Last week, as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case challenging the legality of health care reform passed by the 110th Congress and signed into law by Barack Obama, most journalists have framed the associated popular debate in terms of the two dominant political parties. They report that Democratic voters support the health care reform law, saying that it makes adequate medical coverage available to all Americans by bringing healthy, low-risk people into health insurance plans while requiring the maintenance of coverage for unhealthy, high-risk people. They also report that Republican voters oppose the health care reform law, saying that it violates a constitutional right for individual Americans to decide what to buy for themselves, though nowhere in the Constitution is such a right established.
What the journalists almost never report is that there are other opinions, held by other voters who are neither Democrat nor Republican. One opinion that doesn’t fit into the tidy Liberals Pro vs. Conservatives Con model was recently provided by Jill Stein. Jill Stein is neither Democrat nor Republican. She’s a liberal Green, and will be the likely Green Party presidential nominee in the 2012 election.
Stein said of the health care reform law being scrutinized by the Supreme Court, “The mandate that every American buy expensive, inadequate health insurance is a scheme developed by Republicans and foisted on the nation by Democrats. The winners are the health insurance companies.”
Dr. Stein’s comment takes a route unanticipated by the standard journalistic interpretation in that it’s a rejection of the health insurance mandate from the Left. Beyond that, though, Stein suggests that mainstream journalism is inaccurate in describing a great rift between Republicans and Democrats on the issue. According to Stein, the very idea of mandated purchase of health insurance that Republicans are now railing against is something that the Republicans came up with in the first place.
Do you accept that political analysis?