Azara Blog: Americans dislike social health care allegedly because of the ruling elite

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Date published: 2010/01/30

The BBC says:

The Republicans' shock victory in the election for the US Senate seat in Massachusetts meant the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate. This makes it even harder for the Obama administration to get healthcare reform passed in the US.

Political scientist Dr David Runciman looks at why is there often such deep opposition to reforms that appear to be of obvious benefit to voters.

Last year, in a series of "town-hall meetings" across the country, Americans got the chance to debate President Obama's proposed healthcare reforms.

What happened was an explosion of rage and barely suppressed violence.

Polling evidence suggests that the numbers who think the reforms go too far are nearly matched by those who think they do not go far enough.

But it is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform - the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state - are often the ones it seems designed to help.
Why are they manning the barricades to defend insurance companies that routinely deny claims and cancel policies?
If people vote against their own interests, it is not because they do not understand what is in their interest or have not yet had it properly explained to them.

They do it because they resent having their interests decided for them by politicians who think they know best.

There is nothing voters hate more than having things explained to them as though they were idiots.

It's hard to believe that anyone who wants to pass himself off as a political scientist could write such a silly article. Sure the ruling elite are obnoxious. But the Republican ruling elite are even more obnoxious than the Democrat ruling elite. Runciman completely ignores the role of the media (in particular Fox). And the health insurance industry is not going to throw away its pocketing of a seventh of American income without a fight, so it further feeds the media bias with advertising (not to mention that they have also bribed most of Congress). Runciman is treating BBC readers "as though they were idiots".

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