As a candidate, "Barack Obama promised to end the 'politics of fear and cynicism,'" said Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal. But as president he is "trying to sell his health-care proposals on fear." Obama is trying to "scare voters" by saying that unless his proposals are approved their health-insurance premiums will keep rising and doctors will perform unnecessary procedures to fatten their wallets. "This is not a healthy way to wage a policy debate."
Fear-mongering is definitely clouding the health-care reform debate, said Froma Harrop in RealClearPolitics, but that's the Republicans' fault. Their attacks on President Obama's plan are growing increasingly crazy. "A recent example invokes an evil plot to save money by knocking off the elderly." Betsy McCaughey, "the Sarah Palin of health care," actually said on TV that a Senate bill would "pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely," and her lie has become a Republican talking point.
The "deathers" have convinced many Americans that "the House bill and health-care reform in general are the legislative equivalent of euthanasia," said Christopher Beam in Slate. But it's only fair to point out that President Obama has suggested that without reform, health-care inflation could lead to cuts in Medicare. Both sides, you see, are resorting to "scaring Grandma."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why you probably don't have Ebola — even if you shook hands with America's 'patient zero'
- Fall film guide: All the movies you should see in October
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert are accidentally having a serious debate on ISIS
- You're reheating pizza wrong
- The dumb war in Syria will haunt Democrats' 2014 prospects
Subscribe to the Week