Sowell still fear-mongering about health care

Thomas Sowell spent 2009 fear-mongering about health care reform. Though he failed to stop reform from becoming law in early 2010, Sowell is trying his hand at fear-mongering, again, but this time, warning that “if Obamacare doesn't get repealed before it takes full effect in 2014...It is not a pretty picture.”

In an August 25 Washington Examiner editorial, titled “Obamacare's facts and fables are chilling,” Sowell painted the “not pretty” -- and untrue -- picture of “Obamacare”:

We have to go back to square one and the simplest common sense in order to get some rational idea of what government-run medical care means. In particular, we need to examine the claim that the government can “bring down the cost of medical care.”

It is cheaper to remain sick than to get medical treatment. What is cheapest of all is to die instead of getting life-saving medications and treatment, which can be very expensive.

First, under the health care reform law, we do not have government run health care. In fact, as early as 2009, Politifact labeled this claim “false,” noting that:

[W]e've also found nothing in the [health care reform] proposals so far that would force people off their current coverage into a government-run plan, if they prefer and can pay for private coverage.

Also in that paragraph, Sowell attacks the claim that health care reform will “bring down the cost of medical care.” However, if he had read the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) report that was released in April of this year, Sowell would know that increases in national health expenditures are largest in 2016 and “gradually decline thereafter.”

Further, Sowell insinuated that under health care reform, health care decisions will be “out of your hands”:

Despite these facts, most of us tend to take a somewhat more parochial view of the situation when it is we ourselves who are sick or who face a potentially fatal illness. But what if that decision is taken out of your hands under Obamacare and is being made for you by a bureaucrat in Washington?

We won't know what that leads to until the time comes. As Nancy Pelosi said, we will find out what is in the bill after it has passed.

Of course, Politifact has long-since debunked the claim that bureaucrats will be responsible for making health care decisions for Americans, rating that claim a pants on fire lie.

But Sowell obviously isn't reading CMS reports or Politifact. He is getting his health care information from a much more credible source -- Sally Pipes, who has written a book called “The Truth About Obamacare.” It's not certain how Ms. Pipes' "BA with honors in economics" whose think tank, Pacific Research Institute, caters to special interest organizations like Phillip Morris and Exxon, qualifies her to speak, or write a book, on health care policy.

What is certain, however, is that these “Obamacare” “fables” are getting old.