Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Axelrod Assertion

Presidential advisor David Axelrod was interviewed a few minutes after the conclusion of President Obama's health care speech last Wednesday. That interview has produced some coverage, mostly of his shot "I don't know what medical school Dick Morris went to." (My thought was, it was evidently a better one than Axelrod's.)

UPDATE: Dick Morris' response was better. He said something close to "That's not the issue. The issue is elementary school. It's really that simple." END UPDATE

I heard that interview when it occurred. And I heard David Axelrod make an incredibly important statement in that interview. But, even now, I have seen no coverage of that statement.

Axelrod was asked about Dick Morris' warning that Obama's plan would lead to rationing of health care by dumping millions more people into the system without doing anything to add to the numbers of doctors and nurses. Axelrod answered, saying that was a phony issue. He said those people are already getting care — they're just getting it now in emergency rooms instead of medical offices.

Stop and think about what Axelrod said there — two huge things in one single statement. (1) He said plainly that the lack of health insurance does not translate into a lack of health care. (2) He also said everyone is getting medical care now, so there is no "crisis" to be dealt with.

People will differ on whether Axelrod's assertion in this interview is accurate. But here's the thing: If it's not, the warning is right and rationing is a serious danger. If it is, it substantially undercuts the rationale for the current health care initiative.

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