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Talk Radio and the Health Care Debate

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The Washington Post details the growing media campaigns of various interest groups, but fails to note that the subject is debated daily and at length on almost every talk radio show in America.

Yesterday I spent the first two hours of the program discussing the president’s radical plans with a variety of doctors and journalists and of course with callers. I’ll do the same today, tomorrow and in the weeks ahead. This is an issue with every bit the urgency as immigration had two years ago. More, actually, because more and more Americans are realizing that Obamacare will be directly impacting their lives –first through many changes to and quite possibly the loss of their employer-provided health insurance plan to be replaced by some tin-plated “Government option/public plan,” and secondly through the shrinking of services provided through Medicare.

Doctors call the show in great numbers, and all of them oppose Obamacare. Seniors could fill the boards from the first minute to the sign-off, and they all oppose it. I welcome the occasional Acorn activist who calls to try and defend the plan, but when I play the tape of the president’s “guarantee” to the AARP audience that you can keep your plan and your doctor if you like them, and then walk such callers through the obvious deception of that guarantee, they go away embarrassed. (The White House’s Linda Douglas complained in her video yesterday that critics of the president’s plan never play his “guarantee” clip, but I have played it at least 50 times since it aired last week and will continue to do so throughout the summer and fall. It is a ludicrous, deceptive assertion that MSM should examine in great detail.)

This is the real “media campaign” that matters in August. Americans driving to and from work –people with jobs who commute and who are covered– are hearing again and again on the radio the bottom-line truth that their health plans are in danger because of Obamacare. Moms taking kids to summer activities, whether soccer or swimming, are hearing again and again that their plans and their childrens’ plans are up for grabs because of Obamacare. Seniors driving to the market, to see a friend or to see a doctor, are hearing, again and again, that Medicare is in for major cuts and that rationing is on the way. They are hearing it from all of the Salem hosts –Bennett, Gallagher, Prager, Medved and me– and well over a million of our listeners signed the “Stop Obamacare” petition (you can still add you signature.) They are also hearing it from Rush, Sean, Mark Levin and hundreds of local hosts. They are hearing the truth about Obamacare, so all the declarations from all the Democratic senators coming out of the White House that they will get a deal done in the fall are declarations of indifference to the feelings and fears, the priorities and plans of the American voter.

The protests and angry participants at townhall meetings are just the tip of a massive and growing disgust with Washington’s incompetence and its scorn for voters’ priorities. The Democrats were not given majorities so that they could destroy the system of American medicine and force working people out of their insurance plans into a government plan. Democrats can cover their ears and eyes and pretend that what they are hearing and seeing is manufactured and represents nothing at all, but 2010 is only 15 months away. The failure to listen now, and the wrong votes in September and October, are going to be part of a great big farewell tour by Blue Dogs and other endangered Democrats.

Large and growing majorities of the American people don’t want Obamacare, period. If Democrats keep demanding they shut up and take this socialized medicine, the political costs will be enormous.

Here’s the handy list of 10 questions to take to your local townhall. Obamacare doesn’t stand up to even mild questioning, so stay cool and focused on the fact that Obamacare will force tens of millions of Americans to lose their health insurance and get dumped into a government plan, one that congressmen and senators will never ever have to put up with.


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