Obamacare opponents make no sense

March 24, 2010

I am drawn to read the critics of the health care overhaul largely because they make no sense. Douglas Smith's article ("Government expansion will break the budget," March 23) is representative of this incoherence.

The dire consequences and rationale for why health insurance legislation is a bad thing seems to boil down to two points so far as it can be understood. One, it will cost too much. That's probably true, but the costs of doing nothing seem to be far worse, and where was he and the American Enterprise Foundation when the last administration cut taxes three times and started two absurd wars?

The other point is that any kind of health insurance legislation will cause a brain drain similar to Europe after the Second World War. Is he serious about this analogy? The European brain drain to the U.S. was almost exclusively highly educated and prodigiously talented Jews who were running for their life from the Nazis.

It is patently ridiculous to suggest that Einstein, Hindemith, Gropius, not mention the co-authors of the Curious George series, risked their lives leaving a continent because they were required to pay for health insurance.

My understanding is that many of our similarly talented expatriates now choosing to live in the U.S. can do so because there is universal health insurance in their own country of origin that covers them here.

The other ludicrous gratuitous assertion was that the federal civil service is incapable of administrating such a program because the same prototype of ineptitude figured prominently in screwing up during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The connection between the two is hard to see. The debacle following Katrina was largely a consequence of the previous adminstration not caring rather than any lack of technical skill or work ethic. Could these luminaries from the American Enterprise Institute provide an English translation next time they get printed on the subject of health insurance? Without this there is not a corn of sense in their entire dunghill.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore

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