- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 26, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As support for President Obama’s government-run health care scheme continues to erode, the more he resorts to using his well-worn demonization playbook against its critics (“Obama tackles health care reform rumors,” Page 1, Sunday). In his weekly radio address on Saturday, he accused his antagonists of making “phony claims meant to divide us” as well as “willful misrepresentations and outright distortions” in a selfish attempt to prevent reform so that they can continue to profit from the status quo.

He has identified these putative profiteers as the avaricious rich, even though they pay almost all of the income taxes collected; the American pharmaceutical industry, which is the principal developer and supplier of an ever-growing array of life-saving drugs; greedy health-insurance companies, even though the vast majority of Americans are insured by the government or by heavily regulated nonprofit carriers and physicians.

It is the medical profession that has suffered Mr. Obama’s cruelest and most calumnious attacks. Contemptibly, he has even accused doctors of subjecting patients to unnecessary tonsillectomies and amputations to obtain the higher fees that these services cost as opposed to more conservative treatments.

If he were alive, then-special counsel Joseph Welch, who brought down the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, no doubt would ask, “Have you no sense of decency, Mr. President?” To be fair to Mr. McCarthy, some of the people whom he accused of treason really were Soviet agents. Mr. Obama’s wild and irresponsible charges against his health care opponents, however, are utterly baseless.

BARRY C. STEEL

Phoenix, Md.

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