In an effort to have something to talk about over the Memorial Day recess, so-called Republican party moderates Reps. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Charlie Dent (R-PA) have unveiled legislation protecting Americans from the deficiencies of foreign health care systems:
By enacting the Medical Rights Act, Congress will ensure Americans keep the choice, quality and access currently denied citizens of the U.K. and Canada (Canadian law actually bans patients from paying for care themselves, even if denied care).
This is the consequence of taking Frank Luntz’s memo too seriously. Luntz uses straw-man arguments against British and Canadian health care to attack the Democrats’ proposal and Kirk and Dent are targeting their legislation against a non-existent proposal. Consider some of this language:
- In addition, this section prevents the federal government from regulating the hiring practices of organizations that provide health care, such as hospitals, clinics, and the like.
- This section prohibits the federal government from regulating privately supported medicine, legally protecting the doctor-patient relationship against federal controls or rationing for care not paid for by the federal government.
- This section also protects the rights of patients to buy health insurance, or make any other arrangements to pay for their own health care.
Luntz writes that “it’s not enough to just say what you’re against. You have to tell them what you’re for.” If your only goal is to stay ‘on message’ and to convince your constituents that you are in fact an advocate of (or against) something (even if that something isn’t real), then this is what you produce. Of course, if your constituents are literate they’ll just laugh at you.
Media Matters Action Network has more.