Guest Post: The Taxpayer Funded PR Campaign For Obamacare Begins
Submitted by James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,
Only in public schools and universities is the fairy tale still taught that governments are representative of the people. The blue collared man on the street realizes the chips are stacked against him. For those who don’t have political connections, the pseudo fascist system that is still referred to as “capitalism” in the U.S. is akin to a casino game of chance. That is, the odds are always in the house’s favor. The house is the federal leviathan and its equivalent at the state and local level as well as the big, cartelized industries which feed off government protection. As comedian George Carlin accurately observed:
It’s a big club and you ain’t in it!
Even the catalyst for the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party, was not a grand political statement on the unjustifiable nature of taxation without representation. At the time, founding father John Hancock was the richest smuggler in North America. The British Parliament lowered the import tax on tea in 1773 which cut into Hancock’s profits. According to economic historian Gary North:
The Tea Party had stopped the unloading of the tea by throwing privately owned tea off a privately owned ship – a ship in competition with Hancock’s ships. The Boston Tea Party was in fact a well-organized protest against lower prices stemming from lower taxes.
The state, by virtue of its monopoly on predation, has always functioned as a power center to be exploited by the elite few. Politicians deceive their way to public office by promising voters the world while pocketing the campaign funds to do the bidding of their corporate masters. For all his populist rhetoric, President Obama was bankrolled into office by Wall Street; namely Goldman Sachs. This is why no top financial executives have been charged for fraud stemming from the housing bubble. It’s the same reason he backed the granting of immunity to telecommunication companies for illegally aiding Washington in warrant-less domestic wiretapping of private communications. Obama travels the country on the taxpayer’s dime to convince Americans he is still the fighter for the middle class. The more gullible of voters will believe the lie time and time again despite his administration being staffed by Wall Street alum. They are infatuated with the idea of being part of something meaningful. This naivety en masse is the true aim of the state. It ensures for the least amount of objection and more opportunity for exploitation by the establishment.
The President’s “universal health care” scheme is yet another example of the incestual relationship between big government and big business.
In what can only be described as a modern day case of Orwellian irony, the Health and Human Services Department has awarded a $20 million contract to public relations firm Porter Novelli to begin promoting the Affordable Care Act. From The Hill newspaper:
The Health and Human Services Department has signed a $20 million contract with a public-relations firm to highlight part of the Affordable Care Act.
The new, multimedia ad campaign is designed to educate the public about how to stay healthy and prevent illnesses, an HHS official said.
The campaign was mandated by the Affordable Care Act and must describe the importance of prevention while also explaining preventive benefits provided by the healthcare law. The law makes many preventive services available without a co-pay or deductible, and provides new preventive benefits to Medicare patients.
To sum up this disconnect between reality and fantasy: the myth goes that government is beholden to the people. Elected representatives only ever act in the best interest of their constituents. This is why Congress enacted a health care reform bill that was opposed by a majority of the American public. But of course the reform was for their own good. The public wasn’t allowed to know the final ramifications of Obamacare before it was passed. The truth is never meant for the little people. That’s why then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declared “we have to pass the bill so that you can…find out what is in it.” In other words, “obey us unconditionally.”
Again, this whole affair was supposedly done in the public’s interest. Average Joe just doesn’t understand what is good for him. How dare he question the intention of his political leaders!
Now a promotional campaign must be undertaken to convince the people that this new frontier in health care is a great step forward to more affordability. Taxpayers only have to pick up the $20 million tab to be told about the good their government delivers to them.
What the ad campaign won’t reveal is that the Affordable Care Act was never the product of well-meaning souls but was crafted exclusively by the health industry itself. The bill is virtually identical to a plan outlined by the trade association American’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) in 2009. A former Vice President to Wellpoint Inc. was revealed to have written the original bill in 2009. Stocks of health care companies actually shot up as the bill made its way through Congress. The reasoning was quite simple since the bill acts as a huge subsidy to the industry. With millions poised to be forced into buying insurance, Howard Dean was dead on when he called the bill “an insurance company’s dream.”
Like compulsory vaccinations, the individual mandate is nothing but an industry bailout. Under the guise of protecting the right of citizens, government merely acts as a puppet of entrenched special interests. Politicians and bureaucrats further advance their dream of centrally managing more of the economy while simultaneously appeasing big business. Competition is inhibited with regulatory red tape as the big players continue to rake in income and market share. The state looks out for itself and its financiers only.
With Obamacare, the middle class will end up being liable for yet another entitlement program that, like any other government initiative, will cost more than was initially estimated. Worse yet, they will be bombarded with advertisements they paid for which attempt to convince them that Uncle Sam has once again delivered prosperity with a badge and a gun.
The disheartening part is some Americans will be foolish enough to actually believe it.