OnMessage: Patient-centered healthcare. The conservative plan

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Conservative Healthcare Plan
The left is good at one thing: messaging. They understand that if a phrase is repeated enough it gets embedded into the public consciousness. Often dishonest, usually demagogic, this rank sloganeering does the trick in convincing the willing or oblivious.

It Shouldn’t Be Harder to Vote Than to Buy a Gun. Healthcare is a Right, Not a Privilege. Less Government Means More Corporate Power. 45,000 Americans Die Every Year for Lack of Healthcare.

Any of this true? Nope, but it sure sells…literally. You can buy these inane dictums imprinted on t-shirts and bumper stickers — and hundreds more just as idiotic and malicious, as one I saw on cars in greater Washington D.C. last spring: All Republicans are not racist, but all racists are Republican. (Classy. Especially since these same people were likely government bureaucrats who have no such moral dilemma reaching into the wallets of these same “racists.”) Ahh, but I digress…

In a time where the issues before us demand serious responses, the canards and trivializing are more than annoyances. They can be hazardous. One word: Obamacare. If you recall, the administration pledged that overhauling one-sixth of the U.S. economy would…

1. Provide quality healthcare for every American

2. Drive down costs

3. Improve healthcare delivery

4. Be simple, simple, simple

5. And, as the President guaranteed, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.”

I could be gracious and say that supporters of the President’s plan were simply led astray by the promises. Well, scratch that. Truth is, only the woefully clueless could swallow this bull; unfortunately, in addition to those who figured they’d come out on top (i.e., not have to pay a penny for more goodies), their ignorance was enough to carry Barack Obama to a second term.

Lesson learned. The right has a heap o’ work to do to reach — and teach —  these same Americans about the issues that fundamentally impact their quality of life. No deceit, no demagoguery. Just honest, positive communication.

Which brings us back to healthcare reform. Contrary to what is said by Democrats and their media sycophants, conservatives DO have solid ideas to improve the current healthcare delivery system.

What Kind of Healthcare?

You wouldn’t know that, of course, based on article after article stating that conservative alternatives are heartless and reactionary, typified by Democratic strategist Ed Kilgore’s “Washington Monthly” screed: “Conservatives often seem to want to go back to those days when patients paid doctors with cash or did without health care altogether. That’s ‘personal responsibility’ with a vengeance.”

Lies, lies and more lies.

Time for some good old truth-telling. Listen to the proposals from Dr. Ben Carson, the American Enterprise Institute’s Ramesh Ponnuru, Tea Party Republicans and think tanks like FreedomWorks and the Heritage Foundation. Whereas their plans vary in details, one concept remains constant — that effective, quality healthcare protects patient autonomy, versus the massive government control of Obamacare.

That’s it. That’s the conservative message.

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