Tuesday, July 21, 2009

McCain sinks to a new level

This just fires me up. I can't believe McCain has gone the route he has with this health care survey he's running. The e-mail I just got on the topic starts off innocuous enough:

Last week, I sent you an email asking for your voice on healthcare through Country First's Future of America's Healthcare Survey. I'm happy to tell you that over 30,000 people have filled out the survey online in less than a week. I'd like to share some of the early results:

You want to do the whole grassroots thing, excellent. More power to you.

The results are a bit troubling. Like:

90% of survey respondents believe America's healthcare system is the finest in the world, but still needs some reform.

Uh, who the heck cares what the perception of the Unite State's health care system is? In a case like this, the Senator should be looking at actual data, not what people think they think.

And then there's this whacky one:

80% of survey respondents believe the Federal Government should have no role at all in deciding an individual's healthcare.

I'm actually amazed it's only 80% and not 100%. Who, I'd like to know, is arguing for the federal government to make health care decisions for individuals? That's certainly not Obama's plan or anyone else's that I've heard of.

And then there's the survey itself. Calling it a survey is being generous - it's more like a fire-folks-up-so-I-can-get-the-data-I-want form.

And finally there's this gem:

As you know, right now, President Obama, Democrats in Congress, powerful special interests and influential lobbyists are hard at work in Washington, D.C. trying to drastically change our current health care system. They seek to replace it with a nationalized system where the politicians and government officials will dictate the kind of medical services you and your family receive and the rules under which you access care and coverage.

I don't know of a pretty way of saying this - this paragraph is a lie. If you want know what Obama's plan is for health care, then just watch one of the endless speeches he's given on the topic.

Two things tick me off about this e-mail: First, it's not helping us to have a constructive debate. Rather than talking about matters of substance, like how we can ensure the public plan and private plans have a level playing field, we're stuck debating imaginary ghosts.

Second, both Obama and Republicans appear to want the same thing: an incremental change to health care, not a massive overhaul; more choice for folks; and a financially responsible solution. Why do we have to behave as though we are on opposite sides of the spectrum, when we're really working off the same playbook.

I'll include my usual disclaimer here - I'm not picking on McCain or the Republicans. I'm just seeing devise chaff that's getting in the way of an important decision we are making as a country, and it ticks me off. If Obama pulled these same kind of shenanigans (and perhaps he is?) I'd be just as critical.

Can't we try acting like adults here?

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