Propaganda Accepted, Reform Isn’t

Apparently health care depends on whose ox is being gored. For those of you who have never heard the phrase, it translates roughly to meaning that a person’s concern about a given situation depends on how it affects him.

President Barack Obama’s administration apparently understands West Virginians are a bit skeptical about the new national health care law, “Obamacare.” So, the national campaign to popularize the law is spending more money here, on a per-resident basis, than anywhere else.

The Associated Press found that to date, “public awareness” campaigns on Obamacare have spent $9.23 per resident in West Virginia. The next highest spending is in Arkansas, at $8.28 per person.

Obviously, that means Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services is eager to persuade Mountain State residents the law is a good thing and we should embrace it.

That’s very interesting, in view of the fate of another health care program, Mountain Health Choices.

It was one of Joe Manchin’s pet programs when he was governor. MHC was intended to improve the health of low-income West Virginians, while reducing the cost of the Medicaid program on which many of them rely.

As I’ve explained several times, MHC was simple: Medicaid clients who wanted to participate signed personal responsibility agreements. They were not very demanding. Those who signed promised to get family doctors, keep health care appointments, follow physicians’ orders and use hospital emergency rooms only for real emergencies.

In exchange, those who signed up for MHC got enhanced Medicaid benefits.

You can see how it would benefit both the Medicaid program and MHC participants.

Liberals hated MHC. Why, it was unfair to Medicaid clients, they whined.

Eventually, MHC was discontinued. Why? Because it proved too difficult to educate Medicaid recipients about the program.

Maybe a good, Obamacare-style public awareness program would have helped. But no one in Washington was interested enough in real Medicaid reform to offer funding.

Interesting, isn’t it, how the liberals aren’t willing to promote a good program – but are eager to plow huge amounts into a propaganda campaign for Obamacare?

Myer can be reached at: