August 8 2012
Politico | The Arena
In the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), there was near-hysteria about the tenor of our political culture. Sadly, the new Priorities USA Action ad reveals that civil discourse in American politics remains a distant dream. It also shows that the left is deeply dishonest when it comes to telling the real story.
At the heart of the ad is the notion that had Bain Capitol not closed this plant and the employee Joe Soptic not subsequently lost his health care coverage, his wife may still be with him today. A horrifying story, but not quite an accurate one.
There’s a lot wrong with the ad, but perhaps most important is that Mr. Soptic’s health care problems stem much more from systemic failed government policies than from any short-term actions taken by Bain Capital. The reality is the current tax laws encourage individuals like Mr. Soptic to obtain health insurance through his employer. This means that individuals covered by their employer are protected from the full cost of services, which encourages over-consumption of medical treatment and drives up costs across the board. It also means that if workers like Mr. Soptic need to buy insurance on their own with their after-tax dollars, the plans are prohibitively expensive.
Sadly, too many people experience what Mr. Soptic did, and the blow of a job loss becomes crippling when one also loses his health insurance. But the way to solve this problem is not by eliminating companies like Bain Capital, which also helps create new jobs and opportunities. Rather repealing ObamaCare and ending the bias in favor of employer-provided insurance would go a long way toward giving people like Mr. Soptic more control, flexibility, and ownership over their health care needs.