Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) gets a little too candid in an interview with National Review, and concedes that the Luntz-prescribed methods for talking about the health care issue are aimed at misleading people about the conservative movement’s real views:
JON KYL: We of course believe the free market can provide the incentives for everyone to be covered with good insurance but to talk about it in terms of the free market is not to be persuasive with the people we have to convince. We have to describe this in terms that people really do understand and care about and that is patient centered. They don’t want to get between themselves and their doctor. They don’t want to have long waiting lines, possibly even denying care that they feel is important. They don’t want to lose insurance they like already. Those are all things we need to address in our alternatives and I think that’s the best way to talk about it rather than the free market.
This stuff is all red herrings. The main health reform ideas will not cause anyone to lose the insurance they already have and will not do anything to change people’s relationships with their doctors. Its about changing people’s relationships with their insurance companies, and about providing some subsidies so that everyone can afford insurance. Free market health care is about letting people die of treatable ailments if they don’t happen to have the money to pay. As Kyl says, it’s not a very compelling message.