PA’s Worser: Conservative Group Masks Self-Contradictory Obamacare Attacks as “Policy Analysis” – Counterpoint PA Jan 2014



The runner-up is Elizabeth Stelle who’s kind of becoming the Bill-O the Clown of Worst Pennsylvanians. She’s a policy analyst for the conservative advocacy group the Commonwealth Foundation, and this is her third time making PA’s Worsts for absurd remarks about President Obama’s health insurance regulation overhaul often called Obamacare.

Part of Obamacare expands Medicaid, the public health insurance program for people living in poverty, but because of a US Supreme Court ruling, each state has the option to accept Medicaid expansion or not. According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, Medicaid expansion would “expand health coverage to between 600,000 and 800,000 hardworking low-income Pennsylvanians, lowering the state’s uninsured rate by over 50% …”

Now most people probably wouldn’t see giving health insurance access to hundreds of thousands of uninsured people as a particularly complex ethical quandary – but then again most people aren’t conservative policy analysts.

Elizabeth Stelle first made Worst Pennsylvanians for rhetorically asking “Is it moral to place more Pennsylvanians in a failing program infamous for poor health outcomes?” in an anti-Medicaid expansion editorial published by PennLive [note: I mistakenly say the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in the video]. She made the list again when she more bluntly stated quote “Medicaid is immoral because it provides poor quality care,” in an email exchange with me among other hilariously bad arguments.

So while I’ve been saying the Commonwealth Foundation really opposes Medicaid expansion because it’s a government program and they’re anti-government extremists, Elizabeth Stelle has been saying no, no, no, it’s because Medicaid is low quality health insurance.

Now, in a recent piece called “Five Facts about Obamacare Enrollment,” one of which is indisputably proven by a whopping two pieces of anecdotal evidence, Stelle writes quote “an estimated 250,000 Pennsylvanians received [health insurance] cancellations [sic] letters thanks to Obamacare.”

Stelle conveniently leaves out a very important point here, which is why these plans were canceled. As the very source she provides attests, these plans were canceled “because they do not meet the higher standards of the federal Affordable Care Act.” In other words, those plans were too low quality for Obamacare’s high standards for health insurance.

So if Obamacare offers low quality health insurance, that’s bad, and if Obamacare bans low quality health insurance, that’s also bad? The only consistent things about that are you always say Obamacare is bad no matter what, and the more important subtext that public health insurance is always bad and private health insurance is always good. She says public health insurance that’s allegedly low quality is “immoral” to give to the uninsured, but canceling private health insurance that’s objectively so low quality that it doesn’t meet minimum coverage standards is outrageous evidence that Obamacare is apocalyptic. Because the free market is never wrong? I say again Commonwealth Foundation: just be honest. You would oppose Medicaid expansion no matter what because it’s insurance from the government. And you’re completely entitled to that opinion. Just stop trying pass it off as “policy analysis.”

February 5, 2014 · Aaron · No Comments
Posted in: Health Care, ObamaCare in PA, PA Establishment Media Fail, State / Federal Crossover, Worst Pennsylvanians of the Week

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