This column (“Obama’s Health Care Plan Sells Public a Package of Lies,” Daily Nexus, Sept. 29) is one of the most right-wing and misleading things I’ve read in the Nexus, and the author really has no idea what he is talking about.
For one thing, the author implies that this piece of legislation will not cut costs. The non-partisan CBO disagrees yet Steven Begakis doesn’t address this. Nor does he actually seem to argue with any of the specifics of any of the congressional plans — he seems to attack a single payer or socialized system, which the president is not proposing.
Not only does Begakis not seem to understand health care but he doesn’t seem to understand the Constitution either when he writes garbage like, “In defiance of the Constitution’s Interstate Commerce Clause, health insurers are not even permitted to sell across state lines.” As a paid political columnist, Begakis should be aware that the Commerce Clause asserts: “[The Congress shall have power] To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” In other words, the Commerce Clause gives Congress the right to prevent insurance companies from selling over state lines. Not the other way around, as Begakis believes.
But the real flaw in the idea that insurance companies should be able to sell over state lines is that it would lead to horrible, horrible practices. If we passed this law, all insurance companies would all move to a state like South Dakota (as credit card companies have for the exact same reasons) because regulation is minimal there, and they could sell insurance to people of other states, bypassing those state’s regulations. So while there may be increased competition in theory, these insurance corporations would now be able to increase denial of services, denial of patients for preexisting conditions and more rescissions for patients who get sick. This would be a terrible development.
In the sentences where Begakis does not distort the facts, he resorts to a hyperbole about “government robbing you of your liberty” and “tyranny.” Someone should tell the people of Canada, France, the UK, Japan, Germany and… well, all industrialized western nations that they are currently living under tyrannical regimes.
I understand that the Nexus takes steps to hire both a conservative and liberal columnist in order to diversify viewpoints in the paper. But any article like this is incredibly misleading and does nothing to inform the reader, other than to let the reader know there are pretty nutty conservatives on campus. If the Nexus cannot find a conservative columnist who actually knows what he is talking about, they should not be hiring a conservative columnist. Informing the reader is more important than spreading ideological diversity, and the editors should spend more time making sure what they publish is accurate.