health insurance have no business delivering medical care; and big government breeds waste, corruption, and cruelty. In contrast, the American people are smart, principled, strong, and compassionate. They can make American medicine great again.
New legislation can recognize the problems those favorite provisions are supposed to address without repeating the ObamaCare methodology—mandates plus guaranteed issue/community rating—that makes insurance unaffordable for all and destroys the concept of insurance as a voluntary risk-sharing mechanism.
Insurance needs to be guaranteed renewable IF and ONLY IF people maintain continuous coverage. They need to buy it when young and healthy and own it themselves. We need to get rid of the tax inequity that ties insurance to employment and created a large number of people who now have “pre-existings.” While we’re correcting the cause of the problem, we can craft a targeted solution for those harmed by the old policy.
Trump must not be distracted by a dysfunctional, predatory media that resembles the Loch Ness monster. The swamp, which is more like a cesspool, needs to be drained before we can even see any valuable items that might be mired in it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristin Story Held, M.D. is a board certified ophthalmologist and ophthalmic surgeon. She is a Phi Beta Kappa Graduate from the University of Texas at Austin and received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio. Following her internship in internal medicine and residency in ophthalmology, Dr. Held joined the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where she taught residents and medical students and served as Director of the County Ophthalmology Clinic. She maintains an academic affiliation as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology. For the past 20 years she has been in private practice in San Antonio.
Dr. Held served on the healthcare policy advisory team for Dr. Ben Carson during his presidential campaign. She is on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), Co-Founder of AmericanDoctors4Truth.org (which features a template for true patient centered healthcare reform at www.AmericanDoctors4Truth.org)